Hello from School Girls Unite

2016 Year-End Update

We are so proud of School Girls Unite and our 12-year-strong commitment to spreading education across the globe. Not only has our Mali Girls Scholarship Program provided over 600 combined years of education — over the years, more than 600 students in our School Girls Unite chapters in the U.S. have sustained our program. Each year, our chapter members celebrate traditions like the International Day of the Girl, as well as organize innovative activities to raise awareness about the obstacles girls face around the world in getting to school.

“We made a Kahoot quiz game that students could play using their phones. It felt great to educate others about our organization and our work.”
– Students from Reservoir High School, Maryland

School Girls Unite continues to emphasize a youth-led policy advocacy model, and our members have run petitions drives, sent letters to Congress, and met with staffers on the Hill this year. Misbah, a high school senior, described in our blog her visit to Congress to advocate for the Education For All Act, which finally passed the House of Representatives after six years! This bipartisan legislation would establish a permanent Education For All Coordinator at the U.S. Agency for International Development. We’re hoping for final passage by the Senate.

“I realized that my voice truly does matter, and I’m grateful that I had this experience with School Girls Unite and hope to have similar experiences in the future.”
– Misbah

In Mali, the equivalent of one classroom — 30 students — continue to receive scholarships. Four more of our scholars passed 9th grade — a real feat in rural areas where only 15% of girls in Mali complete lower secondary school! Many of our scholars have had to repeat the same grade, often because they miss school to take care of siblings and other family responsibilities. Another real challenge facing these students is early marriage, but our sister organization is relentless in encouraging parents to keep their daughters in school. One of these scholars, Awa Diarra, sees attitudes changing!

“Before there was a difference between the boys and the girls. Our parents did not want a girl going to school, now they have understood that her education is very important.  Even if they give a girl to marriage, I appeal to parents to keep the young girl in the educational system, and let her continue her studies.”
– Awa

This fall we spent $770 for textbooks for these students, and School Girls Unite is also providing school supplies for the 9th grade graduates who are continuing their education. Our 100% volunteer-run program means it costs only $75 per student per year. Every tax-deductible donation makes an enormous impact. Also, when you shop online, please pitch in by using Amazon Smile and designating Youth Activism Project, where every dollar will be invested in our Mali Girls Scholarship Program.

Merci for your long-term commitment and support!

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