To Senegal and Back: Our Founder’s Story
How does one describe a life changing experience? What word is there to use? I cannot find one that does justice to my experience in a small Senegalese village of Ndoffane Boure. I went there with 14 other sorority women to help break ground on the Circle of Sisterhood funded school. I came back forever changed.
I was changed by the gracious and giving community we became part of for five full days and nights; by people who have so little yet gave us so much, welcoming us into their village and homes with open arms. We stood next to these villagers to break ground on their new school – we pickaxed, shoveled dirt, bent rebar, made bricks, and hauled sand and gravel in buckets. There is no machinery, there is no electricity – they are building this school by hand and they will continue to work hard to finish this project now that we have gone.
We met with the Chief, with women’s groups, and with farmers to learn of their culture and customs. And wherever we went, we were surrounded by joyful and inquisitive children who worked as hard as we did on their new school.
The girls and young women of Ndoffane Boure are bright and insightful and so eager to learn. They wish more than anything to be educated so they can better their lives and the lives of their children. They want to be teachers and doctors and even fashion designers. They have so much potential and they now serve as a beacon of what could be if all girls had the opportunity to go to school.
When I think about the work I do every day to spread the news of the Circle of Sisterhood, I will see the faces of Ndoffane Boure. And I am so proud to know that generations of girls in a small village in Senegal will now be able to walk to a classroom in a school building a short distance away from home to learn with their peers because of sorority women across the U.S.
This experience has given me a new perspective on life in so many ways. But most importantly, this experience has solidified my belief that sorority women – as the largest body of college educated women in the world – can be agents of transformational change in removing barriers to education for girls around the world.
We can be the change…
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This blog was written by Ginny Carroll, founder of the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation. In addition to establishing the Foundation, Carroll operates her own consultancy and frequently speaks, coaches and trains on topics surrounding professional skill development, volunteer training, team building and strategic planning. She is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and when not traveling, her home is Indianapolis, Indiana, and she is an Alpha Xi Delta.