When the Circle of Sisterhood was founded over a decade ago, Ginny Carroll set out to rally a community of women to break down barriers that are keeping girls and women around the world from getting an education and realizing their potential. Being a female was the first distinction. If a family can only afford to send one child to school, they usually send the boy so the girls can stay home to help with the household chores. In developing countries, you also find that girls are entering into marriage at a young age, which prevents them from going to school.
Ginny and the CofS team began discovering just how many barriers there actually are that need to be addressed. Of course, the cost of an education is the largest barrier so raising money for school supplies, clothing, teachers, classrooms, transportation and many other items for these girls makes an impact immediately. As the Circle of Sisterhood team continued on its mission, they found that puberty is also keeping girls and young women from going to school. Not having the money for or the access to feminine hygiene products keeps the girls home when they have their periods. Plus, there is also a sense of shame these young girls can feel that affects the confidence to pursue an education. As Ginny and her team discovered more barriers, she made it the Circle of Sisterhood’s mission to identify and address as many as possible.
With your help in 2020, the Circle of Sisterhood raised $102,600 that was awarded to eleven deserving organizations working on the ground around the world to remove barriers to education for girls and women. Each was selected to receive up to $10,000 in the grant funds.
Those grant dollars will help 160 women in Uganda and Rwanda, more than 40 women in Sri Lanka, 600 primary school-aged girls in Haiti, 100 women who need business and vocational training in Uganda, prevent sexual violence in Kenya, 86 rural adolescent Rwandan girls, 20 indigenous girls in Guatemala, 25 Nepalese girls at-risk of repeating cycles of poverty, keep 2,500+ rural Ugandan girls in school, 15 women and their female children in Ivory Coast and keep 2,600 girls and young women in school in Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda. Plus, the Circle of Sisterhood School Build Program will fund the construction of four schools in Malawi and Guatemala that will have a huge impact for generations – all of this in just 2021!
Each year we chip away at these barriers with the help of our generous donors and our dedicated volunteers and staff. As we prepare for our Day of Giving on September 30, we are energized by the work that has been done over the past year, the last decade and we are excited about what we can accomplish in 2021.