Girls Education International

The mission of Girls Education International is to expand and support educational opportunities for underserved females in remote and developing regions of the world. We work with existing non-governmental and nonprofit organizations in the regions we serve. These local organizations already have relationships and infrastructures in the rural communities where we work that allow us to build upon and maximize existing resources.
Jul 5, 2016

Project Wezesha Update - Introducing Social Media

Lucas on Mt. Mansfield
Lucas on Mt. Mansfield

Greetings Project Wezesha Supporters,

It's heating up for summer in most parts of the world! Even here in Vermont, where I've been based since August 2016, the days are hot and the nights - not much cooler. And guess who's getting to experience our heat firsthand?? The one and only Lucas Lameck!

After planning for years and then finally making the push for his US tourist Visa this past January, his dream to visit has become a reality! At the end of his trip, we'll make a video in which he'll share first hand what his impressions are and how this trip will impact his ongoing work with Project Wezesha. For now, he's enjoying: hiking in the Green Mountains; participation in an English language class with college students from Mongolia, Japan and Thailand; playing 'pick-up' soccer each evening with a bunch of young men from Somalia; sampling the variety of foods this land of farmers and immigrants has to offer; and, marveling over the "good roads and nice environment". In this picture, he's 'flapping his wings' on top of Mount Mansfield.

Back in Tanzania, our scholarship students, current and former, continue to make their way through life - each on his or her unique path. 

At Kagongo Secondary School, Simoni’s headmaster said that he is doing exceptionally well and all his teachers enjoy having him in class. His grades across the curriculum are impressive to all. He is still at the top of his class. Currently he is a Form 4 student so he will be taking his exit exams in the fall and we hope that he will do well enough to be selected for high school.

Mahamudu and Hassani are also doing very well. The head master believes that both of these young men will also perform well enough on their exams this fall to earn a spot in high school.

Ezekiel, George and Rahma are also doing very well. They studied together at the same primary school and were selected as students at the top of their class after Standard 7. Lucas visited Bitale Secondary School to visit with George and Ezekial, and to speak with the head master of their school. Both of them are doing really well. Rahma is studying in Mwanza at a day school; she lives with relatives and is doing well in school.

Have you ever wanted a financial obligation? It seems like a strange thing to wish for, but we're really hoping to have the chance to pay for high school for all of these youngsters! Keep them in mind as they round the bend in Form 4. The national exams after Form 4 really do shape their future in a big way.

I'm working with Lucas on his trip this summer to plan for more informative interviews to really share, "in deep" as he would say, what the students are experiencing during and after their studies.

One of our former students, France is living and working in Morogoro running his own small business. He invests in crops - buying food products when prices are low, then selling them when the prices go up. His secondary education gave him the extra boost he needed to effectively calculate profit and loss margins and make wise business decisions that benefit him as an investor.

Hindu and Khadija continue their jobs in Oman. They are both enjoying their host families and their jobs. Neither of them speaks Arabic well, but they have started to learn because most people they interact with don’t speak English, and naturally, don’t speak Swahili. Hindu has also reported feeling some discrimination at times, but she stays quite positive and is grateful for the money that she is earning and sending home to support her mom. She and Khadija are also saving money so that when they return to Tanzania in the coming years, they can open a small business together in Kigoma town. They both continue to send me frequent text and voice messages on What’s App, which include pictures, videos, and lots of love!

As of recently, social media is reaching more of our students. When I started working in Tanzania in 2008, no one I knew in the villages had a cell phone. A few folks in town had old-school Nokia phones. Now, almost everyone has a basic phone, and more and more people have smart phones. If you can afford to buy credit, you have 3G access - even in remote villages. Not surprisingly, it's really changing communication and human interaction in huge ways.

For me, it's a bonus because I have closer contact with some of our students - even from across the world. Diana, Tumsifu, Dibeit, and Hindu use Facebook. Khadija and Hindu love What's App! Through social media platforms, I'm able to get stories from them, share ideas and pictures from home, and just keep the relationships alive. They also stay connected to others that they've met over the years - friends from the US who have traveled with me or visited as interns: Hadley, Tamrika, Katy, Krista, Carter, John, Dagny, Marte, Laetitia, Amy, and others. It's these connections - as much as the education and the financial support - that contributes to the work we do. For us, these young people are friends and our support of them is personal. 

Thank you for all of your support and for believing that we can make a difference, even if our reach seems small (i.e., we're not the United Way or CARE) - it's a reach in the right direction and it does matter!

Sincerely and with gratitude,

Rai Farrelly & Lucas Lameck
Co-founders, Project Wezesha

Hindu greets Lucas on What
Hindu greets Lucas on What's App
Messages with Khadija
Messages with Khadija
Facebook Message from Tumsifu
Facebook Message from Tumsifu
Dibeit Shares my Pic of Lucas in Central Park
Dibeit Shares my Pic of Lucas in Central Park
Chatting with Hindu
Chatting with Hindu
Jun 13, 2016

June Update from Girls Ed Tanzania

Bukuru
Bukuru

Dear Girls Education Supporters,

We hope your summer is off to a wonderful start! Our students in Tanzania are racing toward their summer break, which is during the month of July. Then, they'll return for the rest of this academic school year. 

Our Form 1 students will take exams in October to gauge whether or not they are ready to move on to Form 2, so they'll be studying over much of their summer break. We're wishing them well. Our first cohort excelled in their exams - all passing, some with distinction. The Form 2 students get a little break from examinations this year, but will be taking mock exams next year to prepare for the big Form 4 exit exams. 

We'd love to let you know that we have a little fundraising push we'd love your help with. On Wedensday, June 15th (this week!) beginning at 9am EDT (Washington, DC time), GlobalGiving.org will be hosting their annual GG Rewards Bonus Day with $110,000 availalbe in matching funds and $2,000 available in bonus prizes. Funds always go so fast during these campaigns, so if you'd like to contribute - have your alarm set and your mouse ready to click 'Give Now' right at 9am! Thank you so much for your continued support! 

With that, we'd like to share an interview with one of our current students, Bukuru. 

What is your daily routine like?

First when I attend at school  during in the morning, I clean the area surrounding my school. So after finish, at 8:00 am, we start class.  So as to continual with  other activities such as to clean they area at home then I  help my mother at the farm, then I return home and wash for dinner. After dinner, I start to study different books and other exercise given by the teacher. 

Do you like school?

Yes. School is very important because it prepares me for my life. 

Do you think studying as a girl is different from studying as a boy? Why?

Yes, because when a girl comes home from  school, she has too much work compared with boys. There is too much housework for us.

What advice would you give to a girl who wants to quit school?

I advise that, education is the key or foundation of my life. If there is no education, there is no life.  Some say that their environment forces them to study, even if parents don't.  Some parents don’t know the importance of education. 

What would you like to do after secondary school?

I want to continue with my studies and become a lawyer!

-----

Asante Sana for all your continued support! Our students, including Bukuru, are working hard to make sure they get a return on your investment! Gratitude all around. 

Rai Farrelly

Jun 13, 2016

June 2016 Update from Girls Ed Pakistan

Girls at the Rohtas Fort
Girls at the Rohtas Fort

The highlight for this report is that 56 girls in our group appeared for their annual exams, and all passed and were advanced to the next level. These students were all in the 6th through 8th grade. Exams for the older students have also been held, but results won't be announced until later in the summer. We'll be able to provide the final update in our next report.

Bedari, our partner in Pakistan executing the program, has scaled back on some of the extracurricular programs in lieu of academics only, out of a concern for sufficient finances to carry our students through the year. We hope that we can raise some additional funding to support the non-academic parts of the program, as the girls really enjoy the diversity and it adds significantly to their worldview and well-being. As the photo accompanying this report shows, excursions such as the ones we reported on back in March bring a lot of joy to the educational process.

On a positive note, we're seeing a growth in donors from outside the US, thanks in large part to our colleagues here at Global Giving in the UK. With a number of promotions supported by donor challenge-matches, we're getting a lot more visibility beyond our normal borders. Thanks to everyone who has recently joined our cause.

Bedari had some challenges over the past few months migrating and updating their website, but the new site is up, stable and has lots of good information. For those of you who would like to follow their programs directly, I've included their website link below. As we may have mentioned, Bedari's new executive director is our dear friend Safeer Ullah Khan, who has been point contact on our program from the beginning. We've been so happy to see him fitting right into these new responsibilities.

 

All the best -

Steve Murchie
Denver, CO USA

Links:

 

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