FAWEGAM/Peace Corps to stage Action Week for Girls
Monday, May 18, 2009
The Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWEGAM) in collaboration with Peace Corps, The Gambia, will be organizing a Take our daughters to work program.
The five day program schedule for May 24th- 28th 2009, will bring together 25 Upper Basic School girls from across the country to participate in these unique mentoring activities. The project Take our daughters to work started in the United States with the objective to nationally sensitise young girls on the importance and possibilities of their education. Since then, the program has been repeated in many countries all over the world- including a pilot project in the Greater Bansang Area, Basse and Farafenni, initiated in December 1999. Each year, on the international Take our daughters to work day, young female students accompany women to their workplaces to observe various jobs and renew their commitments to continuing their education.
According to a press release from FAWEGAM, girls in The Gambia face the same obstacles that female students in all parts of the world encounter, such as low self esteem, peer pressure not to excel, low teacher expectation and few female role models, adding that the Gambian female has an especially hard time finishing and excelling in school due to the added pressure of early marriage, teenage pregnancy and lack of encouragement and support from parents. The Take our daughters to work 2009 program the release stated, attempts to combat these obstacles by encouraging promising girls to take their education more seriously, as girls will not only attend discussion panels on some of the issues affecting them, but will be introduced to female role models who have completed their education and now hold jobs that give them financial independence. It is expected that at the end of the Take our daughters to work program, participating girls will return to their villages more confident, more focused, and able to serve as role models for other students in their communities.
The release further unveiled that this year's program will include 5 female students each from region 2 through 6 and that the host mothers are working women in the greater Banjul with positions of headmistresses, teachers, lawyers, bankers, news readers, social workers, medical workers, police inspectors and directors of NGOs.. And each girl student will stay with her host mother for four nights and three days, getting to know her and how she balances her home and work life. During this time, girl students and host mothers will also attend three days of activities conducted by Peace Corps Volunteers, FAWEGAM staff members and local stakeholders in girl's education.
Author: by Gibairu Janneh