Ten Thousand Girls

This is a genuinely heartwarming article about a girls’ school in Senegal. It makes me want to send them a big wad of money right this second. I bet, though, that the big wad of cash would do more harm than good. The resource constraint keeps them growing at a rate where they can maintain the same high quality. A big expansion all at once would require management and training in a whole new way from the education cottage-industry structure they have now.

The cynic in me is looking for the flaw in this school. Where’s the dark side? How can it be this simple? I want it to be true, though.

Further googling reassures me. It’s really not simple at all, which makes it better and more likely to be real and replicable. Viola Vaughn has a PhD, and 10,000 girls has been fundraising in the US for quite some time. She was nominated for the CNN Heroes Award by Amy Meyer, a consultant to nonprofits. She is not just a grandmother who started teaching girls; she is the executive director of a nonprofit, the Women’s Health Education and Prevention Strategic Alliance (WHEPSA), which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. 10,000 Girls is one of its projects. They don’t have their financials on the web, but their list of donors and volunteers makes them look pretty small-scale.

Edited to Add: Further consideration has led me to conclude that first paragraph was overtaken by events. If 10,000 Girls is a project implemented by WHEPSA, then they probably have a scalable plan ready to go once they receive funding. Dr. Vaughn has been traveling heavily in the US to raise those funds. So go ahead and send a big wad of cash. Just do some research first.

Girls in the developing world are in trouble

The Center for Global Development (which I worship like an obsessed fangirl, really all I need at this point is to be scribbling “Mrs. Alanna CGD” on my notebooks) has a new publication on girls in the developing world.

From the publication’s description page:

“…girls in developing countries are in trouble. They face systematic disadvantages over a wide range of welfare indicators, including health, education, nutrition, labor force participation, and the burden of household tasks. Because of deprivation and discriminatory cultural norms, many poor girls are forced to marry at very young ages and are extraordinarily vulnerable to HIV, sexual violence, and physical exploitation. Lacking a full range of economic opportunities and devalued because of gender bias, many girls are seen as unworthy of investment or protection by their families.”