6.17.2011

Women Empowering Nations touch the lives of 37 Gambian Girls at their 3rd Annual Literacy Program


WEN Host a Two-week Literacy Program to 
Empower West African Girls


(Blogger's Note: When I received this in my inbox, I had to share it with you! We should spread great news like this)

(Source: Medley, Inc) From May 11th to May 28th, Women Empowering Nations (WEN) hosted their 3rd annual Girls Literacy and Empowerment Program in The Gambia, West Africa. The purpose of this dynamic, two week program was to enhance education amongst a group of 37 girls by promoting reading skills, public speaking, writing skills and more. Throughout the program, attendees were engaged in empowerment sessions, group competitions and were encouraged to express themselves in an positive, inviting environment.

“Each day the girls would come to class, have a reading, or affirmation of the day and then we would move into the curriculum,” said Carlisha Williams, Founder and Director of WEN. “All of the sessions were taught in an effective manner, but also with fun and innovation.”

This year, WEN instructed and mentored 37 Gambian girls on a vast range of subjects including reading, writing, English language and more. The empowerment sessions focused on life skills, self-esteem building and learning about women in positioning of power from their native country.


“So much of their culture is influenced by that of the American culture,” said Dawn Harrison Director of Development of WEN. “We want to instill a sense of pride and knowledge as it relates to the Gambian culture. The young ladies need to know that women in their own country have made huge strides.”

The women of WEN also thought it was essential for the girls to see more female teachers in the classroom. Williams said that many of the young women they encountered gave her hope because they strive to become the first female doctors and engineers from their country. They grew a better understanding of the value of education, in a short amount of time.

“We make a point to emphasize the importance of education by showing the young women statistics that compare educated vs. non-educated women, as well as doing simple gestures such as providing them with school supplies,” said Williams. “In their country, you get kicked out of class for not having paper. These are things that we often take for granted.”


As the trip came to an end, the women of WEN felt that their goals were accomplished and they observed that they sparked something in the young girls. Their key messages involved spreading the word amongst the women in their family, setting goals and to always aspire to do more. The women of WEN are now focused on continuing to build the relationships both abroad and at home and look forward to next year’s trip, in which they will take a group of American students with them to host their bi-annual joint program.

To learn more about WEN, visit www.WENations.org. To schedule an interview with Carlisha Williams (Tulsa, OK) or Dawn Harrison (Houston, TX) please contact Ashley Small at ashley@medley-inc.com or 281.827.3419. Also visit http://www.medley-inc.com

Great job sisters!