Women's Global Education Project

Women's Global Education Project was founded on the idea that everyone is entitled to an education, regardless of gender or economic status. We believe that universal education, gender equality and empowerment of women are critical to a society's development. Our mission is to provide access to education and develop training program that empower women and girls, particularly those in developing nations, to build better lives and foster equitable communities.
Feb 26, 2014

Thank you for helping WGEP scholars like Mary

WGEP scholars, including Mary and Ndeye, and staff
WGEP scholars, including Mary and Ndeye, and staff

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 300 girls in rural Senegal, girls who otherwise would not have the chance to go to school.

Two of these girls are Mary, 9, and Ndeye, who is in high school. Mary lacks a support system at home, but through WGEP’s Sisters-to-School, has found a tutor and mentor in fellow WGEP scholar Ndeye. Mary shares their story in her own words:

"My name is Mary and I am 9 years old. I have participated in the “Sisters to School” program in Senegal since 2012. Where I come from, many girls lack the opportunity to go to school. Girls are expected to stay home and maintain the household while boys go to school. I live with my sister, who is illiterate, her husband and their young children. One day a few years ago, while doing some shopping for my sister’s mother-in-law, I met the WGEP Senegal Project Director. She told me I should go to school, but I knew it would be difficult to convince my family. Fortunately, she came and talked to my sister and her husband. She told them I could receive a scholarship to go to school and they agreed that I could go.

I want to stay in school, but I am worried that I will be forced to leave. My father does not want me in school; he does not understand how an education can be valuable for a girl. Every time I go home, he threatens to pull me out of school. Not only am I afraid of losing my education, I also fear being forced into an early marriage, which is a common practice here. The elders do not understand that I have schoolwork to do, so they constantly demand that I do various tasks for them. I have to work very hard to complete my schoolwork after finishing all of my chores each day.

One thing that has helped me greatly is having a mentor. My mentor and tutor is a high school student and fellow WGEP scholar named Ndeye. She lets me study and do my homework at her house since my sister’s house is too small and crowded to provide good study conditions. I talk to Ndeye about schoolwork as well as my concerns for my health and future. My mother and sister do not understand my concerns, so Ndeye has become like a mother to me.

I like studying, so I want to stay in school so that one day I can become an important person. I want to show my father that a girl can support her family."

 

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Dec 2, 2013

Thank you for making a personal impact for girls!

Thank you for your support of Women's Global Education Project and our Sisters-to-School Kenya program! This December we will be hosting our annual "Circumcision With Words" Alternative Rite of Passage program in Tharaka, Kenya. This program combats female genital mutilation in Tharaka through a community-led initiative that works with girls, families and community leaders to eradicate the practice and celebrating empowerment and education for girls. The program gives girls and families an alternative way to celebrate a girl's coming into womanhood without genital cutting. This year, more than 260 girls have signed up to participate, and, for the first time ever, 40 boys will be joining them and publicly lending their support to eradicate FGM in their community.

We would like to share with you the personal story--written in her own words--of one program participant and how it changed her mind about undergoing FGM:

My name is Terry, I go to school at Gatunga primary school. I am 14 years old and am in 8th grade.

 In my village there was the practice of female genital mutilation. Girls had this done because they did not understand the meaning of it. To them, they were told by their peer groups, grandparents, and parents that uncircumcised girls could not give birth. They were also told that uncircumcised girls were unclean and not yet matured. They believed these myths and misconceptions about FGM.

 As it continued this way, I decided to be circumcised because I did not like to face the challenges and be abused for challenging this tradition. Luckily, the After School Boys and Girls Club was introduced in our school teaching us in school and outside the school about the harm of FGM and explaining to us our rights. When I learned the dangers and problems of FGM I decided to stop and say NO. I also decided to talk to my age mates and girls in my village and other neighboring villages. Moreover I was sponsored by the program as a scholar. They also advised me on life challenges and problems. Finally I attended the Alternative Rite of Passage that was conducted on December 2011. I talked with other girls to attend the workshop so that they can be saved and advised more. Lastly our Boys and Girls Club teachers spent extra time to coach and tutor us and surely it has improved our academic performance. I have been taught how to be responsible and become a role model in my area and in the Tharaka District at large. I thank the program for saving me from undergoing the traditional practice of FGM, I was at a risk because I had fully decided to be circumcised. I thank you once more for your support!


Links:

Dec 2, 2013

Thank you for making a personal impact for girls

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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