Grandmothers are essential to ensuring that girls go to school – and continue their studies. While girls make up close to half of the student body in primary schools in Velingara, southern Senegal, few girls complete their secondary education. We all know that education ensures a more equitable future for girls, but sometimes there isn’t the family or community support necessary to make sure that happens.
Grandmother Leaders are a bridge between the community and the schools. They make sure that schools reflect the local community both through their presence and their collaboration with teachers. Grandmothers educate other community members about the importance of girls completing secondary school and they work with parents to support their daughter’s education. Grandmothers do all of this because they are committed to improving the future for girls in Velingara.
Thank you for helping grandmothers ensure that schools in Velingara are able to support all children – but especially girls. Your support – particularly during this difficult period – makes all the difference.
“Grandmothers teach us to appreciate studying. They say that they themselves didn’t have the chance to go to school and that we should make the most of the opportunity that we have to do so. They ask our parents to let us study and to not give us away in marriage at a very early age.”
Diénabou, adolescent girl
“Grandmothers travel to schools to tell stories to children. They talk with the teachers about girls’ education and encourage the young girls to persevere in their studies. When it comes to child marriage, grandmothers ask parents to let their daughter continue her studies. When it comes to the matter of teenage pregnancies, grandmothers request that young girls not visit boys. Before, grandmothers told us that they were neither our mothers nor our fathers. They left us to our own devices. Now, however, they no longer feel discouraged, they give us advice, and they are much closer to young people.”
Fatoumata, adolescent girl
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