Soroptimists of Silkeborg Transforming Lives Through Education in Gambia
Millions of women and girls living in poverty in the developing world receive little or no education. When girls have access to education, they can pass on the benefits to their communities. One educated girl can have an impact for generations.
In Gambia, a small country in West Africa, girls face common problems in developing countries. Families often invest their small incomes in the education of boys, whom they believe will support them into adulthood. As a result, women find it difficult to find opportunities beyond domestic work.
Based on this observation, the Soroptimists of Silkeborg, who have strong links with the Soroptimists of Banjul (Gambia), acted actively with the support of SOS Children’s Villages.
The Soroptimists sponsor financially six young girls/women, enabling them to complete compulsory school. They also fund their further education so that they can support themselves as adults, keeping them away from early marriages.
In practical terms, when a young girl has completed her normal schooling, the Soroptimists find out whether she has options for continuing her studies at secondary school or whether she prefers to take up vocational training. If she is interested in either, the Soroptimists continue to support her until she graduates.
Members SI Silkeborg members receive regular notes and statements from the schools and the girls themselves about their educational progress, and the Soroptimists visit the schools and girls once a year. Once a girl has completed her studies, the Soroptimists work with their partners to find a new girl to support.
The Soroptimists have been carrying out this project for many years with great joy and satisfaction for the whole Club. Girls and women have been trained and replaced with others according to the project model, and they are eager to continue this long-term project!
The Soroptimists of Silkeborg also often visit the Soroptimists of Banjul with whom a long-term collaboration allows them to work on common projects to improve the lives of women and girls.
In conclusion, the education of women in developing countries is absolutely essential to their personal growth. Education fuels empowerment and educating women will provide ample opportunities for them to prosper and for the entire economy to prosper.