By: Dawda Baldeh
Shine Light in Girls Education (SLIGE), a non-profitable organization helping girls academically, donated school materials to sixty-seven (67) girls with support from their German partners.
The materials donated include shoes, bags, books, set-boxes, pens, pencils, calculators, and uniforms among other school items. The beneficiaries are 67 girls in the Lower River Region, West Coast Region and Central River Region. The gesture is geared towards empowering girls in education by reducing the burden on their parents.
According to the officials, the organization began by supporting 6 girls in 2020, 44 in 2021, and now 67 in 2022 to empower them in their academic careers.
Ebrima Fadera, the President of the organization, is concerned about the importance of educating a girl child.
“Educating a girl child is like educating the whole nation because they play a crucial role in the development of every sector in our societies. It is not easy because we live in a world where girls are struggling to have their voices heard, and we want to achieve that goal to ensure girls’ voices are heard,” he reiterated.
Mr. Fadera emphasized the need for the importance of girls’ education and the cultural norms and practices that hindered girls from equal opportunities like a boy child to be addressed. This, he added, is silencing girls and limiting their goals.
He noted that Shine Light in Girls’ Education (SLIGE) aimed at creating a conducive environment in which girls can explore their potential ranging from academic and other forms of social, economic, political and decision-making processes.
Njie further called on people to give equal learning opportunities to girls and also allow them to participate in social and political activities.
He recalled that they have been working tirelessly to support parents to ensure their girls go to school and supported them with school materials and cash as well to facilitate their smooth academic performances.
According to him, girls and women are given fewer opportunities in accessing education in many communities as well as participating in decision-making.
Tijan Fadera, the Regional Coordinator, said the concept of not registering girls in schools in many regions has been declining since their intervention over the years.
He added that they have been supporting girls and also monitoring their academic performances to ensure they participate well in school.
Mr. Fadera urged parents to allow their girl child to be educated, noting that the importance is huge. “Girls should not be marginalized, and the narrative needs to change,” he emphasized.
Amie Manga, a beneficiary since the inception of the organization, said the donation will go a long way in helping them.
She expressed her profound gratitude to the organization for the gesture. Described by many as a brilliant girl, Amie confirmed that they have received school materials and cash over the years from the organization, which she attributed to her growing academic excellence over the years.
“These materials will definitely help us, and I am pleased to be part of the beneficiaries again,” Amie said.
According to UNICEF, girls who receive education are less likely to marry young and more likely to lead healthy, productive lives. They earn higher incomes, participate in the decisions that most affect them, and build better futures for themselves and their families. Girls’ education strengthens the economy and reduces inequalities.