Liberia Update

Liberian girls education liberia nowLiberia Project End of Year Update for 2012

One May 1, 2012, Girls Education International signed a Memo of Understanding with San Antonia, Texas based Liberia Now to continue our work in Liberia. The move gives GEI a physical presence in the sub-Saharan country, which increases our transparency and accountability. The Liberia Now project is located in Lower Virginia, an area in the outskirts of the Liberian capital, Monrovia.

This year, we were able to sponsor 10 girls and women, ages 13-24 years old, in five different schools. Each one has an amazing story to tell about her life, but the common theme is their determination to get an education. We have received report cards from the girls’ first semester, and they are all doing well in their studies.

In a place like Liberia, there are always more applicants than scholarships. When the results of the GEI scholarship applications were announced, there were naturally some disappointed girls. In true Liberian fashion, however, the mothers clamored for more scholarships in 2013, which we hope to be able to provide with your continued support. You can donate to this project here.

For more information about Liberia Now, visit their website.

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We are proud to announce that all ten of our 12th grade Liberian girls graduated from high school this June! These girls face tremendous adversity and poverty and it is a joy to have supported their schooling these past three years.

Girls Ed covered the costs for  all of our 12th graders to take Liberian national exams this spring.  These exams determine who is allowed to go on to college. National exams are very difficult and, unlike exams in U.S. middle and high schools, cover years of schoolwork.

Five girls passed their exams and are eligible to attend college.

Unfortunately, Girls Ed does not have funds to send all of these girls to college.  We established a list of criteria to determine which girl had the greatest chance of completing college and chose  Veronica, who wants to go to nursing college in Monrovia. Girls Ed will be paying her tuition costs, as well as books and supplies and a stipend. Veronica has agreed to mentor the younger girls in our scholarship program as one of the conditions of her stipend. We will update you on her progress.

We are sad that we cannot support all five girls in their dream to attend college. Can you help us send another girl to college? Email us at info@girlsed.org as soon as possible.

Girls Ed continues to support our remaining 37 middle and high school students. Our youngest girl, Jenny, began our program in the 4th grade and is now entering 7th grade!

On behalf of the girls and the Girls Education International Board of Directors, we thank you for your support of this program.  Your donations are truly changing lives!

High Schoolers Raise $7,500 for Liberian Students

Most American high school girls are busy thinking about boys and grades and certainly not about students halfway across the globe.

We’ve featured 16-year-old Kaziah White and 17-year-old Clara Grainger, sophomores at Boulder’s Fairview High School, and their LEAP Club before. The girls started the Liberian Education Advancement Program (LEAP) in 2010 and contacted Girls Ed co-founder, Lizzy Scully, to see how they could help girls in Liberia. In their first year of fundraising, LEAP raised  almost $800 for Girls Ed. In December 2010, the LEAP Club invited Lizzy to present on the challenges of educating girls in developing countries.

In June of 2011, the girls presented Girls Ed with a check for $7,500, which they designated to support the Liberian high school girls.

“It feels great raising and donating the money because you know you are making a difference,” Kaziah says. “Their education is so cheap compared to ours here. Only $100-$200 per year provides all the supplies, uniforms, and classes for each girl. Raising that money and knowing you’re giving a girl another year of school she might not have had is a really impressive feeling.”

For their final year of high school, Clara and Kaziah plan to spend time raising awareness among their fellow students about Liberia and the plights of people less fortunate than themselves in hopes of inspiring more humanitarian action from their generation.

Join Girls Ed as we recognizing Clara and Kaziah and their LEAP Club for their work and generosity at our upcoming “Film. Auction. Action!” fundraiser October 12 in Boulder, Colorado. Buy your ticket today for this fun film, auction and reception fundraiser!