by Merritt Frey, Executive Director
We are so, so excited here at Mali Rising! Why? We are preparing to launch the very successful Girls Project in five additional schools this fall!
For those of you who follow our work, you’ll know that for the last 3 years we have piloted the Girls Project in three villages. The goal of the Project — recruit more girls to school, retain them in the classroom, and make sure they are seeing real results from their education. That pilot period is wrapping up this summer, and we are over the moon to announce five new villages where we will role out the Project starting next fall.
We selected the new villages very carefully. We reviewed data on each of our 24 schools to find the schools where girls were the least likely to be enrolled. For example, one school only had 22% girls enrollment! Then, we interviewed leaders and parents in the village to better understand the barriers to enrollment and attitudes about both girls’ education and the Girls Project. We wanted to partner with villages where the problem was large, but the village was interested in taking a leading role in solving the problem.
After much discussion, Hindaty and I selected the following schools for the next phase of the Girls Project:
Sue Taylor Middle School, Diorila
Francis W. Burton Middle School, Tamala
What does this mean? It means we will be taking our successful mix of strategies to these villages over the next three years, with goals that include increasing the number of girls enrolled, reducing dropout of girls, and developing life skills that will help girls thrive in the classroom and in their entire lives. These five new villages mean we will reach about 300 additional girls!
Don’t worry, we aren't abandoning our three Girls Project pilot villages. In those villages, we will continue our support while developing local Girl Leaders who will take on an increasing leadership role — making the project more sustainable by developing local capacity.
Learn more about the Girls Project.