Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Peace Corps Alumni Work to Continue Education in Nigeria

For unclear reasons, there are fundamentalists who appear to thrive on fear and hate--two words that dwell in the underground regions of the soul.  When we read of extreme behavior against humanity, much like the behavior of a few Nigerian fundamentalists taking worldwide headlines, one cannot help but ask why.  

"Fundamentalism is terrifying because it is based purely on emotion, rather than intelligence;  it prevents followers from thinking as individuals and about the good of the world, " says the Dalai Lama.   

We use this quote because it demonstrates the behavior of the fundamentalist terrorists' recent video taking credit for kidnapping hundreds of young female students in the middle of the night. 

Counteracting a drive to remove education from Nigerian girls is a small group of former Peace Corps members called, Peace Corps Nigeria Alumni Foundation.  It works in partnership with the Forum For African Women Educationalists (FAWE).

From FAWE's website:

FAWE is a pan-African Non-Governmental Organisation working in 33 African countries to empower girls and women through gender-responsive education.

We believe that through education of women and girls, livelihoods are improved for entire communities and civic education and liberties are enhanced. Educated girls become educated women who have the knowledge, skills and opportunity to play a role in governance and democratic processes and to influence the direction of their societies.

We work hand-in-hand with communities, schools, civil society, Non-Governmental Organisations and ministries to achieve gender equity and equality in education through targeted programmes.

We encourage our partners to enact policies and provide positive learning environments that treat girls and boys equally.

Our work influences government policy, builds public awareness, demonstrates best educational practice through effective models, and encourages the adoption of these models by governments and institutions of education.

This has led to increased rates of girls’ enrollment, retention and completion of school in countries in which our National Chapters operate.

Through our work, girls and women across sub-Saharan Africa have the chance to attend school and overcome material deprivation and social and political exclusion.

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