POSTED BY 60milliongirls | Feb, 21, 2011 |

Hello, and welcome to the first official entry of our 60 million girls blog!

We’re thrilled to start the blog by introducing you to the projects 60 million girls will be funding this year.  In past years, we have always supported two projects, but this year we are thrilled to be able to award $100,000 to three projects.

They are as follows:

1. CAUSE Canada in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is still recovering from a 10-year civil war where girls were subjected to rape, slavery, amputations and kidnappings.  The area is stable now, but still needs a great deal of support.

Through this project, CAUSE will support 15 schools in increasing standards and levels of education.  Both girls and boys will have increased access to education, teachers will be trained, and bursaries will be provided to high school level girls so they can carry on with teacher training and peer literacy training.

CAUSE has found that once they’ve started working with a school, girls attendance at that school has increased by 50 – 60%.  2305 girls will benefit from this project, and 20 of these girls will receive bursaries for teacher training.  Mother’s Clubs will also be established, to teach income-generating activities for mothers so they can help support the costs of girls’ education.  Sanitary napkins will also be provided for high school girls, as well as focus on hand washing and basic sanitation.

2.  Save the Children in northern Cote d’Ivoire

Enrolment of girls in schools in this area is the lowest in the country, with only 27% of girls are at the primary school level.  Poverty, priority of boys over girls in families, limited capacity of schools, sexual violence, forced marriages, early pregnancies and a lack of registration of girls at birth are all obstacles faced by girls in acquiring education.

This project will provide education for 400 girls in non-formal education centres and primary schools.  It will support the renovation of schools, and the training of 9 teachers in girl-friendly methodology.  48 children will get training in children’s rights and protection of children’s rights, and a very important process will be put in place where girls born in the area will be registered, so they can be accounted for when they get to school age.

The project will also provide management skills training for 12 members of school management.

3. WUSC in Kenya and Malawi

The goal of this project is to mobilize refugee communities in Malawi and Kenya to accrue education for girls and their leadership.  Girls in refugee camps are especially vulnerable, and similar past projects through WUSC and Citizens of Nowhere has shown a huge impact on girls’ self-confidence.

The project will improve access, success and retention of girls and boys in school.  The ratio of boys to girls in the schools in Kenyan refugee camps is 4:1, 5:1 in high school.  Parent/teacher associations will also be formed to promote the importance of girls’ education and to discuss issues related to male/female equality, and girls would also be taught life skills.

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We are also very excited to welcome two new branches of 60 Million Girls – one in Toronto and one in Vancouver.  Our president, Wanda Bedard, will be in Vancouver in March to promote Vancouver’s first 60 Million Girls event.  She will meet all the new volunteers, give presentations at schools and do a conference on March 8th, International Women’s Day, at the University Women’s Club.

Wanda will also be in Bhutan in March.  She will be visiting a school there and meeting with some government representatives from the Department of Education to learn more about Bhutanese education.  Stay tuned for some of her adventures…

And we’re very excited for May, when Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, will give a talk in Montreal in support of our organization.  Tickets are available here!

TAGS : Bhutan CAUSE Canada Cote d'Ivoire funding Greg Mortenson Kenya Malawi Save the Children Sierra Leone Three Cups of Tea Toronto Vancouver WUSC

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