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.
Nov 23, 2016

Slow and Steady for Science Labs_Tanzania Update

Isaya preparing the work stations
Isaya preparing the work stations

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

We're happy to provide a little update on our Science Labs project.

The school administration and local government wanted to stretch the 'Ask' a bit. They wanted us to build entirely new, separate structures for the science labs. The reality that Lucas and I have come to know is that funding for international, rural projects is limited these days. Endeavoring to build new rooms to house laboratories would be both time and cost prohibitive. Currently, Amahoro Secondary School has ample classrooms for general study, but is really in dire need of a space for students to investigate biology, physics and chemsitry in greater depth.

Lucas and I had numerous conversations when he visited this summer. We discussed the types of conversations he needed to have with the head teachers and leadership about this project.  With renewed confidence for making his requests, he urged the leadership to move forward with the labs in the existing spaces.They agreed!

We're happy to report that we are back in business with our favorite builder, Isaya Lameck! In the photos, Isaya is already hard at work building the support structures for the work stations that will line the perimeter of the labs. He has also installed proper drainage in the floors of the classrooms. In the coming months, as funds come through for this project, they will go directly to Isaya so he can continue working. We also have orders in for basic equipment that students will need in order to conduct experiments.

It's nice to finally feel like we're making some progress. Science labs in village schools are rare, thus village-based students are often afforded less opportunity and access to resources than their urban counterparts. Soon, we will welcome the students to a new space for developing their science knowledge and skills! 

Thank you for your patience between updates. We were waiting to have actual progress to report and we're so happy that we do - finally! 

Please consider sharing this project with friends and family. You can also make donations in the name of loved ones for the holidays or build your own fundraising event to help us grow our investment in science education in rural Tanzania.

We know there is so much you could be donating to around the world and within our own country. We're grateful for your investment in these students! As you can see in the final picture, Lucas is an ever present mentor in the lives of our students. He encourages them before exams (pictured) and he stays in touch with them and their teachers throughout the year to best know how to support them. Let's all raise a glass this Thanksgiving to Lucas!!

Asante sana,

Rai & Lucas

Lab Station Prep
Lab Station Prep
Isaya hard at work
Isaya hard at work
Lucas encouraging students before exams
Lucas encouraging students before exams
Oct 5, 2016

October 2016 Tanzania Udate_Project Wezesha

Ezra is ready for High School!
Ezra is ready for High School!

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

Happy Autumn to all of you! The leaves are turning in their brilliance here in Vermont, but back in Tanzania, rainy season is upon them - which means everything gets so lush and green!

Students are getting ready for their end-of-year examinations. Let's just say there are some stressed students in our midst! These exams play a significant role in the lives of students in Tanzania - determining for some whether they will be able to attend secondary school, determining for others if they will continue to study at the secondary level, and determining for yet another cohort whether they will move from secondary school into high school. The stakes are high!

But in the spirit of Autumn, we'd like to celebrate that for which we are grateful. Lucas recently spent time traveling around and visiting some of our current students and their teachers to see how everyone is doing. Here are some highlights.

Ezekial shared his story with us. He said that he was born in 1997. He attended Mungonya Primary School in Kiganza, Tanzania and finished in 2012. He began secondary school in 2013 with the help of Project Wezesha and this year, he is completing Form 4. He is one of our high school hopefuls who will take the exam this month. We will get his results in December and find out if we can support him as he pursues studies through Form 5 and 6. Ezekial wants to be a doctor. He says that in Tanzania, many people die due to a shortage of doctors in the region. He wants to fill that gap and we want to help him do so!

Ezra also shared some thoughts with us. First, he says he thanks God because he was blessed to have a father who cares about him and education. When Ezra was young, he didn't like studying. But his father gave him advice and highlighted the example of a cousin who did very well in school. With this cousin as a role model and his father as his mentor, Ezra studied with renewed enthusiasm. After his standard 4 exams, he was ranked second in his class. He was motivated to become the top in his class, so he studied even harder. Throughout the remaining years in primary school, Ezra was ranked first in his class. It was this ranking that landed him a spot in our scholarship program. He did so well on his O-level exams that he was sent to a boarding school in another region, where he studies Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. His dream is to become a doctor - with a rather specific focus on kidney problems. We love his focus and determination! He also takes his exit exams this month and we see a bright future in higher education ahead!

George, like Ezra, was inpsired by a parent - but in this case, his mother. George saw how hard life was in the village and he saw how hard his mom worked to provide for him and his siblings. She encouraged him to study. He studied hard throughout primary school and succeeded in the exams to get into secondary school. His ranking as top of his class caught our attention. Life continued to be difficult for George through secondary school, however, because he had to walk a long distance. He later decided to move closer to the school - where he had to cook and care for himself. Fortunately for George, he did excel in secondary school - scoring high in Division 2 on his Form 2 exams. We expect an equally high result on his Form 4 exams in his track: Physics, Chemistry and Biology. George would like to be an Engineer, specializing in the Oil and Gas industry, and we're proud of him for having tenacity and vision!

As students graduate from our program, space opens for new students to join us. Lucas and our friend, Madaga - an amazing local educator - have started to visit local primary schools to scout for new students to join our program. They have created an assessment tool to do some initial screening. Once we get exam results from these recent Standard 7 graduates, we'll be able to announce who is joining us. The photos of the young girls below are the faces of some of our potential new students. Join us in sending them hope as we await their results. We'll soon let you know who will join us in January!

Asante Sana for all of your support. Please know that our work continues as long as there are children in need of education ... i.e., forever! ... or for as long as we have the capacity to do so. As you know, we can't do this without donors who are willing to contribute to the cause. Now that secondary school fees have been waived by the president, we can focus on the critical costs of keeping students in boarding schools, buying text books, and funding support classes between terms.

Please share the work we do with friends and family (click the sharing buttons below) and of course, chip in when you can (click 'Give Now'). Let us know if you'd like to know more about how you can help.

With gratitude,

Rai Farrelly & Lucas Lameck
Co-Founders, Project Wezesha

George - a future Engineer!
George - a future Engineer!
Prospective Students from Mungonya Primary
Prospective Students from Mungonya Primary
Prospective Students from Mkongoro Primary
Prospective Students from Mkongoro Primary
Prospective Students from Kangongo Seco
Prospective Students from Kangongo Seco
Sep 16, 2016

Girls Ed Pakistan - Fall 2016 Update

Some of the girls in Hattar village
Some of the girls in Hattar village

As summer comes to a close, we bring good news from our Pakistan program on three fronts: final testing results from the Spring; a personal story from one of our graduates, Rabia; and a wonderful matching opportunity from the Safer World fund. Thanks again to our partner on the ground in Pakistan, Bedari, for all they do.

 

Testing Update

For the 2016 school year, all the 101 girls appeared for exams. Their results are as follows:

35 girls appeared for exams of grade 6 and 7, and all of them passed their exams; 21 girls appeared for exams for 8th grade, and passed their exam successfully.

25 girls appeared for the secondary exams, and all of them passed. One girl got married, and did not appear for her exam. This year Aiman achieved the highest marks at the secondary level exams. She secured 884 marks out of 1050 possible. We are sure that she will receive the prize announced by the government of Punjab. The cash prize is Pak Rs 27,000 (US $ 270). The government is quite slow in releasing the amounts. So she may actually receive this amount in 2017. Furthermore, this makes her eligible for fee waiver if she studies at any government college for her grades 11th and 12th.

Previous year, two girls – Sundas and Uzma– had secured over 70 % marks in their annual secondary exams. They both have recently received Rs 27,000 each from the government of Punjab, and they have been promised that the fee they have paid in the past one year would be reimbursed by the government.

There were 11 girls who appeared for their 11th grade exam; their resulted is awaited. Only 3 girls appeared for the higher secondary level annual exam (12th grade). Their result has not been announced yet. There were another 3 girls who should have appeared for higher secondary exams, but they dropped out. Two girls appeared for BA exam (14th grade or graduation) – one has passed while the other girl would have to appear again for two papers.

Iqra’s parents wanted to marry her off at the age of 14 back in 2016. Bedari had intervened back then, and convinced them to put her back in school with Bedari’s support. They agreed, and she got admission. Now she has completed her secondary education, and she is 16 years old. Her parents do not want her to continue her education, and Bedari is talking to them once again. It may not succeed this time, but we have managed to delay her marriage by 2 years. Pakistan law allows girls to get married at the age of 16 years.

 

Rabia’s Story

“The sole purpose of women is to do household chores and raise children. Their education is rather pointless.” I grew up listening to these words. I grew up watching my mother harvesting crops and grazing the cattle. Whenever my parents would have an argument, my maternal grandfather was the only one with enough power to put an end to the fight.  Although, my father was strictly against girls going out of the village for education; due to my grandfather’s influence I was able to get admission in school. Despite many hardships, I was able to pass matric, being the first girl in the family to do so.

One evening, I found out about Bedari launching an education project in our village. After convincing my father, I was able to get admission in first year (11th grade) in a college in Kalar Kahar. I managed to complete two more years of education, and Bedari agreed to continue supporting me as long as I wanted. So I got admission in the 3rd year (13th grade).

Once while looking through the daily newspaper in our college, I came across a job opportunity in a government organization ‘Sweet Home’ providing shelter and care to orphans. They were in need of a local level coordinator and I fit their criteria perfectly.

I was aware that mentioning this to my family would be a bad idea; I would never get permission for a job and I may even be stopped from going to college. Hence, I did not consult anyone from my family and instead referred to Bedari’s program officer. She motivated me immensely and told me how to tackle the issue of dealing with my parents.  I applied for the job and on the day of my interview, following the program officer’s guidelines, I told my parents to pray that I get this job. My father was enraged and stated that a daughter’s earning was “haram” (something banned by religion like alcohol is haram) for him. Upon hearing this, I made him realize how I worked in the fields and grazed the cattle and how that was also my earning. I made him realize that if that wasn’t “haram” for him then earning from the work of my liking wouldn’t be “haram” for him either. Noticing that my father was quiet now, I told him how this was just an interview and that the job wasn’t confirmed yet; but working was my passion and if I had his blessings, I would definitely get the job. He finally gave his nod, and prayed for my success.

After the interview, I started waiting for the offer letter from the organization. It took some time but finally it arrived. One day when I returned from my college, my father congratulated me and handed me the letter. I cried … I had tears of joy in my eyes. I had not only earned a job in sweet homes but also my father’s trust. I have got a very good paying job, but that does not mean I am discontinuing my education. The only difference is that now I do not need financial support from Bedari. I have informed them, so that they can replace me by putting another girl in school.

My job, the love from my parents and the trust received from Bedari beautified my personality. I am happy that I had attended the Self Growth Sessions arranged by Bedari. They gave me lots of confidence, and negotiating skills, which helped me negotiate with my father for my education first, and for my job later.

Thank you, Bedari!

 

 

Safer World Fund Match

Girl’s Ed is thrilled to announce that we have been selected as a participant in the matching gift program for the Safer World Fund. Administered through Global Giving, this fund grants a 50% match to all donations for a limited period, so if you are considering a new or increased gift, now is the time!

 

Many thanks!

Steve Murchie
Pakistan Project Lead
Girls Ed Board Chair (acting)

Rabia
Rabia
 
   

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