Providing education opportunities to girls in the most distressed communities in the world takes them only part of the way to opening up opportunities. For a full impact, steps must be taken to improve their environment outside of the classroom as well. Which is why Educate Girls Globally, a non-profit which promotes female education and embraces education reform has formed a partnership with Africare, a group dedicated to improving the life of struggling communities in Africa via water, sanitation, promotion of good hygiene practices and embracing solutions that require the involvement of the entire community.
EGG in particular works to encourage local communities to get more involved in both the process of education and in the day-to-day operation of their government schools. EGG calls the approach "taking informal ownership" in order to promote reform with within. The ethos of the group is that the changes brought about with the help and involvement of residents produce longer-lasting and more sustainable impact on the people in the community. The group also serves as a bridge between the government ministries of education and the families these schools are designed to serve.
"Educate Girls Globally and Africare share a common commitment to empower communities for community-based development," said A. Lawrence Chickering, Founder and President of EGG. "Having developed our model in two states of India, we have been looking for a partner to expand to Africa; and Africare, which shares our development vision and works in more than twenty-five African countries, is an obvious partner."
Together the two groups hope to play on each other's strengths to raise both awareness and funding as well as work to get Africa's communities involved in the development of broad reform projects.
To make all this possible, EGG will continue its efforts to create easily deployable large-scale programs that provide education opportunities for girls residing in some of the poorer and least developed parts of Africa. Long considered the agents of social change, educated women bring social and economic value and add strength to their communities — qualities that drive long-term, comprehensive social change.
"Our partnership will create a powerful new approach to meet the two great challenges to scaling social reform initiatives," Chickering said. "First is to focus on partnering with governments, strengthening governmental programs—in our case, education; and second is to empower the poor themselves as major players in promoting change. These are the two great elements in the EGG model, which we are pleased now to introduce into Africare's projects—potentially, in many countries."