Unfortunately, in many families, girls are traditionally excluded from access to educational opportunities. Boys receive preferential opportunities. This project helps address this imbalance by providing scholarships to girls who are at risk of dropping out of school. It also provides training in self-esteem, teenage pregnancy awareness, and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health. The girls receive guidance and counseling to stay on track with their educational goals.
Poverty prevents many African families from sending their girls to school. According to UNICEF statistics, among youths 15-24 years old in Sierra Leone, the literacy rate for males is 70.5% and that of girls is 52.1%. Early marriage also hinders girls from pursuing an education and gaining self-sufficiency/independence. And a preference for boys' education remains dominant in many family/community circles - with boys getting priority access to limited opportunities.
This project focuses on enhancing the overall growth and development of girls. Girls are encouraged to continue their education and financial support is provided to make this a reality. This support is closing the gender gap so more girls are able to stay in school and graduate. Targeted training is provided to ensure that the girls have the life skills and mindset needed for success and continual progress. And, vocational and business opportunities ensure progress towards self-sufficiency.
This project is helping girls to break out of the vicious cycle that entraps unskilled and resource-poor girls. At-risk girls are maturing into well-educated, emancipated, gainfully employed and self-sufficient women. These empowered women are the pillars of their families, communities and the nation. When the mother of the home is educated, the health, well-being, and success of the entire family are propelled forward and transformed. Educated girls educate the entire nation.