We are excited to announce the results of the Girls’ Scholarship campaign. Thanks to your generosity, the campaign collected $15,800, including the Foundation Board’s $6150 matching funds. Nearly double our original target!
We can help our local partner CCET greatly expand the program. We’ll support more Bumpeh Chiefdom girls – and offer more to make it easier for them to stay in school.
410 girls will receive school fee scholarships for a full year of junior or senior high.
We’re also adding to this year’s awards.
- All 410 girls will receive notebooks and pens. In schools without textbooks, students copy notes teachers write on blackboards – another student expense.
- 260 of these girls will also get a school uniform – those entering 7th grade at new schools and girls in senior high.
We believe we will be able to offer every chiefdom girl who wants to attend senior high a scholarship, a school uniform and notebooks!
One campaign goal is to keep more girls in school and help them advance through senior high. We need to confirm actual enrollment numbers this month at the two participating senior highs. But we’ve targeted for our estimate of covering all 120 senior high girls!
Your gifts effectively more than doubled the number of awards girls will receive compared to last year. Uniforms cost a little more than school fee scholarships, so this doubles the value of the award for 260 girls receiving both scholarships and uniforms. With 150 additional school fee scholarships, that’s equivalent to 670 awards this school year compared to 300 school-fee-only scholarships last year.
Uniforms are being sewn locally.
This keeps costs down. And it keeps money in the local community.
Our local partner CCET engaged Mr. Jalloh, left, a Rotifunk tailor, to sew uniforms production style. He started in August to have them ready when school opens.
There’s more good news. As your donations continued to come in, we recognized we could do still more. There are two other needs we’ve been wanting to address. Now you’ve provided the funding to start filling both.
We just shipped 100 solar lanterns for upper class girls – 9 th and 12 th graders who will study for graduation exams this year. Passing will allow them to enroll in senior high or college, respectively.
Girls informed us of their dilemma of no lighting when I was in Bumpeh Chiefdom last February. The sun goes down quickly by 6:30 p.m. year-round in the tropics. With no electricity in the chiefdom, girls have no lighting to study at night. Constantly replacing batteries for LED lights is a costly burden for students and their families.
The solar lights we sent were designed for just this kind of developing country environment. They are simple, reliable, durable and even water-proof.
I brought some on my last two trips as gifts. Two years later, people report they work great.
Left, Arlene presents an Imam a solar light for a village mosque.
Here’s perhaps the most exciting news. We are awarding our first college scholarship for a deserving girl!
The first chiefdom girls in the scholarship program are now graduating from high school. After carrying them this far, we want to keep the doors of opportunity open for girls to enter college.
We’re working out the costs for 4-year and 2-year college degrees in Sierra Leone. We plan to award one girl now for her first-year costs for tuition, room, board, books and transportation. This is about $1700 a year for a 4-year university. We have this first year covered, and will add college scholarships as a goal for future campaigns. Look for more on this year’s awardee in a future newsletter.
We can’t thank everyone enough who contributed to make all of this possible. You are amazing!
Donations came literally from across the country. From Alaska to Key Largo, Florida. From Maine to Los Angeles, and many places in-between.
We hope you’ve come to agree that educating a girl is one of the most important things we can do to make this world a better place.
On behalf of the girls of Bumpeh Chiefdom and our local partner The Center for Community Empowerment & Transformation, we all say – Thank you!
— Arlene Golembiewski, Executive Director