Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal

Nov 16, 2009

Senegal Scholars Shine!

Women's Global Senegal secondary students

Women's Global Education Project is proud to announce that our Senegal program finished school year 2008-2009 with flying colors:

* 60 percent of our secondary school full scholars finished in the TOP FIVE of their class

* Nearly half of our primary school full scholars finished among the TOP FIVE of their class

Their success is especially commendable considering many of these scholars are the first girls in their families to go to school and can be among only a handful of girls in their classroom. Their academic success is a testament to the effectiveness of Sisters To School, the commitment of their families, the hard work and dedication of our girls, and the support of people like you who keep this project going!

Throughout our years working in Senegal, we have found many challenges that can keep girls from finishing their education, even after they manage to enroll in school. Because of your support, Women's Global has been able to focus support programs on these issues to help our scholars stay in school despite these enormous challenges:

Bias towards boys and overreliance on girls for home and farm chores: Women’s Global works to bring awareness about the importance of educating girls to a community as a whole and works with families and communities to help them give time and space to their daughters for schooling and homework.

Lack of overall support in the community and lack of role models: Women’s Global community awareness programs target all members of a community to promote the importance of girls’ education to girls, boys, men, and women. Our mentorship programs bring scholars into regular contact with female role models, and our adult literacy classes are aimed specifically at helping mothers support their daughters in school. We also provide tutoring to help scholars excel and pass rigorous national grade-level exams.

Health issues (including menstruation) and cultural practices such as early marriage: Women’s Global provides mosquito nets, medical treatment and health workshops to scholars and their families to prevent malaria, dysentery and other illnesses. We help educate girls about menstruation and help them get access to sanitary supplies. Our community awareness programs encourage girls and their families to finish school before getting married.

We truly could not do this work without you. Thank you for supporting Women's Global Education Project!

Aug 6, 2009

Women's Global is making a personal difference!

Women's Global Senegal staff have recently been visiting the homes of our scholars to get feedback about how the program has been working for the scholars and their families. When possible, village leaders have also been included in these visits. The feedback has been very positive, and has been a testimony to the personal difference our work is having on individual lives, families and communities.

Here are comments from two of the parents who spoke with us:

Lucie Diatta, gardener, mother of scholar Christine Diouf. Christine is a star student who leads her class

“This program is wonderful! We know how much you’re investing in our daughter, and we want more than anything for her to succeed. I serve as president of our village women’s group, and I’ve told them at every meeting they need to send their children to school. I actually used to go to school as a girl, but I had to drop out quite early because my parents could no longer afford it. Now, as the only woman in the group who went to school at all, it’s me who has to do all the accounting. If it were not for your support, we might not be able to afford to keep Christine in school either. I am thankful there is another option for her.”

Saliou Segnane, vegetable carter, father of scholar Aissatou Segnane

"Now that I understand the importance of education, I'm going to try my best to have the rest of my children attend school--even if I have to sell my cart! This program really helps those of us in poor villages. Without this program, Aissatou would not be going to school, because we would not be able to afford it. We pray a lot for you because we know what this program does for our children. Aïssatou is the first of my children to go to school, because before, I didn't know how important school was. Now I've told all my neighbors to send their children to school, especially the girls!"

We would not be able to have this kind of impact without all your support--thank you!

May 15, 2009

Together, we are making a difference!

Thank you for your recent support of Women's Global Education Project Senegal! With your help, Women's Global is making a measurable difference in the lives of our scholars, their families and their communities, and is making a positive impact on the state of girls' education in the villages where we work.

Women's Global Senegal partner Union Democratique Des Ensiegnantes de Senegal (UDEN) recently completed an analysis of the impact of our scholarship, support and awareness programs. Their analysis found that:

1. After a specific community participated in our girls' education awareness programs, there was a marked increase in the number of resident girls in that community who attended school

2. Over the five years that Women's Global and UDEN have worked in these communities, the number of elementary and secondary schools have steadily increased as more community leaders recognize the value of education, especially for girls

3. In these communities, academic success among girls has been on the rise, and fewer girls are dropping out of school prematurely

We could not do this work without your continued support. Thank you for your commitment to the fight against global poverty through the education of girls!

Feb 17, 2009

Women's Global adds scholarships

Women’s Global is proud to report that more than one-third of our scholars finished at the top of their class after the year-end exams for school year 2008!

During Senegal’s summer/harvest school break, Women’s Global provided an Educational Vacation Program for scholars to give them extra academic tutoring and to keep them from getting drawn into hard domestic or agricultural labor. We had a successful summer program, with 36 elementary students and 25 high school students participating. Average daily attendance was around 98 percent, which is an increase from the previous year. The girls got tutoring in their weakest subject areas to better prepare them for the 2009 school year.

For 2009, we were able to add nine elementary school scholarships and 10 high school scholarships, bringing our total number of Senegal scholars to 79. We were also pleased to see positive effects from our community awareness program to help families grasp how educating their daughters—a low priority for many poor Senegalese families—provides them with long-term and effective tools for escaping poverty. The number of girls attending school is increasing in rural villages where we work, and in five of the schools where we have scholars, the number of girls now slightly exceeds that of boys!

Your support enables us to provide these invaluable scholarships and programs to our girls and their families, who along with the majority of rural families in Senegal are struggling with the rising costs of living expenses brought on by the global recession. Without these scholarships, these families would not be able to afford to send their daughters to school. You are making a difference—thank you for your support!

Oct 24, 2008

Scholars pass grade-level exams

We are very proud of our Senegal scholars, all of whom passed their recent end-of-year exams and moved on to the next grade-level! Many Senegalese girls who do get a chance to enroll in school often drop out prematurely because they found their grade-level exams too difficult, their families run out of funds to pay their school fees, they become sick with a preventable illness such as food poisoning or malaria, or they become engaged to marry and to start a family. The success of our scholars was enabled by support programs such as our after-school tutoring and mentoring program and our health education program, which have helped address barriers that keep girls from staying and doing well in school.

We also found a marked increase in the number of resident girls attending school after a specific community participates in one of our girls’ education awareness programs. Thank you for your support!

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Project Leader

Amy Maglio

Chicago, Illinois United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal