We are very excited about the progress of the school program. Yes, there have been delays due to internal governmental changes resulting in new leadership. The new regime is appearing to support education of girls but have not made any significant changes to date. Two of our girls graduated in 2021 but did not past the university test for enrollment. They are studying to re-take the university test. They both are pursuing careers in medicine. We are still awaiting the details due to the cost associated with these new expenses. We are more than happy to adjust our budget for future graduates.
The young woman I would like you to meet is Blandine. According to our partner and Leader this has been one of the most complicated cases they have had in a while. Her family situation is dire but she must be able to go to her village, which is quite a distance from the city to see her family, especially her older sister who as a result of the violence she suffered, has been paralyzed for almost 15 years. We know partially that she was the victim of rape, forced marriage and female genital mutilation. Blandine’s father died shortly after Blandine’s birth leaving the family without protection and very poor. However, overall, Blandine is making extraordinary progress, she is doing extremely well in her nursing classes. She is tenth in the region, well above most of her classmates. Her great initiatives pushes the team to tackle her social and family problems which could, if not solved in time become obstacles to her success.
Our Blandine is a 20-year-old single mom who has a great chance of changing her life, her child’s life, and her family’s life. Becoming a nurse will provide the income, dignity and hope that this family so desperately needs. That’s why we do what we do. The pictures may not be pleasant, but this is the reality for some of our girls.
Please note, the school year 2022-2023 began October 4, 2022, with 18 girls in school: 1 in kindergarten, 4 in Primary grades, 5 in Secondary grades, 7 in High School and 1 in college (our shining star Blandine. We are so appreciative of our partners who make this possible, thank you seems small compared to the results we see in the lives of these beautiful children. You do make a difference and we want you to know how your support encourages us as well.
Meet Blandine, her child and her sister.
The School year in Guinea began October 4, 2022 and nobody was happier than Therese. This beautiful young woman is in the 13th grade, was recently moved to an Aunt's home so she couold attend school and continues to completes many chores before and after school. She was raised by a single mother who is uneducatedd and was only able to feed her children by selling leves at market. Therese was left to care for her younger siblings and was not able to attend school on a regulsr basis.
With an uncertain future Therese had few options. Our project leader in Guinea was made aware of her plight and what followed was truly a miracle for this young woman. After meeting with the mother, the organization helped the mother improve her overall situation which gave her the resources she needed to care for herself and her children. To help Therese focus on school, the organization moved her with an aunt closer to school. Now she is in the 13th grade because she is 20 years old, school fees and all other expenses are paid.
This bright optimistic hard working young woman now has a opprtunity for a better life for herself and her family. She is determined to remain in school until she achieves her goal of graduation. You our donors help to place that beutiful smile on her face and inspire hope for the future not only for her but her youngr siblings as well. That is why Therese is Always Smiling!
We hope you will read all the stories about these amazing children. There are 18 children enrolled in this school year from kindergarden to the 13th grade. The former minister of education added grade 13 to acomondate girls like Therese who are older but wish to finish school and go either to college or a trade school. We salute the tenacity of these young women who refuse to give up. On behalf of the team in Guinea, the girls who benfit from this program and their families, Thank You!
The end of the school year was quite successful, based on the students report cards and the reports from their teachers and supervisors, our girls have made great progress, not only academically but also socially. Knowing that most of the girls in the program have experienced severe poverty and family dysfunction. These factors may contribute to their academic performance. With the support of the project team leaders, our girls continue to shine.
This year we had two girls graduate but failed to pass the college exam, however, after much discussion with the girls and parents it was decided that they would retake the exam for college. Vocational training is a possibility, but our girls don’t want to give up on college.
We have three children in the program named Catherine. In the picture below meet our 5-year-old Catherine, with her mother. Both Catherine and her mother are being cared for by the Femme Aide Femme (FAF) leader, due to circumstances beyond their control. We provide room and board for 3-5 of our children each year. At times we must also provide for the parent.
Women Helping Women (WHW) and our Guinea, West Africa partner, Femme Aide Femme (FAF)must remain flexible to meet the various needs of our students and their families. During this school year we accepted into the project a single mother. Blandine has made tremendous progress despite her delay in starting school and other difficulties she has encountered being a single mother. For example, out of 400 high school students she placed in the tenth percentile academically. Pictured below are Blandine and her daughter Ailama.
We are very proud of our girls and thank you for continuing to support us in this very important work. Our girls’ range in age from five to 22 years of age. We believe every girl and young woman deserves an opportunity to a quality education in order to improve her life and the lives of her family and community. Again, thank you to our kind and generous donors and the support of our partners, GlobalGiving.
We are amazed at the tenacity and drive of our students despite the challenges of COVID and the recent uprising in their country due to a takeover of the government. For several months schools were closed, and government offices were at a standstill. Thank God none of our students were directly involved in the coup. Schools opened in late November 2021 and slowly some sense of normalcy is being experienced by the community. The school year 2021-2022 with 22 students is in full force. As a result of our program in Guinea 11 Elementary children were all promoted to their next grade level. In Middle school 6 of our girls were also promoted to their next grade level. At the High school level 3 of our young ladies were promoted to the next grade level. Two of our young ladies graduated. One of our graduates Fatoumata is featured in our first progress report, she did not pass her exam to enter college, however, she remains very confident with the aid of the program to go to a technical school. Her home life has improved some and she remains the hope of her family. She graduated from high school while she still provided for the basic needs of her siblings. We will not abandon this young woman and will continue to provide the financial and moral support she needs to achieve her goals.
We were also able to add two new students for the 2021-2022 school year, Rachel and Sia . These to young ladies have been out of school for many years. We will give you an update on their progress soon. Still, They Rise!
Women Helping Women would like to collectively thank you for your ongoing support of this life changing work and invite you to get to know the students we will introduce to you in the coming year. GlobalGiving has provided a platform that is easy to navigate, and we appreciate being in partnership with them. Again, thank you for joining with us as we navigate this important work in all seasons of life.
Big Help for a Little Girl
I cannot begin to tell you how the world has changed for one very bright and happy child because of our School Program. It is amazing to hear the stories of the young girls who have been in very difficult situations with no help in sight. For this reason, I want to share Mariam’s story in her own words. Amazingly at such a young age she was still able to grasp the devastating changes in her family which left her without hope. As a donor and someone who understands that we can make a major positive impact in the lives of these beautiful children, I wanted Mariam to thank you herself. Please excuse any grammatical errors resulting from translating her story from French to English. Let me introduce Mariam.
My name is Mariam, I am 9 Years old, I am in 2nd grade at the Protestant Emmaus School Complex. I come from a poor family, my father is a mechanic, and my mother is a housewife. It was mainly our father who looked after us, until the day he became seriously ill, because of a high blood pressure attack. Today he is disabled and can’t do anything. My mother doesn’t earn much to be able to care for me and my father’s health.
Last year was difficult for us and I even had to leave school to help my mother at home and at the market. She could no longer afford to pay my school fees. So, the principal of my school, who did not want me to drop out, put my mother in touch with mom Kolie of Women Helping Women. Since then, I go to a very good school, and I do not miss anything. There is always someone to ask for my news and to find out if everything is okay at school and with the family. (Note: Madam Kolie is the Founder of Femme Aid Femme our French partner in Guinea, West Africa)
I really want to thank all the good will that helps me and all these children and their families who are suffering.
God bless you,
The School Program encompasses the child, school, family, and the community to ensure that each child’s needs are met, and the family is helped to enable the child to attend school without difficulty. This very comprehensive program is in its third year beginning with this school year. We currently have 23 students in grades 1st – 12th grade. You don’t have to wonder if you are making a difference, just ask Mariam. Thank you for your continued support of our Project “Educate and Energize Girls in Guinea, West Africa. We thank and appreciate you.
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