OLPCorps GeorgeWashingtonUniversity and UMD Senegal

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Project Name 10,000 Girls Rural Early Childhood Education Initiative Country Senegal Student Leaders David Sokoloff, George Washington University Lauren Brown, University of Maryland Local Partner #Ten Thousand Girls, www.10000girls.org Date of Implementation June 22, 2009 to August 23, 2009 Grant Amount $9,875.00

Project Background

The Republic of Senegal, located in western Sub-Sahara Africa, is a developing country with serious challenges and strong opportunities. The country is greatly affected by Malaria, maternal and infant mortality, malnutrition, diarrhoeal diseases, and food insecurity, all of which hinder its development. Senegal also ranks 156 on the Human Development report, the adult literacy rate is still below forty percent (UNICEF), and the refugee population tops 23,000. Young people under twenty make up 58 percent of the population in Senegal making a focus on children an important part of Senegal’s future. Senegal must make a valiant effort to focus resources on its children to address its developmental issues and improve the welfare of the country. Investments in education dramatically impact individuals, communities, and countries. 

This project will be executed in partnership with Ten Thousand, a registered and independently audited 501(c)(3), not-for-profit educational organization. Ten Thousand Girls offers education and employment opportunities for 10,000 Girls in Senegal, enabling them to develop as self-reliant and capable women, through a self-sustaining organization run by the girls themselves. The organization works in the Kaolack region of Senegal, where the failure rate for girls in primary school is staggering.  However, work with the program has already increased the success rate of young girls by three times the normal amount. This program recognizes the value of educational investments and targets at risk young girls to provide them with XO Computers and instruction that will improve their knowledge, self-esteem, and opportunities in the future.

Project Objective and Goals

The 10,000 Girls Rural Early Childhood Education Initiative focuses on improving the lives and future opportunities for young girls in rural communities and Senegal.

Project Goals: Give a computer to female students and explore with them the software on the computer and fun, expressive ways to use the computer in their environment. Establish a computer lab with trained staff who can impart their knowledge to students. Establish projects that are linked to the computer programs; creative design, data collection, analytical skills, broadened perspectives, and research. Promote teamwork through commuter usage and encourage the transfer of information from the class room to the community. Empower young girls through education and motivation to start similar projects after the summer session. Create and implement a monitoring and evaluation system that adheres to the organization’s goals as well as program goals.

Project Description

The program will be executed in close partnership with the Ten Thousand Girls organization. Ten Thousand Girls will select rural communities and participants for the program as well as staff that will become trainers of future groups and involved in evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

Throughout the 9-week program Brown, Sokoloff, and Ten Thousand Girls will hold daily classes with participants. The classes will be held in the afternoon for two hours at a facility within the participant’s community. The students will be divided into two age groups, one with students 6 to 8 and one with students 9 to 12. At the end of each lesson, each student will demonstrate what they learned through a fun creative exercise. A certificate will be provided at the end of the course to each student. Most of the computers will be given to the participating students. The left-over computers will be kept in a computer lab that students can freely access and teachers can use with their classes throughout the year.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The students and will be evaluating on their knowledge of the computer, software, and degree of self-expression throughout the program. Additionally, Ten Thousand Girls will provide reports on how the program affected the lives of participants on an annual basis.

Particularly, Ten Thousand Girls will measure and report on the following annually: Number of students and staff involved in the program Number of students and teachers using the computer lab Tasks students perform on the computers Amount that other people (i.e. family or community members) use a student’s computer Change in well-being, livelihood, self-esteem, goals, community/family impression of the students as a result of participation in the program

Project Management Team

Lauren Brown Lauren attended Appalachian State University for her under-graduate degree in Communications and Political Science in 2005. From 2006 to 2008, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, where her primary responsibilities included rural health education for women and girls, as well as leadership training for middle school children. Lauren’s service experience inspired her to pursue her Masters Degree in Public Policy and International Development at the University of Maryland. She hopes to work abroad following graduation, focusing on education as a means to development. She is dedicated to working with children in disadvantaged regions throughout her career. David Sokoloff Originally from central New Jersey, David attended Gettysburg College for his undergraduate degree in Economics in 1999. In 2003, he served as an Educational Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Kiribati in the Central Pacific. That experience encouraged him to start the nonprofit, For Granted, Inc. (www.forgranted.org) and also led to his decision to study international development at George Washington University. David is committed to aiding the development of communities in disadvantaged areas and plans to do so throughout his career.

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