An innovative "Girl Empowerment for Change" project will help 200 low-income adolescent girls at Hampate Ba Middle School in Niamey get more than just an academic basis. Creation of a Home Economics girls-only class and Gender/ICT Club will expand knowledge and strengthen confidence to improve their families' well-being and fight gender bias. The girls will gain an understanding of concepts, skills, attitudes and qualities needed to become agents of effective social change locally and globally.
With only 7% of girls attending secondary school in Niger, one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, and with a drop out rate of 63%, the challenge is to get more girls into and through secondary education. Too many adolescent girls are forced to drop out of school because of financial difficulties, early marriages, and gender bias. And so, as functional illiterates, these girls are unable to break the cycle of poverty, to think independently, and to meet the global challenges of our times.
Scholarships will help girls stay in school. Human values and skills in critical thinking and decision making will be accessed through Empowerment Projects. (Initiation of a Gender Club and new Media Room will promote gender equality through the arts and ICT; special weekly girls-only classes will allow taboo subjects like sexuality to be freely discussed). Benefits gained: later marriage, better dietary and sanitary conditions, improved child care and resistance against radicalism of any kind.
By giving 200 adolescent girls the tools they need to improve their own lives, and by engaging them in efforts to uplift their communities, we are promoting the progress of the entire society.Our project puts girls first due to their special responsibility to pass on knowledge to future generations. Quality education at Hampate Ba School helps improve the well-being of entire families by reducing fertility and mortality rates, promoting health, fighting poverty and fostering social empowerment.
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