Jan 31, 2012, 12:18 PM
The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWEGAM) in collaboration with Peace Corps The Gambia, is organizing the Take Our Daughters to Work programme.
According to a press release from FAWEGAM, the five-day programme scheduled for May 24th - 28th 2009 will bring together 25 UpperBasicSchool girls from across the country to participate in unique mentoring activity.
The project 'Take Our Daughters to Work' started in the United States with the objective to nationally sensitize 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, the release added.
"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 commitment to continuing their education.
"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 expectations, and few female role models. However, the Gambian female has an especially hard time finishing and excelling in school due to the added pressures of early marriage, teenage pregnancy and lack of encouragement and support from parents."
The Take Our Daughters to Work 2009 programme attempts to combat these obstacles by encouraging promising girls to take their education more seriously.
Girls will not only attend discussion panels on some of the above-mentioned issues, but will be introduced to female role models who have completed their education and now hold jobs that give them financial independence. The expectation is that at the end of the Take Our Daughters to Work programme, participating girls will return to their villages more confident, more focused, and able to serve as role models for other students in their own communities.
This year's programme includes 5 female students each from regions 2 through 6. The host mothers included are working women in the Greater Banjul area who hold professions such as Headmistresses, teachers, lawyers, bankers, news readers, social workers, medical workers, police inspectors, and directors of NGOs. Each girl student will stay with her host mother for four nights and 3 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 girls' education. Day one of activities includes Opening Ceremonies, a field trip to UTG, and team building exercises. Day two of activities includes the students shadowing their host mothers at work, assessing the job shadowing, role model's life stores, and panel discussions on career opportunities. Day three of activities includes lectures on Reproductive health, life skills, and setting future goals, as well as the Closing Ceremony. At the end of the progranme the girls will return to their respective villages to share their experience with classmates, teachers, friends, family members, and the community at large.