We did it! Together we have raised over $10,000 to support girls' education in Ouelessebougou. Because of your generosity, more girls are receiving formal education opportunities and attending elementary school in Ouelessebougou. We're pleased to report girls' enrollment in our 12 partner schools was an average of 48% at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. When we started our education programs in the mid-1990s, girls' enrollment was not a priority. Many parents in rural Ouelessebougou did not understand the importance of seeing their daughters educated. Traditionally, most girls stayed home to help their parents with chores and raising the children. Since they married young, families did not prioritize formal education.
Our Mali staff has worked closely with elementary schools to change these communities and their ideology surrounding girls' education. Through training and education councils, more teachers and parents make girls' enrollment a priority. The principal of our school in Djemene visited every family in his community and talked to the parents about their children's education goals. He educated them on why their daughters need to be educated just as much as their sons, and increased the girls' enrollment in his classroom. Djemene has one of our highest girls' enrollment with over 50%.
This would not be possible without your support. Your donations provided the resources we needed for training and quality education. Iniche!!!
P.S. Although we are ending this project, we still have much more work to do in Ouelessebougou. Look for our next education campaign on GlobalGiving. We will be raising funds to support our 2021 - 2022 education programs in Ouelessebougou. We greatly appreciated your continued support.
We are so close to reaching our financial goal of raising $10,000 to educate girls in Mali, West Africa. It only costs $10 to send a Malian girl to an Ouelessebougou Alliance partner school for one year. Will you help us cross the finish line?
Now more than ever, education is critical for the success of village girls. Poverty, child marriage, child labor, and insecurity keep too many children from attending school. In the poorest families, girls are at high risk of school dropout. The global pandemic has exacerbated the problem. Boundary closures, shutdowns, and lack of economic stability have forced many parents to pull their girls out of school. Some need to support their mothers by taking care of the younger children, others must go to the gold mines to work to help provide income for their families.
For nearly 30 years, the Ouelessebougou Alliance has been empowering girls by providing formal education opportunities and improving conditions of equity in school. Since our education started in the early 90s, enrollment of girls has increased significantly. In the 2019 - 2020 school year, over 45% of students were girls.
We also provide literacy workshops for females ages 12 and older. Many girls in our partner villages are unable to attend middle school because of a lack of access. Some even marry as early as 13 or 14 and do not have the chance to continue their education. We provide teacher training, supplies, and a stipend for each teacher. The villages take responsibility for the management of the classes and school facilities, and the teachers instruct students, mostly girls and women, on reading and writing in Bambara. This is a free service for participants.
Together we are working to educate girls and women, and working to eradicate illiteracy in Ouelessebougou.
Please help us reach our goal for this project by donating or sharing. Thank you for your support!
This past Sunday was International Day of the Girl, a social media holiday set aside to celebrate powerful young women who are changing the world. Women like Mariam from the rural village of Tamala. Mariam is 18 years old and attended Ouelessebougou Alliance's partner elementary school. She is now in the 9th grade.
Mariam is extremely grateful for her formal education made possible by the Ouelessebougou Alliance. She believes she is very fortunate, because many girls do not have the opportunity. "To be a girl in Mali is difficult because we have a lot of household work early in the morning before we go to school," she said. "Because of that, girls come to class late sometimes. It affects our education because we are not able to catch up on the previous lessons that our teachers teach before we come to class." She continued, "If our teachers give these lessons we miss in our class during the tests and exams, we will fail them. When some girls fail once or twice, they are more likely to drop out of school."
The Alliance works closely with the village leaders, school administration and parents to increase the awareness of the importance of a girl's education. Many families now make adjustments to ensure houshold chores, financial obligations and even cultural expectations do not prevent their girls from attending school.
"Because I had an Alliance education, I got to stay in school without having to get married. In my village, several girls marry before they are eighteen, especially when they do not attend school," shared Mariam.
Mariam says her primary school education taught her how to work hard. She is committed to finishing high school so she can change her parents' and extended family's living conditions. "Now I can educate my children one day," she said. "I can look at their notebooks and help them study at nights."
Mariam's hope is to finish her education and become an OB/GYN. She wants to save the lives of women in her village and country.
Because of our generous donors' gifts to our education program, young women like Mariam are facing a brighter future. Investing in girls' education transforms communities, strengthens economices and reduces inequality. Please help the girls in Ouelessebougou have the opportunity to fulfill their potential by donating or sharing our education fundraiser. Iniche!
Mali continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world and for young girls this makes it difficult to hope for an education. Girls face social, cultural and economic hardship when it comes to fighting for an education, thus young girls continue to sit on the sidelines when it comes to schooling. Even if girls attend school most drop out by the age of 11 or 12 and in the rural villages most young girls are married by the age of 14. Young girls in Mali fight acute malnutrition and poverty and are too often illiterate. Mali ranks as one of the highes coutries in the world as just not having proper access or quality of education for girls.
Girls are often kept home to help their mothers with younger children, or jobs around the home. Girls are often sent away to Bamako to work for wealthier families, as domestic servants, to help earn money to buy food for their families. Girls are often shamed and not provided the proper environment to receive an education once they begin their periods. In rurual Mali, once a young girl has started her period she cannot be educated in the same classroom as a girl who has not started menstruating. This leads to girls dropping out of school and to girls feeling shamed. Most girls do not have the financial resources to begin school or even continue it past a primary education. Further, if a parent has to choose between a son or daughter to receive an education in almost every situation the parent will choose the son.
Ouelessebougou Alliance continues to operate 12 schools in our 25 partnered villages. Educating girls is a primary goal in these schools. Last year 43% of our students attendig our village schools were girls. The Alliance has Education Councils in all our villages working to educate parents about the importance of making sure their girls receive an education. When girls in Mali are educated they are more likely to educate their children, they are more likely to gain employment and/or own and operate a small business, thus, the economy is directly affected and villages thrive due to educated women.
Help the Alliance continue to educate girls in the rural villages of Mali, West Africa. Ten dollars will educate a girl for an entire year in one of the Alliace's partnered villages. When a girl has access to a proper and quality education entire communities begin to thrive.
Girls still have lower education rates than boys in West Africa, particularly in Mali and the Ouelessebougou Region. Largely in part because in rural villages young girls are married very young and face economic hardship and extreme poverty. Girls are most often married before they are emotionally and physically mature or prepared. They are married because their own families can no longer provide for them. After they are married, young girls most often become young mothers and their education becomes non-existant.
Educating girls is an essential process in empowering women and also helping to further the development of Mali. When girls marry young they drop out of school, experience poor helath, have more children over a longer period of time and earn less money as an adult. When women have access to education, they make it a priority to seek out better health care because they are educated about it. They develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. They teach their children about the importance of education and health care. When girls are educated they are more likely to develop a skill or trade. They become empowered and have the ability to lift their families, children and villages from poverty.
Most young girls that do receive a primary education still drop out by 5th or 6th grade. Ouelessebougou Alliance supports 12 village schools in the Ouelessebougou Region. It is our goal to educate as many girls as possible but also to provide them with a quality education. Education for girls is vital for the health and prosperity of villages in Ouelessebougou. Women and their children are faced with extreme hardship on a daily basis but if they are educated they are much more likely to be able to conquer these problems. In addition to 12 schools the Alliance provides Literacy Workshops in 12 villages for girls ages 12 and older. Girls can attend the literacy workshops in the evenings. The Alliance provides training for the teachers on reading, math and lesson planning. Last year, 24 teachers attended and 96 textbooks were distributed. In addition, the Alliance supports 12 village schools. All village schools are supported by Education Councils who work with schools, teachers and parents on literacy goals. Village parents are taught the importance of education for girls in Mali! Last year, 43% of students enrolled in our village schools were girls! Help us continue our success and by educating girls in Ouelessebougou.
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