ALIMA = Against ALL Odds

by Dawne Deppe, School Girls Unite Board of Directors, who just completed a trip to Mali, where Filles Unies is supporting SGU scholarship girls!

So my volunteer trip to Mali is done. Here is one of the incredibly courageous scholars we support – going to school against ALL odds. And some of the young women mentors with Les Filles Unies that keep giving them encouragement and advice to finish.

Trip to Congress, 2014

In honor of global action week, us young activists took our annual trip to Capitol Hill to speak with our representatives about the issues we care about affecting girls all over the globe. This year, SGU focused in on the Global Partnership for Education, which unites 66 of the wealthiest countries in finding innovative ways to improve the education policies for developing countries.

Visit from Canvas Peace Project

Cynthia Davis, founder of the Canvas Peace Project, came to speak to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School chapter of School Girls Unite on March 25, 2014. The Canvas Peace Project is a grassroots effort that raises awareness about victims of genocide, and raises funds for women’s empowerment and a primary education program in Ariang, a war-torn village in South Sudan. Through art exhibitions and auctions, it helps fund Hope for Ariang, Inc. Ms.

Day of the Girl 2013

Polite persistent activists with School Girls Unite at Hammond Middle School pestered the White House Council on Women and Girls since last April with their request for a Presidential Proclamation for the UN International Day of the Girl. Barack Obama did not issue an official declaration on 10.11.12—the first ever girls’ rights day—and the government shutdown put the process in jeopardy.

Bintou at the One Young World Summit

Bintou Soumaoro, who served four years as president of our sister organization in Mali, participated in the One Young World Summit in Johannesburg. She was selected to be one of the speakers at the opening plenary session. Her passion is evident as she addressed an audience of 1,300 in English demanding that Now it is time for world leaders to approach the Mali government and urge them to meet the Millennium Development Goals for education. Watch her five-minute speech which begins 44 minutes into this video below.

“Wahou so wonderful, our Fille Parrainee Awa Coulibaly, she passed her exam!!”

Awa is one of 55 girls in Mali sponsored year after year by School Girls Unite. This
17-year-old completed the 9eme annee in the Warala secondary cycle, despite numerous difficulties including losing both of her parents. Awa’s school tuition and school supplies will increase next year. The support by Les Filles Unies leaders continues to be so important and a key reason why Awa continues to make such progress.

Global Action Week 2013

During this year’s Global Action Week, sponsored by the Global Campaign for Education, School Girls Unite split up to speak with Members of Congress and Senators. One team met with Representatives Becerra and Van Hollen (yes! met with them in person!), and the other met with staffers from Senators Collins, Mikulski, and Cardin’s offices. They all met to speak about the Education For All Act, a bill “that seeks to ensure that U.S.