Help us meet our goal of raising $50,000

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Girls Ed Liberia Project is Live on Global Giving!


Girls Education International has been supporting girls in Liberia, West Africa since 2008.  As of this week, we are excited to announce that our program has the chance for additional support through a live spot on GlobalGiving.org. 

The support from everyone who contributed to our Open Challenge in September is still having a huge impact.  With GlobalGiving.org we can continue to promote our Pakistan program and also bring focus to the 50 girls we support in Liberia.  Please check out our page at GlobalGiving.org and consider making a charitable donation for the holidays and into the new year.  There's no time like the end of the year to give big. 

In May 2011, GEI co-founder Lizzy Scully and Social Media coordinator Rai Farrelly are planning to make a (self-funded) trip to Liberia to attend the girls' graduation ceremony with our partner organization, The Common Ground Society.  We plan to bring you stories, videos and messages from the girls in our program, as well as a glimpse into the importance of your support. 

Thanks for all you've done so far.  Please continue to spread the word and help us keep the momentum going for both programs.


A group of the school girls supported by Girls Education International and the Common Ground Society in Liberia.
 Our Liberia Girls Education Program

GEI has provided 47 girls in the mountainous regions of Bong and Margibi counties, Liberia, with education scholarships since 2008. This basic scholarship program costs $5,000(US) each year. GEI has just finished our second year funding these scholarships, and despite the fact that many of our girls don’t get to eat every day, all of them maintained a C+ or better average and are on track for graduation. Our first ten girls will graduate from high school at the end of the 2010-2011 school year.


For the 2010-2011 school year, tuition costs are increasing and GEI will also need to provide additional funds to pay for all 47 girls to take national exams. GEI is working with the Liberian non-governmental organization Common Ground Society (CGS) and its program director Emily Sherman-Davis. Emily and her husband, Marvin Garbeh Davis founded CGS in 2003 to support peace education for the children of war-torn Liberia. The 1999-2003 Liberian civil war killed more than 250,000 Liberians and displaced hundreds of thousands of others. Subsequently, thousands of children lost the opportunity to get an education.


The Big Issues

Three quarters of females in Liberia are illiterate (compared to only 38% of males) and only 58% of girls are enrolled in primary school. Poverty in Liberia is rampant – one half of Liberians live in abject poverty and the unemployment rate is 85%. Poverty is even higher in the rural areas where GEI provides scholarships. The 47 girls who currently participate in the GEI-CGS scholarship Program are from the most disadvantaged families in the country and some even live alone and are self supported.


The Future of Our Liberia Program

GEI is making this a long-term project, and plans to add new girls to the scholarship program when current girls graduate. We also 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, a weekend tutoring program, and additional stipends to cover the costs of uniforms, meals, textbooks, and other needs. Even with scholarship help from GEI, the cost of uniforms, schoolbooks and ID cards is still a significant financial drain on the girls and their families. The addition of a reproductive health education program and stipends to pay all the girls' educational needs will cost an additional $25,000 per year.

Please read more and see additional pictures at our GlobalGiving.org page.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Welcome Mary Ann Williamson to the Board

As we round the bend in 2010, Girls Education International continues to grow strong.  GEI is proud to introduce our newest board member, Mary Ann Williamson, who joined our board in October.


Mary Ann Williamson comes to GEI with a background in communications, having worked as both a freelance and staff writer/producer in the corporate video field, as an adjunct professor of Technical Communications at Metropolitan State College of Denver, and as the Community Marketing Coordinator for the Boulder International Film Festival. She served on the board of directors, and later as president of the International Television Association. Currently, Mary Ann is at work on an independent film about the evacuees of the recent Fourmile Canyon fire.

Mary Ann earned her BS in Mass Communications from Illinois State University, and graduated cum laude from the Applied Communications Master’s degree program at the University of Denver.

While spending time with her family is her priority, Mary Ann also likes to run, hike, ski, and bike in the outdoors, then sit in darkened movie theaters to see as many independent films as possible.

Welcome, Mary Ann!  Girls Education Internation is very happy to have you 'on board'!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Global Giving Open Challenge Results


We raised $7,095 from 99 unique donors!!! 

Since we reached (and far exceeded) the minimum fundraising goal of $4000 from 50 unique donors, we have secured a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving website.  This is great news for us as it allows us to connect with many new donors and corporate sponsors who may otherwise not have heard about us.  If a donor knows he or she wishes to support girls education, a quick search will turn up many possible organizations, of which Girls Education International is one.  If a donor specifically wants to support girls in Pakistan or Liberia, it won't be long before they are looking at our page and then browsing our website!  This is wonderful news for us as we move forward with our girls education programming. 

Huge THANKS to everyone who supported us in this challenge by spreading the word and/or donating to our cause.

As we gain recognition and support, we will also grow.  Girls Education International is planning to discuss our strategic plan at our upcoming October board meeting.  We are considering expanding our impact into additional developing countries where girls continue to represent a very small percentage of the student body.  Stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Leaving the Fields to Follow Her Dream - Riffat's Story

In Pakistan, Girls Education International (GEI) partners with a local NGO, Bedari, founded by Dr. Fozia Saeed - a woman who has committed herself to improving the lives of women and girls in Pakistan.  Bedari has grown from a small grassroots organization into a larger more coherent organization with a clear strategic plan, a small paid staff, a board of directors, a team of volunteers and a clear mission: working for protection and promotion of women's and girls' human rights.  The main areas of focus for Bedari are discrimination and violence against women, education, economic empowerment and formulation of explicit laws and their implementation to safeguard women’s rights.

Safeer Ullah Khan is the Communications and Advocacy Manager for Bedari.  Below, in his own words, Safeer shares a story about one of the girls in the education program supported by GEI.  Please see how your contributions to GEI, and therefore Bedari, can impact the lives of young girls in Pakistan.

Riffat Shaheen – a resident of the village Laphi nearly 48 Kilometers away from Chakwal city – was studying in 5th grade, when her father, a patient of diabetes, died. It was a time of great difficulty for her mother Makhtoom Begum – an illiterate woman with five kids to take care of. She had a small piece of cultivable land, which she started tilling on her own. It did help to some extent but was not enough to keep the family in good condition. As Riffat passed her 5th grade examination, her mother stopped her from going to school. Riffat joined her mother in tilling the small piece of land. It was very depressing for her to work in the fields and see her classmates on their way to school passing by her fields. She had no option but to contend with what she had.


Finally, Bedari came to her rescue thanks to the financial support from Girls Education International. She was selected for educational scholarship, which enabled her to join her school after a break of two years. Now she is studying in grade 6. She is very happy. She says, ‘The first day at school when I rejoined was the best and the happiest day of my life’.




Thank you, Safeer for sharing Riffat's story!  Thank you Bedari for ensuring that the girls have these educational opportunities! Thank you to the many GEI supporters who have helped us make this dream a reality for Riffat. 


Don't forget, GEI is still involved in the GlobalGiving Open Challenge until September 30th.  The top goal was to raise at least $4000 from 50 unique donors.  GEI reached this goal within the first two weeks of the challenge, thanks to you!  However, the goodness doesn't have to end there.  If GEI can acquire 1st, 2nd or 3rd place on the leader board in this challenge (as determined by funds raised), then GlobalGiving will award us bonus funding in the amount of either $3,000 or $2,000.  This money will go very far in our Pakistan program!  Please click here to read about our project and make your donation today - every little bit counts!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

GEI and the GlobalGiving Open Challenge

We are excited to announce an exciting opportunity for Girls Education International! Girls Education International (GEI) has been selected by the Global Giving Foundation to participate in its Open Challenge, a fundraising opportunity for nonprofit organizations working around the world.  We have chosen to highlight our programs in Pakistan for this challenge.

In order to succeed in GlobalGiving’s Open Challenge, GEI must raise $4,000 from at least 50 unique donors by September 30, 2010. If we meet this challenge, we will be given a permanent spot on GlobalGiving’s website. Benefits of being represented by GlobalGiving include:

1) potential corporate relationships,
2) exposure to a new donor network,
3) access to dozens of online fundraising tools, and
4) the ability to list all of our current programs and future projects.

In addition, if we raise the most money or have the most donors among the nonprofits competing in this Open Challenge, we could earn as much as $3,000 in financial prizes!

Please help us by visiting our page at GlobalGiving and making a tax deductible donation today. Not only will your donation help GEI continue our program in Pakistan, but, it will help us take advantage of a long-term fundraising opportunity!

We’re also going to need your help spreading the word! Please share this opportunity with your friends and family! You can send them to our GlobalGiving page or to our newly improved website!



Thank you, as always, for your continued support,
The GEI Team and all the GIRLS!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Welcome Our Newest GEI Board Member!

Girls Education International is growing stronger and stronger with every month! There is so much to learn as a new non-profit organization and excellence on the Board of Trustees is one critical component. Each month, as we meet to discuss future directions, program success, fundraising and much more, the Board matures, learns to operate more effectively and identifies strenths among our Trustees. When we identify a missing link on the Board, a gap in our skill set or an area that is underserved by our current Board, we begin to think of ways in which our Board can grow to better serve our international partners, our girls and our organization overall. It is in these moments that we hope for that perfect person to emerge. Given our many contacts, we often get lucky and that person emerges quickly - as was the case with our dedicated new Executive Director Therese Thompson.

Now, GEI is happy to introduce Michelle Simmons, our latest great discovery and a fabulous new addition to our Board. Michelle Simmons, LPC, holds a Masters Degree in Community Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado and is a licensed professional counselor. She has over 14 years of clinical experience in a variety of settings such as hospitals, community mental health centers and family service agencies. Michelle has extensive knowledge in crucial areas such as trauma, crisis intervention, child protective issues and the needs of foster parents and children in their care.

To give you a more personal introduction to Michelle, we asked her to respond to a few questions about girls education and serving on the Board for GEI.



GEI: Why is girls' education important?
Michelle: The education of girls is critical to the success of our future. Despite limited resources, every child deserves the right to an education. Given the fact that some girls do not have a voice in their country, it is our responsibility to speak for them.

GEI: Why did you join the board of Girls Education International?
Michelle: GEI provides a pathway to advocate for the education of girls in other parts of the world. I have benefitted tremendously from education and now have a way to pay it forward.

GEI: What do you hope to get out of this experience?
Michelle: I absolutely hope to give more than I receive! The opportunity to positively impact lives is enough.

GEI: Is there anything else that you would like to share with us about your investment in the areas of education, girls or development work?
Michelle: For the last 15 years I have been committed to the causes of Education and International Awareness and Involvement.

Welcome, Michelle! We're very happy to have you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fozia rejoins her school & other news in Pakistan


In light of the floods that have devastated the northern districts of Pakistan and the areas close to the banks of the Indus, Girls Education International checked in with our partner NGO, Bedari. According to project manager Safeer Ullah Khan, who recently visited Laphi and Sar Kalan, “All the girls supported through our education program are safe and sound.” The children are currently not in schools because the government schools are closed due to summer vacations and would be reopened after Eid holidays by mid-September.

While in the villages, Khan checked in with one of our girls and got her story. Please meet Fozia Zikriya...

Fozia Zikriya had been studying in the Government Elementary School Sar Kalan, and living a life free of cares in her small village some 48 Kilometers to the south-west of Chakwal City. But fate had something else in store for her.
Her father was implicated in a false case of murder, and was tortured. This paralyzed him mentally, and he became schizophrenic. This created a very tough situation for the family, as he was the primary breadwinner for the family. As well, their expenses shot up due to his medical care.

Her illiterate mother, Nusrat Bibi, has to take up odd jobs, which do not bring sufficient money. She goes to the nearby jungle, collects woods and sells them to her neighbors. She sews clothes, does embroidery, and works as maid for various rich households. She has become a very strong voice for girls’ education. “I believe girls’ education is important,” Bibi said. “If I were educated, I would have handled this situation quite well, and would not have needed support from any NGO for my children’s education.”

After passing her 8th grade, Fozia had to go to the neighboring village for secondary education, because there was no secondary school in her own village. Going to neighboring village involved huge cost on transportation – something too much for the unfortunate family. Fozia had lost all hope of continuing her education, when a social activist visited her house and asked her mother if she would like to send her daughter to school, both mother and daughter were overjoyed.

Now, thanks to the joint efforts of Girls Education International and Bedari, Fozia is going to school studying in grade 9.

Monday, August 23, 2010

High schoolers raise money for Girls Ed project in Liberia


Led by Clara Grainger and Kaziah White, soon-to-be juniors at Fairview High School in South Boulder, Colo., the club Leaping for Liberia (LEAP) raised nearly $600 for the Girls Education International (GEI) scholarship program in Liberia. LEAP meets once each week over the lunch hour, during the school year. The group of up to 70 students usually discusses where they want the money they raise to go, any upcoming fundraisers, and ideas for new ways to raise money. Girls Ed recently caught up with the two 16-year-old leaders of the group to ask them a few questions about LEAP.

GEI: Why did you start LEAP?
Clara: We started LEAP because we wanted to get involved in girls' education in Africa, and none of the existing clubs were really focused on that.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

GEI: What enticed you about working with Africans?
Kaziah: Africa is a really interesting continent, and we wanted to know more about it. Also, we knew that in certain countries, education is a big issue. Since that's what we wanted to help with, we thought Africa would be a good choice.

GEI: How did you find Girls Education International?
Clara: We found Girls' Education International on the Internet when we looked up local non-profits working with education in Africa.

GEI: What have you learned so far from this experience? (Maybe both of you could answer this one).
Kaziah: I've learned a ton from this experience. It really helps things to stay in perspective and makes me realize how incredibly lucky I am to be able to get a wonderful education without having to pay for it. I also learned never to start out with a clothes drive for girls in Africa; it costs a ton of money, and we hadn't taken that into account. I really think that I have (and will continue to) gained a great deal from this experience.
Clara: Yes, I agree about the clothes drive. This has also made me realize how we all tend to take school for granted. It is something that is has been provided for us. Without the scholarships, these girls in Liberia couldn't go to school, yet we still complain when we have to get up and go somewhere that we haven't really had to work for. This experience will continue to keeps things in perspective.

GEI: What have been the most rewarding parts of this project?
Kaziah: Just knowing that in some small way we're helping someone get opportunities that we've always taken for granted before is a very rewarding experience. Also, knowing that the girls we're working with are our age is really motivating.

GEI: What have been some of your biggest frustrations?
Clara: Well, some big frustrations have been trying to get people to take us seriously, both inside and outside the club. When people meet us, their first thought tends to be, "they're still in high school!" and they seem to take it from there.

GEI: What are you future goals with LEAP?
Kaziah: We want to continue to work with Girls Education International, and we want to try and raise more money than we did this year. Also, starting up communications with the girls in Liberia would be great.

Check out the clubs' Facebook page by clicking here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Email update from Eleanor Moseman, a women traveling around China to raise funds for Girls Education International

Dear All,

Hope everyone is having a great summer and keeping cool - I know many are seeing record breaking temperatures.

I pedaled my way through record breaking temps in Hulun Buir (the China side of Siberia and the land of NOTHING) just 2 weeks ago. 40 degrees C, a hell of a headwind, and a blazing sun. You would not believe the sun's intensity that far north - the beautiful crimson sunsets make up for it. At that latitude you get approximately 5 hours of night...yeah, no sleeping in and you can possibly ride over 16 hours a day. That is, if your body can handle it. It's not the aches of your body per se, it's the sizzling of your skin, that cuts those mid afternoon hours out. I can not explain the sun to those who have never experienced this...it's insane.

Thanks to those loyal followers of my blog and hope if you haven't yet visited, you'll take a couple minutes and go on over to www.2wheels4girls.com

More importantly - I hope you take some time to read about the 2 charities I am raising money for. There will be a book and I am currently discussing with some American men currently traveling clockwise around China about a collaboration book project. A percentage of sales of book(s), along with sales of photos (I've already received some requests), will be going directly to Girls Education International.

I've traveled along the Grand Canal, looked out into Russia, climbed mountains, sank knee deep in mud, suffered from dysentery for a week, cycled through sand with dunes as my only company, met random Russian cyclists - one only wearing a pair of shorts with flower stickers on his bike, rode along galloping wild horses, ate dog?, held against my will for 3 hours with thousands of death threats, barely pushed 9km/hour because of headwinds, tastes of baijiu, daily laundry in sinks, went days without a shower, snuck into crumbling Japanese forts, sunburns, fought with a a drunken motorcyclist that wouldn't leave me alone, butt bruises, bloody nose (wind I believe), ran out of water, slept behind bushes on the side of the road, spent my first night in a real yurt.....

.....speaking Mandarin every.....single.....day....fortunate to speak English once a week....and experienced authentic loneliness.

Recently I was interviewed by BUST Magazine. Never would of imagined this honor - as I've been a loyal reader for many many years. Keep a look out or I'll keep you posted.

My biggest thanks goes to all the wonderful people I have met in the past 2 months. As much as a solo Explorer attempts to be self sufficient - I wouldn't have made it past 1000km without the kindness and generosity of strangers. These are the people that have made this ride a success - and have helped to maintain my safety. Truly.

Tailwinds,
E Moseman

$820 raised at IMCD Women's Rock Weekend.

Heidi and Lizzy had a fantastic time in New Hampshire at the IMCS Women's Rock Weekend! Heidi's slideshow was well attended and, as always, super fun to watch. All of us at GEI want to extend a big thank you to IMCS, all the awesome ladies who organized and attended the event. We raised $820 for GEI with the T-Shirt sales and the silent auction. Read more & see photos by clicking here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Heidi & Lizzy off to New Hampshire for Women's Rock Weekend & fundraising event

Heidi and I are off to the International Mountain Climbing School's Women's Rock Weekend in less than two weeks. We are both really excited to climb in New Hampshire with organizer Sarah Garlick and also to be teaching for both days of the weekend. The event includes: two days of women's climbing clinics taught by professional women guides, plus an apr├Ęs-climb community party, dinner, a slideshow, and a silent auction that benefits Girls Education International (our organization!). This is the organization's 18th year running the event, making it one of the longest-running women's climbing events in the country!

More info from their website about Heidi's slide show. I will be doing a five-minute introduction of Girls Education International.
:) Lizzy

Come to the Annual Women's Rock Weekend slide show by Heidi Wirtz and get inspired!

Heidi Wirtz will be giving this year's slide show for Women's Rock Weekend. Just in case you haven't heard of her - this is one incredibly talented woman with a dedication to philanthropy that is as great as her climbing ability. The North Face athlete has climbed all over the world and the slide show will be about her trips to Pakistan, Australia, Nepal, and Morocco. She will also highlight her "proudest send" - the first all-female free ascent of the South Howser Tower of the Bugaboos in Canada.

After visiting some schools for girls in the countries they were climbing in, Heidi and Lizzy Scully, another one of our guides for the weekend, formed Girls Education International. This organization supports educational opportunities for girls and women in underdeveloped regions of the world.

The slide show starts at 7:30pm and will be held at International Mountain Equipment. Tickets are $5.00 and there will be a raffle and silent Auction. Part of the proceeds will go towards Girls Education International.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

40th Anniversary, May 2010 issue of Climbing Magazine Features Heidi Wirtz and GEI


Check out the 40th Anniversary, May 2010 issue of Climbing Magazine for an excellent feature article on Heidi Wirtz and Girls Education International, by Chris Weidner.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cycling Across China for Girls Education International

We are excited to share the news that Eleanor Moseman, a girls education advocate, is embarking on her bike tour across China to raise funds and awareness for girls education everywhere! Eleanor contacted GEI about a year ago to announce her plan to ride her bike throughout China. She shared her commitment to riding for organizations that promote girls education - and she chose two organizations to support: Girls Education International and Stepping Stones, an organization based in Shanghai, China that promotes educational opportunities for migrant children.


In a recent interview, this is what Eleanor had to say about why she chose GEI as an organization to support:

I chose Girls Education International because it's a foundation run by women for young girls all over the world. They are outdoor enthusiasts, rock climbers, etc. and I felt a common interest with them. It's a great foundation because they do not go to other countries and force a Western way of life on them, but rather train locals to help their own girls.

Eleanor Moseman has been living and working in Shanghai, China since 2008. She works as a photographer and lives as an outdoor enthusiast and cultural explorer, which naturally led to the idea of embarking on a bike tour through China while creating an accompanying photo essay. Her drive to promote access to education for all girls stems from her acknowledgement that as an American woman she has been afforded endless opportunities for education. She hopes that through her ride, her blog and her photography she can join the ranks of other catalysts for change in the lives of girls around the world.

You can read more about Eleanor and her bike tour on her website - which includes the blog roll she will share as she rides and rides and rides! You can show your support for Eleanor and the girls she hopes to impact by 'chipping in'.

Way to go, Eleanor! Have a fabulous time. You have the energy of all girls at your back, giving you a little nudge up the hills and stamina on long days.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Girls Education International, Spring 2010 E-Newsletter

Girls Education International Partners with Bedari, starts program for 2 villages

Girls Education International (GEI) partnered with the Pakistani women’s rights organization Bedari late in 2009 and started its joint secondary school education project this March, 2010.

GEI is providing a total of $5000 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. For more information on Bedari, visit their site. For more information on the village of Laphi and some of the girls we are supporting, please visit our blog.

New Executive Director, Therese Thompson to Lead Girls Education International

Therese Race Thompson started March 1, 2010 as the part-time executive director for Girls Education International. She will work 10 hours per week while finishing up her MPA in Nonprofit Management from the University of Colorado this May.

According to outgoing Executive Director Lizzy Scully, “Heidi and I took Girls Ed pretty far, and we are really proud of our efforts. But there’s only so much we can do with the experience we have. Therese brings extensive executive director experience and board management skills to the table. She has actually written and implemented nonprofit business plans. We are so excited to have her running the show.”

Not only does Therese bring extensive fundraising experience to the table, but she also brings a passion for women’s issues.

“I have always been interested in girls’ and womens’ issues,” she explains. “I am especially concerned with the education of girls. If you can affect the girl who becomes the woman of the house, you are affecting all of the following generations of both men and women. You are affecting the children and the communities.”

Therese looks forward to building out GEI’s current projects, raising funds for administrative costs, and completing the Girls Education International Fundraising Plan. Her first three months will be spent on “figuring things out, setting things up, and really looking for grant opportunities. There is a ton we need to do, but we really need to get the money coming in for long-term sustainability of the organization.”

Therese comes to us from Summit Cancer Solutions, an organization specializing in providing six-month individualized exercise and nutrition programs for cancer survivors. She will continue to work part-time for Summit, but is looking forward to the new opportunities afforded by GEI.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity to make a difference to girls in Liberia and Pakistan for now, and hopefully more countries in the future as we raise more money,” she says.

Therese resides in Lakewood with her husband Jay, and two children, Ryan, 14, and Connor, 11. They spend their free time backpacking, camping, hiking, and traveling. Therese’s personal hobby is playing the piano. To see Therese’s complete resume, please click here.

Rai Farelly, a PhD student in Linguistics at the University of Utah, is the co-founder of Project Wezesha, an organization raising funds to build a school in western Tanzania. Passionate and driven, Rai will help implement and evaluate current and future international projects and will be the board treasurer. Rai plans on visiting Liberia this summer to assess the Girls Education International/Common Ground Society Scholarship Program. To read more about Project Wezesha: (Hyperlink to Rai’s fundraising site: http://bit.ly/d1HJko)

Liberia Project Successful: Girls maintain strong GPAs despite the odds

All the participants in the Girls Education International-Common Ground Society (GEI-CGS) Scholarship Program maintained C or better averages during the 2008-2009 school year. Numerous students ranked within the top ten of their class. At E.J. Yancy Elementary & Junior High, Kakata, Margibi County, Teta Y. Dolo ranked 1st in her 8th grade class out of 20 students, with an average of 84%. She excelled in English, Math, and Vocabulary.

At St. Christopher’s Junior High, Kakata, Margibi County, Martu Kollie ranked 2nd in her 4th grade class (total # of students not known), with an average of 87%. She excelled in Religious Education, English, Science, Health, and Spelling. And Dorothy George ranked 3rd in her class with an average of 85% in her classes. She excelled in English, Reading, Science, and Spelling

At William V.S. Tubman-Gray Elementary & High School, Jennie Flomo ranked 5th in her 4th grade class out of 42 students, with an average 82%. She excelled in Reading, Spelling, English, and Phonics. Read Jennie’s story here.

At St. Martin’s Catholic High School (8th grade, 52 students) Neomi Mulbah and Madusy K. Kromah, ranked 6th and 7th, respectively, both averaging just above 82%. They both excelled in Physics, Social Studies, and Literature.

Dekegar Public School Students Out-Perform Other Schools

At Dekegar Public School in Montserrado County, Liberia, there were 20 7th graders during the 2008-2009 school year, 11 of whom were supported by the GEI-CGS Scholarship Program. Out of all our schools, the girls we support at Dekegar performed the best in the 2008-2009 school year. We continue to support these girls and will report on their grades for the 2009-2010 school year as soon as they arrive. To read more about these girls and to hear what they and their families have to say, click here.

Notes & Stuff:

Special thanks to Advisory Board member Steve Murchie for acting as board chair for the first two meetings of 2010.

Purchase one of Girls Education International’s new T-shirts, and support the Liberia and Pakistan projects. We still need to raise $5000 before August to pay for fall semester for both projects! Buy a T-shirt here.
Welcome New Board Member

Co-founder Heidi Wirtz stands with former CFO Justin Voorhees at the 2010 Beats for Books event wearing the new Girls Ed Tees.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Dekegar Public School Students Out-Perform Other Schools

At Dekegar Public School in Montserrado County, Liberia, there were 20 7th graders during the 2008-2009 school year, 11 of whom were supported by the GEI-CGS Scholarship Program. Out of all our schools, the girls we support at Dekegar performed the best in the 2008-2009 school year. We continue to support these girls and will report on their grades for the 2009-2010 school year as soon as they arrive.

Famata Harris ranked 1st in her class, getting a 98% in Literature, Geography, and Health, but also getting above 90% in Science and Religious Education. Her average grade was just above 89%. Read about five of our girls and what they had to say on our blog:

Henriette Tamba ranked a close 2nd, and had an average grade of just below 89%. She excelled in Geography, History, Healthy, Science, Religious Education and Vocabulary.
Henriette is one of our self-supported students. She has lived on her own for many years, and survives by running a small business. “As for my education, thank God for the Girls Education International Program,” Henriette says. “It has granted me a scholarship to enable me to gain my education.”

Rebecca Kollie ranks 3rd in her class, with just above an 87% average. She excelled in English, Literature, Geography, Health, Science and Vocabulary. According to the principal at Rebecca’s school, she is a “smart, obedient, and hardworking student.” She lived with her mother, but because her stepfather regularly beat her and was generally unsupportive of her desire to pursue an education, she moved to her aunt’s house. She now lives in peace and is benefiting from the Girls’ Scholarship.

Annie Jouah ranks 5th in her class with a GPA of 85%. She excelled in Geography and Religious Education. Annie is another one of our self-supported students. She earns money by planting small crops and selling them locally. With the Common Ground Society/Girls Education International program, she was able to go to school. “Now she acts like a happy teenager,” says Emily Sherman-Davis, the Liberia Program Director.
According to Annie: “I’m grateful to be on the scholarship program, and I will do my best to make the supporters of this program proud.”

Graciel Holder ranks 10th and has a GPA of about 82%. Graciel excelled in Literature and Religious Education. She currently lives with her mother (no name given) and has never completed any academic school year due to financial problems. “My daughter is all I have in this life, and I really want the best for her,” says her mother. “But my hands are short. I’m not working, and she doesn’t have a dad. But thank God that with the help of the Girls Education International scholarship program she was able to be in school and was promoted to the next class due to the program.” Graciel’s mother continued by saying education was the most important way to help girls. “One can never repay those who are helping our girls,” her mother continued. “Many thanks to Girls Education International.

Atura Garway ranks 11th in and has a GPA of about 82%. She excelled in History and Vocabulary. Atura lived with her brother and his wife for many years, but was treated poorly by her husband’s wife. She was not supported in her efforts to get an education, and she was made to do a lot of work without any recompense. “I decided to move to live on my own,” says Atura. “Now I’m self supported and in school due to a scholarship program and I’m really grateful for that.”

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Great News from GEI! Work in Pakistan starts in March, new ED, donations, etc!

In addition to receiving a $1000 donation in the last few days, Girls Education International is happy to announce that Therese Thompson will be starting as the new Executive Director on March 1, 2010. Therese has spent many years working with nonprofits and is currently the Executive Director of Summit Cancer Solutions and a graduate student. She will be working part time. See the website in a few weeks for more information on Therese.

In other good news, we are starting our project in Pakistan this March. Please see the below pasted note for details!

Dear Lizzy,

Thank you very much for your email. My apology, I am relying late.

About the project: I went to village Laphi along with Ms. Habiba our program officer in the field office who would be looking after this project. In the village we met with the project committee and the girls who would be attending the school. The committee could prepare only 21 girls to attend the school. Other parents are hesitant to send their girls to school because of the low priority for various cultural and economic reasons.

The rest of the nine girls are included from a neighboring village Sar Kalan. A list of nine deserving girls is ready. So the total number of participating girls remains the same i.e. 30.

Sir Kalan is village having almost the same profile as Laphi. There is no facility for girls post primary level from the government side. The girls and their families selected from Sir Kalan are equally deserving and enthusiastic about the opportunity to go to school.

All the 30 girls shall be attending the same school, Government Higher Secondary School, Buchal Kalan, district Chakwal.

We need to purchase uniform during the first week of March. The admissions will be completed in March and the classes shall begin in April.

I am happy everything is completed on time and we start the project in time. We are grateful to GEI for giving Bedari this opportunity to work for girls education. It is such a satisfying work. When you meet these girls, the happiness is overflowing from their faces. They are imagining that their lives are going to change. Instead of going to fields and to the mountains to bring fuel wood and fodder, they will now be going to school. It is a huge difference.

Thank you very much again and best regards.

Saleem

Saleem Malik
Executive Director
Bedari - working with women and children for their human rights
House 657, Street 75, Sector I-8/3
Islamabad, Pakistan
www.bedari.org.pk
Phone: Office: +92 51 486 2877, +92 51 431 8054
Cell: +92 321 516 7297
Skype: saleem.malik

Bedari is a national level humanitarian, women and girls' rights development organization without religious, political or governmental affiliations. Bedari works to eliminate violence against women. Bedari is founding member of AASHA – Alliance against Sexual Harassment at Workplace. www.aasha.org.pk