Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal

 
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Thank you for supporting Women's Global Education Project and our Sisters-to-School program in Senegal! Your support helps WGEP provide critical scholarships to more than 150 girls in rural Senegal, girls who otherwise would not have the chance to go to school. You are also helping us impact 3,000 of their family members, friends and neighbors, ensuring that entire communities are invested in the future of their girls.

To illustrate the power of education to change lives, we share the personal story of one of our recent graduates, written in her own words:

My name is Amy, and I am 20 years old. I entered the “Sisters-to-School” program in 2005 when I was in elementary school, and I am now finished with high school. My parents live off weak agricultural harvests that are insufficient for feeding the family. Our house is entirely made out of mud, which is not very solid and doesn’t hold up well in strong rainstorms. My village has an elementary school; although children go, girls often leave school very early and are confronted by many problems. I help my parents in the fields and with cooking; I do everything that villagers do. But now this doesn’t keep me from passing the high school graduation test with good scores.

 I had a hard time understanding classes, and my family had a lack of means to pay for school supplies and classes. I work as a housekeeper during vacation to earn a bit of money to bring to my family and to prepare for the upcoming school year. When my mother had twins, there was no one to help her with them. So that year, she almost asked me to give up my studies to help her. I was walking 8 kilometers a day to go to high school, without eating from morning until the nighttime. It was a very difficult  year of high school.

 Fortunately, my mother heard a presentation by teachers and understood the importance of education. The “Sisters- to-School” program educated our parents so that we could find tutors in Sokone, and came to our aid in many ways. I received  trainings, counseling, and advising. The program paid for my medications when I was sick. Tutoring helped me to better understand my classes, particularly classes like French and Spanish, for which I received high scores on my high school exams.

I will soon be attending college education. I will make the education of my daughter a priority because education is the key to success in life. I want to continue my studies through a PhD. My dream is to succeed and get a good job to help my parents out of poverty and suffering. I especially want to participate in the development of my country. I dream that this can become a reality!


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Community members discuss girls
Community members discuss girls' education.

With your help, Women’s Global Education Project is able to get out into rural communities and influence local perception pertaining to girls’ education, which is a vital component to achieving gender equality and advancing opportunities for girls. Reports show that between December 2013 and March 2013, our community education talks and seminars reached approximately 1800 people in Senegal. Sixty community talks and seminars were organized in 30 different locations. We’re thrilled with the level of outreach achieved as of March, and we’re confident we’ll see continued success in forthcoming reports detailing the remainder of this year!

Outreach event themes are centered around the importance of girls education, and discussions have pertained to keeping girls in school; relief for domestic and agricultural work; early marriage and pregnancy; violence against women; the importance of civil status and identification papers for children; and the issue of recurrent strikes within the Senegalese education system. Key people present for these conversations have included the presidents of the rural communities of Djilor and Toubacouta; the presidents of the associations of parents of students; the heads of the villages; the imams of the villages visited; the presidents of the Collectives of School Directors; school principals; the chairman of the Departmental Committee for the Promotion of Teachers of Education of Girls; those responsible for gender evaluation in schools; teachers; village health workers; and more.

The outreach meetings conclude with testimonies of satisfaction from the girls, parents, tutors and mentors. Meeting facilitators also report increased engagement of girls and their parents as a result of community talks and seminars. We are very pleased with the progress of these outreach efforts in shaping attitudes toward girls’ education, and we are so grateful for your continued support, which helps make all of this possible. We couldn’t do it without you!

WGEP ED Amy, scholar Safora, and board member Lily
WGEP ED Amy, scholar Safora, and board member Lily

Thank you for your continued support of Women's Global Education Project! Your support helps us provide scholarships and support to girls in rural Senegal who would otherwise not have the chance to go to school--girls like Safora, whose inspiring story tells us that our work is making a difference--thank you for partnering with us!

MEET WGEP SENEGAL SCHOLAR SAFORA

WGEP Senegal scholar Safora has always been a trailblazer. Nearly 10 years ago, she became the first in her family of 12 children to go to school when she joined our Sisters-to-School program. She is a dedicated student who does well in school and earns top grades, and the program provides her with the support she needs to do her best in school. “I want to make a better life for myself and my family,” she says. 

Not only did Safora complete primary school, but she is now--against all the odds stacked against girls in rural villages like hers--about to complete middle school and enter high school.

Safora personally knows the power that education has to change lives, and she wants to make sure other girls in her village have the same chance she has. In addition to her school work, she is now tutoring a WGEP primary school scholar.

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WGEP Senegal scholar Yacine
WGEP Senegal scholar Yacine

Thank you for your continued support of Women's Global Education Project! Your support helps us provide scholarships and support to girls in rural Senegal who would otherwise not have the chance to go to school--girls like Yacine and Aminata, whose inspiring stories tell us that our work is making a difference--thank you for partnering with us!

 

Yacine, WGEP Senegal scholar

Yacine comes from a very poor family – her father passed a way and her mother is an immigrant from Mali.  As one of the older siblings in the family, Yacine feels a lot of responsibility to look after her younger brothers and sisters. Her family raises ducks and chickens to sell, but that does not produce much money. Without our program, Yacine would not be able to go to school, and she and her family are very grateful for the opportunity. Yacine is serious and focused, and she wants to be a doctor so she can help others. Although she knows that becoming a doctor means a long road ahead that includes university and graduate studies, she is committed to succeeding.

 

Aminata, WGEP Senegal scholar

Aminata has been in our WGEP program for the past eight years. Her father teaches at their local village religious school and believes in education for all children--whether they are girls or boys--so unlike some other parents in the area, he allows Aminata to attend both the religious school and the secular school. Although this means a double workload for her, Aminata is very bright and does well in all her studies. She is a pioneer in their village in navigating the worlds of traditional religious studies and modern education.

WGEP Senegal scholar Aminata
WGEP Senegal scholar Aminata

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WGEP Senegal scholars
WGEP Senegal scholars

"Our program has generated a love of learning in girls who are asserting themselves more in the classroom and obtaining excellence," reports WGEP Senegal Project Coordinator Adji Senghor. "The best students in Sokone are from our program!" 

Thank you for supporting Women's Global Education Project in Senegal! Your support helps WGEP provide critical scholarships to 150 girls in rural Senegal, girls who otherwise would not have the chance to go to school. You are also helping us impact 3,000 of their family members, friends and neighbors, ensuring that entire communities are invested in the future of their girls.

We are making a difference--thank you for partnering with us!

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Project Leader

Amy Maglio

Founder
Oak Park, Illinois United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal