On January 21st, Gabriela Fuentes ‘16 and Rabeya Jawaid ‘16 talked to the leaders of Educate Girls Globally, Lawrence Chickering and Anjula Tyagi via Google Hangouts. Visit Educate Girls Globally online, here: http://www.educategirls.org/index.html
This organization aims to educate girls all around the world, but as of today has done projects in Rajasthan, India and is expanding to Zambia and other countries in Africa through their partnership with Africare.
This Youtube video highlights the work that Educate Girls Globally does in the area of Rajasthan, India: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIhV7rTyoZM
The conversation started off with introductions of Lawry, the Founder and President of EGG and then Anjula, the Executive Director. Lawry, whose background is in public policy, says, “… [Typically] social entrepreneurship is done in independent schools by people who avoid government programs. We focus our entire program on reforming government schools and partnering with them, which allows us to operate at very large scales at very low cost, which has the prospect of making large change.”
Lawry would like people to view EGG more as an empowerment program that mobilizes communities as a whole and encourages them to embrace girls’ education. He emphasizes the importance of empowerment by making sure that EGG does not funnel money into communities but rather encourages them to maximize their resources. Through these strategies the program remains sustainable and progressive from within.
According to Anjula, “The most important thing for us was to create a sense of ownership within the community so that they start thinking about the school and that in belongs to them…The first question we would ask them would be, who do you think this school belongs to? It took them several minutes before they could think of the answer that we were expecting … The communities would say,This school belongs to the government or this school belongs to certain management, but they would never say this school belongs to us.”
What is EGG up to today? Watch the rest of the Google Hangout session, here:
On January 24th, the day of the second annual Center for Social Entrepreneurship Symposium, Lawry Chickering and Anjula Tyagi joined Middlebury College and several other entrepreneurs in the field of education on a Google Hangout session. In the Google Hangout session that was done on the day of the Symposium, Friday the 24th, Lawry Chickering talked about the importance of working through the government and using the current system to bring about change. He highlighted that Educate Girls Globally uses government funding to bring about change in the community. He also accentuated that the model that Educate Girls Globally uses pleases both the Left and the Right, and his ideology focuses on the idea that change can be brought about by using the resources of those in ruling. The students of the J-term course Social Entrepreneurship in the Liberal Arts recently read the article called Sam Spade at Starbucks in New York Times where David Brooks talks about the importance of using and reviving the political system to enable change. He highlights the same potent dangers of evang the political system that Lawry alluded to.
Both leaders are positive about their vision and are looking for more partnerships with students to work on their initiatives. It was a pleasure to talk to them and hear about their achievements and challenges thus far.
Gaby Fuentes aims to implement the strength of empowerment in her daily practices and in the work she has started in Chicago with young girls in her community. The sustainability of her program, Project BECOMING Pilsen, is her top priority. She looks to the principles of organizations like Educate Girls Globally to expand and sustain PBP which aims to foster self-actualized women.
Rabeya Jawaid has been particularly interested in the education of girls in areas where women have not yet had a chance to go to school. The event of Malala Yousafzai being shot in October 2012 was shocking and inspired Rabeya to look toward working for the education of girls and empowerment of women in Pakistan. Talking to the organization Educate Girls Globally inspired her further to work towards this cause.