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International Women’s Day 2024: Empowering Girls Through Education

By Maham Khuhro


On this International Women's Day, as we reflect on the theme "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress," it is crucial to recognize and celebrate the transformative impact of women-run schools worldwide. These school leaders not only strive to provide quality education but also contribute to exemplifying women’s leadership and empowering girls. And we know empowered women and girls accelerate progress in communities around the globe.

Opportunity EduFinance, through its holistic three-year school development initiative known as the 'EduQuality Program', is actively participating in this mission. EduQuality aims to enhance the quality of education for all children while fostering an enabling environment for inclusive learning in local affordable non-state schools. By providing comprehensive support and resources, EduQuality empowers women educators to create inclusive and innovative learning environments that uplift their communities.

As we commemorate International Women's Day 2024, we shine a spotlight on stories that exemplify the resilience, innovation, and unwavering commitment of educators to shaping the future through inclusive, quality education. These stories highlight the remarkable achievements of women-run schools in empowering girls and driving positive change, underscoring the transformative power of education in building a more equitable and prosperous world for all.

Beginning Steps Nursery and Primary School*, Nigeria 

Gloria Ihuoma's journey as the founder of Beginning Steps Nursery and Primary School* in Lagos, Nigeria, is a testament to perseverance and innovation. Starting with minimal resources in 2014, Ms. Gloria, with the help of a friend, established a school that now employs 10 teachers and serves 90 learners. As an active participant in the EduQuality program, the school has seen significant improvements in child protection, financial planning, and teacher professional development.

Moreover, Beginning Steps Nursery and Primary School is dedicated to promoting girls' education through various initiatives. The school provides scholarships and mentorship programs encouraging girls to pursue their education and aspire to leadership roles. By fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, Ms. Gloria aims to empower girls to reach their full potential and become future leaders in their communities. 

Centro de Educación Continuada para Adolescentes con Discapacidad Auditiva (CECADA), Guatemala 

CECADA, founded in 1994 by a passionate educator, Sandra Salguero, has evolved into a comprehensive educational institution in Guatemala. Dedicated to inclusivity and holistic education, CECADA welcomes both hearing and deaf students, providing sign language training and practical workplace experience. With the help of the EduQuality program, Ms. Sandra has strengthened CECADA’s leadership, enhanced its support systems for students with disabilities, and empowered its teachers to deliver high-quality education.

CECADA actively promotes girls' education through its "Girls Club - Let Me Be a Girl" initiative. This club provides a supportive space for young girls to pursue their dreams and goals while fostering solidarity and empathy within the community. Through mentorship and empowerment programs, Ms. Sandra aims to break down barriers and create opportunities for girls to thrive academically and personally.

Kunduchi Town Day Care*, Tanzania

Jacqueline J. Lema's vision for Kunduchi Town Day Care* in Tanzania has transformed a pre-primary school into a thriving educational hub. With just one teacher and six students in 2013, the school now boasts three branches, nine teachers, and 116 students. Through effective marketing, sound business management, and participation in the EduQuality program, Ms. Jacqueline has created a safe, inclusive, and engaging learning environment.

In addition to its academic initiatives, Kunduchi Town Day Care prioritizes girls' education through various empowerment programs. The school offers leadership training, mentorship opportunities, and career guidance to girls, aiming to inspire them to pursue their aspirations and break gender stereotypes. By investing in girls' education, Ms. Jacqueline seeks to empower the next generation of female leaders and changemakers in Tanzania.

Luz del Porvenir School, Dominican Republic 

Founded by Aleyda Torres in 1995, Luz del Porvenir School in the Dominican Republic has been a beacon of hope for the Villa Hermosa community. From humble beginnings in Ms. Aleyda's living room to a fully-fledged educational institution serving 580 students, Luz del Porvenir's growth is a testament to Ms. Aleyda's determination and vision. The EduQuality program has helped the school implement effective leadership strategies, prioritize a clean and safe learning environment, and enhance teacher professional development.

Moreover, Luz del Porvenir actively promotes girls' education through its entrepreneurship initiatives. The school provides girls with opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge through vocational training, mentorship programs, and networking events. By equipping girls with the necessary tools and resources, Ms. Aleyda aims to empower them to become self-reliant and successful entrepreneurs in their communities.

These impactful stories of women-run schools highlight the profound influence of female educators in shaping the educational landscape and empowering girls through education. From Nigeria to Guatemala, Tanzania to the Dominican Republic, these women have not only transformed their schools but have also empowered their communities by investing in girls' education. Opportunity EduFinance is proud to partner with these exemplary leaders and celebrates their achievements to expand inclusive, quality education on this International Women’s Day.




Read about more exceptional school leaders at affordable non-state schools in our 2023 EduQuality Awards Report here!

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