Girls' Scholarship Project
The Girls’ Scholarship project helps to decrease the gap between the levels of education achieved by men and women in the Kigoma community of western Tanzania. Thus far, the program has sponsored 249 girls to attend elementary school, high school and university.
JGI launched the Girls' Scholarship project in 1998. The sponsored girls are members of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program, JGI’s environmental and humanitarian program for youth, within their schools. As a result of the girls’ scholarship project, the girls’ parents and guardians actively participate in JGI’s conservation and development programs. In addition to increasing women’s education levels, the scholarship program trains recipients’ families in sustainable farming techniques, as well as forest regeneration and preservation.
In many African communities, families are much more likely to spend the resources to send boys and men, rather than girls and women to school. In large part, women in rural Tanzania are expected to marry and start families when they come of age. For a family struggling to make ends meet, spending money on their daughters’ school uniforms and supplies may not be a top priority. As a result, women’s literacy rates are significantly lower than that of men’s.
Not only does a higher level of education increase earning potential, but it often increases a woman’s likelihood of spacing her births, which means women are better able to provide for their families with health care, education and other basics. In addition, families who are able to meet basic needs are also in a better position to care for the environment.
Supporters of this project include Wanda Bobowski and other major donors of the Jane Goodall Institute.