Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Support for the Maronka Girls

Our Maronka girls are thriving and we have been looking back at where we were a year ago and how each girl has developed, the results have been very positive. There have been no surprises to me as all of the girls have shown such promise from day one and they are so eager to learn and improve their lives, they were bound to succeed, the effort is all theirs and I feel so very proud, as I know Isata and Miriam and all our other colleagues in Maronka do.

The purpose of the Girls Safe House in Maronka is to provide a home in which girls, who would otherwise be vulnerable to a wide variety of emotional, mental and physical threats, can grow up strong in spirit, mind and body so they can live their lives to the full and contribute fully to society. 

The house is a happy place that the girls enjoy being part of.  The girls are organised into small groups with the older girls acting as group leaders.  There have been norms and routines established that provides a structure for the girls’ days.  Many of them came from very chaotic lives so order is a very important aspect of their education.

The girls take part in a rota to arrange the cleaning of the house and washing of clothes and looking after the smaller girls. Although the cooking is provided communally in the village, the girls enjoy cooking at the weekend. The girls also participate fully in all of the extra-curricular activities provided by the school and in all aspects of village life.

The attendance at school has increased due to a programme of health care for the girls. When the girls’ house first opened last October there were approximately 10 cases of malaria each week and now with proper preventative measures and treatment this has reduced to 1 or 2 cases per month.

Levels of reading, writing and speaking English have improved, all of the girls are studying hard and have gone up to the next level.

Isata has been able to start talking, already, to many of the older girls about the dangers of female circumcision so they can partake in informed decisions and resist when their families try and confuse them with the promise of gifts and so on so that they will agree to the procedure.

We have weekly house meetings to discuss things that are going well and things that are not going so well. We actively encourage reconciliation and we highlight and reward positive behaviour such as kindness and friendship. 

The girls play an active role in deciding which activities they wish to have in the house and in addition to normal play for the girls such as balance ball, painting and sports they also enjoy drama and have put on several plays for the school, the village and the local secondary school. They also took part in a local drama competition where they won most of the prizes.

The girls took part in a photography project this summer and a bicycle project where they learned how to ride a bike and some simple maintenance. We encourage the girls to maintain and have an understanding of their cultural customs through the use of storytelling and dance alongside learning more about the choices that could be available to them through education.

We ran a 6 week project with 8 of the older girls, identifying their strengths and allowing them to think about what they could achieve in the future. They all played a very active part in the course and all were awarded certificates of achievement.

The girls have, for the first time in their lives, their own places to keep their property and in many cases, for the first time, some pretty, nice things to call their own and are part of a family.

Miriam has arrived in the UK to start her month of fundraising for EducAid and she attended 4 church services this weekend.

There is still much work to be done but not everyone can afford to make the regular contribution of £15 per month to educate and feed a girl but there are other ways you can support us such as;

Asking the organisations that you are in involved with or in contact with to support us and invite Miriam or myself to come and talk to them about the work we are doing such as; Schools, colleges, churches, companies, anyone you think might be interested.

Some of the support so far

A friend

invited Miriam to talk at her daughters school and that resulted in a fundraising obstacle course which raised £500 for EducAid.

persuaded her airline colleagues to fund-raise and they donated over £600

donates jewellery and craft making kits and her skills

made 50 pillow case dresses for our girls

bought an item or two from the Amazon wish list (recently updated)

donated items of clothing and  equipment

Do we have any friends out there who can support us with sponsorship, skills sharing, free printing, donations of clothes and materials, sewing materials, bicycles and parts, mobile phones, mp4 players and cameras.

Each small thing makes a big difference!! 

Its time for change worldwide and small small steps make big big change........keep supporting our girls and girls worldwide.

Thank you for your support so far

Love Ann 

If you haven't sponsored us already, its not too late you can  sponsor the EducAid bike ride by clicking on this link

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young people, please go to 

You can keep up with the currrent news and activities at the EducAid Face Book website:

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