“There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls.”
– Kofi Annan
Currently we have 3 projects: Liberia, Pakistan and Nepal
Liberia: Bong and Margibi counties
GEI just began our fourth year of providing education scholarships to high school girls in the mountainous regions of Liberia, in Bong and Margibi counties.
This program began in 2008 with a modest $4,500 budget, which paid only for the girls’ scholarships and a small stipend for our Liberian NGO partner, Common Ground Society, to visit the girls two times a year to register them for school and to check on their progress. Emily Sherman-Davis, our Program Director and co-Founder of Common Ground Society, takes a multi-day trip two times a year from Monrovia to administer this grant and conduct program evaluation on our behalf. The program initially supported 47 girls.
In 2009 we were very fortunate to procure sufficient funding through the Inspiring Soles Grant to pay for the 2009/2010 school year. GEI knows that the additional costs of purchasing school uniforms, a backpack, books, and school supplies is a hardship for all of the girls’ families and that some of the girls we support actually live on their own and are self supported.
For the 2011/2012 school year we are raising additional funds to more fully support the girls by helping them with these additional school-related costs. We would like to be able to purchase two uniforms, plus books and school supplies for all of our girls. We are also trying to raise funds to add three more girls to the program. Our first group of ten 12th graders graduated!
We hope to expand the program to eventually include 100 girls, and to offer all our girls an after-school reproductive health education class, a library of school-related materials, meals, and a weekend tutoring program. The addition of a reproductive health education program and stipends to pay all the girls’ educational needs will cost an additional $17,000 per year. For the latest updates on our project, click here to read past e-newsletters.
Pakistan: Laphi and Sar Kalan villages
We currently partner with the Pakistani womens’ rights organization Bedari late in 2009 and started its joint secondary school education project this March, 2010. GEI is providing $6000 toward a Bedari-designed scholarship model for girls, which will be implemented in two villages: Laphi and Sar Kalan. Both these villages lie in the northern mountains of the Salt Range in the Punjab region. Originally GEI planned to work only with girls in Laphi, but nine Laphi families decided against educating their girls. Thus, the opportunity was opened to various families in neighboring Sar Kalan, nine of which signed on. A total of 30 girls will now attend the Government Higher Secondary School, Buchal Kalan, district Chakwal. The money provided to Bedari for the 2010-2011 school year will pay for transportation, school fees, two sets of uniforms, books, and other school supplies for the girls, as well as a 15% stipend for Bedari to administer the program.
Since 2004 we have provided two young girls, Nisa and Sonam, with $100 per girl education scholarships to attend school in Kathmandu. The founders of Girls Education International started the scholarship project in Nepal two years prior to creating the nonprofit. We folded the project into our nonprofit because it supports girls’ education. However, our current focus is to work exclusively with female-run female-staffed Non-Governmental Organizations to support their models of education for girls. We will not consider projects unless they fall under this criteria.
To keep up on the latest news on our projects, please visit our blog.