Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal

by Women's Global Education Project
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal
Educate girls and fight poverty in Senegal

WGEP has worked in the Fatick region of rural Senegal since 2004 to implement locally-driven, holistic and multi-tiered strategies that address the complex issue of girls’ access to education. One of our programs, Our Sisters Read, focuses on improving foundational reading skills, motivating students to read, and promoting literacy in the community. To date, over 10,000 students have participated in WGEP's locally-driven reading activities in Senegal!

But a love of learning shouldn't be contained to schools or community centers. Curious students need resources and enthusiastic encouragement from their families to continue reading at home, too. Bridging the home-school gap with an emphasis on reading for pleasure will ultimately contribute to an enduring shift in attitudes towards literacy, and future generations--especially girls--will benefit from this shift.

In an independent evaluation of the Our Sisters Read program, 97% of parents surveyed reported that their opinion of the importance of reading changed positively during the program. These families reported that compared to before exposure to the program, they now:

  • Allow time for reading at home
  • Encourage children to borrow books
  • Ask children to read out loud with a sibling
  • Tell them they are a positive example
  • Reward them when they read

This feedback shows that even parents who can't read themselves genuinely value literacy and are sure to make time for their children to read at home. We are so grateful for these families and their participation in the focus group.

We look forward to growing this groundbreaking program, reaching even more families, and expanding this lifelong culture of reading--all thanks to advocates like you. Thank you for supporting WGEP's education programs in rural Senegal!

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WGEP Scholars
WGEP Scholars

Since 2004, WGEP has worked in rural Senegal to provide access to quality education and supplemental programs to empower women and girls to build better lives and foster equitable and sustainable communities. Recognizing that educating girls in marginalized and impoverished communities is a multi-faceted challenge, WGEP employs a holistic approach by involving entire communities and finding solutions for the varied contextual barriers that may keep girls from accessing an education.

As part of our support to help girls thrive in school, WGEP offers reproductive health education to lower incidences of teen pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Our targeted workshops and seminars inform scholars on a range of important topics including: anatomy, puberty & development, sexually transmitted infections, contraception and family planning, consent and decision-making.

This is important because 22% of women in Senegal give birth before the age of 18, with rural girls having a higher rate of teen pregnancy (25%) than their urban counterparts (12%) (DHS, 2012). Teen pregnancy is a major health and social concern because of its association with higher morbidity and mortality for both the mother & child. It also has other adverse social consequences, particularly for educational attainment, as women who become mothers in their teens are more likely to drop out of school. Comparatively, Senegal is a model in the control of HIV/AIDS among African countries. The national HIV rate has remained below 1% for over two decades. However, this success hides a stark geographical disparity in access to education and treatment: only 3 in 10 Senegalese women have a comprehensive understanding of HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2010). 

Our reproductive health education workshops have proven greatly effective in expanding our scholar's base of knowledge. WGEP Senegal scholar Sadio said of the workshops: "I am so thankful for everything I learned. I now want to continue my education and become a nurse so that I can help the women of my village."

Thank you for supporting WGEP programs like our reproductive health workshops!

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WGEP Scholars after school
WGEP Scholars after school

Women's Global Education Project (WGEP) provides access to quality education and develops training programs that empower women and girls in rural Africa to build better lives and foster equitable and sustainable communities. Recognizing that educating girls in marginalized and impoverished communities is a multi-faceted challenge, WGEP takes a holistic approach by involving the communities and finding solutions for other contextual barriers that may keep girls from an education. By covering school fees and living expenses in addition to providing personal effects, mentoring and tutoring, we do all we can to ensure that our scholars can focus their energy on their studies.

One of the vital support services WGEP provides is partial scholarships. Partial scholarships cover tutoring costs and the books and supplies needed to help girls pass key grade-level exams. These partial scholarships are awarded to girls in rural Senegal, covering the costs of tutoring, books, and other supplies needed to help girls pass their exams and move

Over the years, we have seen their strong positive effects of our partial scholarships. In 2016, the most recent year for which results are available, 73% of our Senegalese elementary scholars passed their final exam, compared to 49.84% in the Fatick region where we work. Moreover, 79.63% of our Senegalese middle school scholars passed their grade-level exam, compared to a passing rate of 40.47% in the wider region. Finally, our high school scholars achieved a passing rate of 42.14%, compared to 30.29% in the Fatick region as a whole. Through these numbers, we can see the great positive impact of academic support programs such as our partial scholarship tutoring program.

Thank you for supporting WGEP's education programs in rural Senegal!

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WGEP Senegal Scholar Anthie
WGEP Senegal Scholar Anthie

Women's Global Education Project employs a holstic approach to girls' education. By covering school fees and living expenses in addition to providing personal effects, mentoring and tutoring, we do all we can to ensure that our scholars can focus their energy on their studies. In this way, we regularly update our programs to meet the ever-expanding needs of our scholars.

At our scholars' request, we have been working to integrate more mental health activities into our programs. Most recently, 56 middle & high school scholars were able to meet with 7 experienced professional counselors. Our goal is to provide moral support to our scholars who are having difficulties so that they can have the tools and support they need to stay in school and succeed. 

WGEP scholar Anthie says about the program, "Since I've been enrolled in the program, I feel that my dreams can be achieved. In addition to receiving school supplies and tutoring, I appreciate the counseling provided. Before receiving counseling, I had many difficulties but felt that there was no one to help me. I had stress from school work and family conflict that I did not know how to resolve. The counselor talked with me and helped me develop the skills and tools I needed to work through my problems. This program also helped me grow my confidence so that I am now more comfortable voicing my opinions."

We hope to grow this program so that all of our program scholars can benefit from this important service.


Thank you for supporting important WGEP initiatives like the Psychological Counseling program!

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My name is Alix Halloran and I am GlobalGiving's Field Traveler in West Africa. I have the most amazing job because I get to see all the fantastic work that our partners are doing in their communities. I was very lucky to get to meet with the Women's Global Education Project team in Senegal a few weeks ago. I was so impressed by their project! 

One of the things I love about this project is that it is so comprehensive. The team really works to make sure that all the girls in the program have nothing to worry about except their school work. They cover school fees, provide uniforms, and meals for the girls. They also provide toiletries so that the girls can stay healthy, sexual education classes so that they can learn how to avoid becoming pregnant, and afterschool tutoring to provide each girl with individual attention. 
The team described to me how each one of these elements helps the girls keep their focus on their studies. For example, if the girls are worrying about where their next meal is coming from, it can cause a lot of anxiety and would understandably impact their ability to succeed in school. Similarly, if a girl gets sick, she could miss school and fall behind. 
I really enjoyed talking with the girls about their experience with the program. They are all so driven and focused on their futures. It was also lovely to see how close all the girls have become. They study together and encourage each other to do their best.
Finally, I loved how the center is open to all the students in the community. Both the girls in the Sœurs d'École program and all the other students can use the library and computer lab to reinforce their studies. After school, it was incredible to see so many students from the community come to the center to check out a book, do research online, or study together.
I loved meeting with the WGEP team and I'm so thankful to all of their donors for supporting this amazing project!
Students using the library after school
Students using the library after school
I loved seeing the students work together!
I loved seeing the students work together!
The girls relaxing after a great lunch from WGEP
The girls relaxing after a great lunch from WGEP
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Organization Information

Women's Global Education Project

Location: Oak Park, IL - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Amy Maglio
Founder
Oak Park, Illinois United States
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