The 60 million girls Foundation is dedicated to getting more children, especially girls, into school and learning. The quality of education is crucial for us. Access is simply not enough. With this in mind, our Project Evaluation team works hard to make sure that the projects we ultimately choose meet this goal; it’s one of the most important things we do every year.
Our $100,000 investment in a project is significant, so we want to ensure that we make the biggest impact we can with the dollars, your dollars, that we give. We are always thrilled to let you know what we have done so far:
Since our inception 10 years ago, we have invested $2.4 million in 20 projects which have helped over 20,000 children in 14 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. To have a look at all the projects we have supported click HERE.
We are truly proud of the scope of our investments, in geographic terms, and in the range of vulnerable children we have reached.
The projects we’ve supported have impacted children in aboriginal communities, HIV/AIDS orphans, handicapped children, those living in rural villages and areas dealing with climate change, girls facing discrimination because of caste or ethnicity, children in war-torn countries, and those living daily in extreme poverty.
How do we choose?
Every fall, we receive 10-15 proposals from potential partners, all Canadian registered charities.
It is difficult to select which projects to support, but our strict criteria and rating system helps to keep us focused and we always strive to ensure that girls comprise at least half of the children in the projects we fund.
This is still important because while gender disparities have fallen along with rising attendance – around 90% of children, globally, are enrolled in primary school – if a girl is already out of school and behind her peer group academically, the likelihood that she will return to the classroom, or start at all, is much lower than it is for boys. As the chart below shows, globally, of the children who are already out of school, 47% of girls are expected to never enrol, compared with 35% of boys.
So, we focus on girls, and, we focus on the quality of education. We aim to make sure that children who are in school are actually learning. This is important for parents, and anyone who wants to see real benefits from time spent in the classroom. Finally, if children have been out of school due to conflict or other dislocation, we look for projects that find a way to help them catch up.
All of this means that our Research & Development team is always on the lookout for innovative ways to bring learning to children in need. There are many educational technologies and platforms to find new ways to reach isolated children, who are often from remote, rural communities, and have little access to traditional textbooks, and sometimes even trained teachers.
This past year, we have been working hard to raise funds for our current project, peer mentoring and self-directed learning in Kabala, in northern, rural Sierra Leone, partnering with CAUSE Canada. Some of these new technologies will be put into play and you can read about them HERE.
The relationship with our partners is a critical ingredient in what we do. We’ve worked with WE Canada (formerly Free The Children), the Stephen Lewis Foundation, CARE, World University Service Canada (WUSC), War Child, and others.
During the year, we follow up. We ask our partners to provide regular progress reports so we know the results of your investment. Are we on track and did we get the expected results? Is our partner meeting their own performance targets?
Furthermore, Wanda Bedard, 60 million girls’ Founder & President, often visits projects (at her own expense). In fact, she will be going to Sierra Leone next month; keep an eye on this space for fun details about her trip.
To get it all done, we count on you. Your support makes a difference.
To donate to the 60 million girls Foundation, please click HERE.
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