Although the links between girls’ education and improved quality of life and economic growth are well known, school-age girls in Guinea continue to face conditions that limit school success—from systemic impediments, such as shortages of qualified teachers, to cultural factors, like the practice of early marriage.
As a result, many female students leave school before completing the primary school cycle. Less than half of school-age girls in Guinea regularly participate in primary school (47.7 percent) and only a quarter (25.9 percent) enroll in secondary school (UNICEF 2013). It is a striking figure and one that has been a driving force in STS’s Whole Child Model.
Dear School-to-School International supporters:
Three years ago, I met a fourth-grade student named Fatoumata Diouf at STS’s partner school in Filimia in the Boke region of western Guinea. She was an ideal candidate for the girls’ scholarship program. In addition to meeting all the scholarship criteria, Fatoumata showed exceptional promise and enthusiasm for learning while also facing a particularly difficult home life. Fatoumata is one of these special cases.
Dear Girls of Guinea,
I write to thank and congratulate you and your families for your commitment to continuing your education and learning.
I know that school itself can be challenging, and that finding time and space to do your homework and study for exams requires hard work and creativity every single day. Finding the money to pay for school fees or uniforms can make enrolling and staying in school difficult. Finding the time to do your homework can be difficult when you need to take care of your brothers and sisters or when there’s housework that needs to get done.
Dear Girls of Guinea,
I know how hard you work every day, not just in the classroom, but also at home. I realize fetching water from the well or helping to cook a meal may seem more important in the eyes of your family and your community, but I hope you realize what’s most important—your education. I understand water and food are necessities for a thriving community, but so are empowered, educated women.
Dear Girls of Guinea,
You inspire me. Since 2002, you have been a driving force for me each day—your education, your wellness, your potential. Through presidential elections and a coup, strikes and massacres, even Ebola, you remain strong.
Written by Mamounan Kpoghomou, STS National Coordinator – Guinea
Mabinty Soumah is a young girl who has attended Wonkifong elementary school in Guinea for six years. She lost her mother when she was only two years old. Mabinty has lived with her aunt, who is also her teacher, since first grade. Mabinty is hardworking, punctual, and studious. Her aunt, Mahawa, has six children of her own. She is the second wife of a farmer, who has a total of 13 children. The family survives on the food they grow and the fish they catch. The two wives struggle to make ends meet to support their numerous children and husband, whose earnings are practically nonexistent. By accepting to take in her sister’s orphan, Mahawa has endured great hardship to provide food, clothing, and school supplies to all of the children under her care.
Written by Drew Schmenner
Dear STS Supporters,
Girls are too often pushed aside or overlooked in the developing world. It’s a distressing truth I learned firsthand as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African country of Niger more than a decade ago. That experience stoked my interest in girls’ education, so I’m particularly excited that we are raising money for the girls’ education components of our Whole Child Model in Guinea as part of our annual campaign.
Posted by Lauren McAskill
School-to-School International’s 2015 Matching Campaign focuses on empowering girls through education. From now until October 15th, your donation to this cause will be doubled. Many of STS’s own staff members have witnessed the power of investing in girls. Today I am sharing a personal experience that speaks to the effectiveness and sustainability of initiatives that empower girls. During my time in the Peace Corps in West Africa, I helped start my village’s first female soccer team. The picture on the left was taken in 2011 after the team’s first big win, and the picture on the right is the team in four years later, in 2015.
Since 2002, School-to-School International has impacted the lives of thousands of students in Guinea through our Whole Child Model, an integrated set of activities centered on the three sectors of education, health, and engagement.
Empowering girls is a key focus of the model. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we gave 30 scholarships to girls last year. We also raised awareness about the benefits of girls’ education by conducting community workshops and ran after-school programs for at-risk children, with a special emphasis on girls.
This marks the second week of our fundraising effort devoted to our girls’ education activities. We have the special chance to double the impact we make in the lives of girls, thanks to an awesome contributor who has offered to match all donations during this campaign.
School-to-School International (STS) is excited to announce its 2015 Matching Campaign! From now until October 15, we can double the impact STS makes in the lives of young girls in primary school in Guinea.
Based in the Bay Area, STS has implemented its unique Whole Child Model in the West African country of Guinea since 2002. Our holistic approach ensures students have all they need in order to thrive in school through focusing on three areas of need — education, health, and engagement.