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The Girls Club

Meeting Date: November 11, 2001

Topic: Introductory meeting for the new year

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- the Girls Club Director
Astou Sylla

Peace Corps Volunteers Present: Robin Whitaker

Girls in attendance and home village:
Awa Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Ndeye Jie Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Arame Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Ami Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Sokhna Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Amy Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Ansie Gaye Ngayene Momar
Yacine Gaye Ngayene Momar
Ramatoulaye Gaye Ngayene Momar
Fana Gaye Ngayene Momar
Fatim Gaye Ngayene Momar
Awa Bousso Thioguene
Arame Bousso Thioguene
Essei Diallo Thioguene
Mame Drama Bousso Thioguene

A successful beginning! The girls arrived a little later than we had hoped, but once everyone was there things went smoothly. I introduced myself in my broken Wolof and then let Fatou Cisse take it from there. She introduced herself and gave a wonderful description of the purpose of the Club and our goals and objectives. We then played a game where we passed a ball around and learned each other's names- it was fun and a good ice-breaker. We then did a spontaneous role-play that ended up being amusing and helpful. Since the girls had arrived rather late, it was then time for lunch. We wrapped up the meeting after lunch. Overall, the girls seem interested and excited about the Club. We have scheduled the next meeting for December the 9th. Since it will be Ramadan, we will probably do our best just to do something low key (during Ramadan, Muslims do not eat during the day). I was pleased with our first meeting and Fatou's enthusiasm. She seems to be animated and knowledgeable and I have confidence in her ability to make the Girls Club a success!



Meeting Date: December 9, 2001

Topic: Women's Rights

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director
Coumba Deme- A Woman's Rights and Youth Rights Worker

Peace Corps Volunteers Present: Robin Whitaker

Girls in attendance and home village:
Awa Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Ndeye Jie Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Arame Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Ami Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Sokhna Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Amy Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Ansie Gaye Ngayene Momar
Yacine Gaye Ngayene Momar
Ramatoulaye Gaye Ngayene Momar
Fana Gaye Ngayene Momar
Fatim Gaye Ngayene Momar
Awa Bousso Thioguene
Arame Bousso Thioguene
Essei Diallo Thioguene
Mame Drama Bousso Thioguene
Letter from the Peace Corp Volunteer working with SEF
December 9th, 2001

Hi Judy,

You will find the report from the second Girls Club Meeting enclosed. What a GREAT meeting. The girls were attentive and so interested!! Our next meeting is scheduled for January 20th. We are hoping to have a malaria discussion with a hygiene session and anti-bacterial soap making demonstration. I actually did this with another group a few months ago, so I think it should be fun. Fatou is still doing a great job as the director. She's organized and "on top of it." Overall I am so pleased with how this Club is working out!! I'm really enjoying doing the Girls Club and I believe the positive impacts that it's having on the participants is of great value. Thank you all again and I will be in touch.

Take Care,
Robin Whitaker

The meeting went really well. Everyone was present. We started at 10:30am and finished at 1:00pm. We had a short meeting because it's Ramadan. We invited a guest - Coumba Deme, who works with Les Centres d'information Jouridiques (CIJ) and Reseau Africain Pour Le Developpement Intregre (RADI). She spoke about:

1. Marriage - when is too young
2. Violation and why no one talks about it
3. Sexual harassment in the workplace and at home
4. VRAIMENT (REALLY) the rights of women


The girls were VERY interested. They asked a lot of questions and they were very attentive. They took a great interest in Coumba. Coumba Deme said she was available for them to come and talk to her if they needed her help. Fatou thanked Coumba for being there and told the girls to come earlier next time. We are planning on January 20th, 2002 to do a meeting with Astou Sylla on malaria, hygiene, and anti-bacterial soap making.



Meeting Date: January 20, 2002

Topics: Domestic Violence, Malaria/Hygiene/Sanitation and Antibacterial Soap Making

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director
Coumba Deme- A Woman's Rights and Youth Rights Worker
Astou Sylla- Pharmacist at Passy health clinic

Peace Corps Volunteers Present: Robin Whitaker

Girls in attendance and home village:
Awa Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Ndeye Jie Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Arame Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Ami Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Sokhna Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Amy Sylla Thila, Passy Region
Ansie Gaye Ngayene Momar
Yacine Gaye Ngayene Momar
Ramatoulaye Gaye Ngayene Momar
Fana Gaye Ngayene Momar
Fatim Gaye Ngayene Momar
Awa Bousso Thioguene
Arame Bousso Thioguene
Essei Diallo Thioguene
Mame Drama Bousso Thioguene

The meeting went so well - the best so far! Coumba Deme, gave/led a dynamic discussion about violence towards women. Fatou and I were extremely impressed by the participation the girls exhibited. They were hearing and learning things totally new and this made it that much more exciting. We had a great lunch and then in the afternoon Astou Sylla talked about malaria and hygiene. We did a little exercise with toothpaste representing the bacteria and showed how it is necessary to wash your hands before eating. The malaria training was particularly pertinent since we had some unseasonably strong rains which brought many mosquitoes. To tie the two together, we did a soap making activity at the end of the discussion and each village took home a block that they had made. Very fun! They seemed to enjoy it. Overall, the day was packed with information which was well received by the girls. They arrived early this time - great improvement from last time-and their attention spans were remarkable.



Meeting Date: February 10, 2002

Topics: Syrup and Juice Making and Personal Identification

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director
Coumba Deme- A Woman's Rights and Youth Rights Worker (RADI/CIJ)
Astou Sylla- Pharmacist at Passy health clinic

Peace Corps Volunteers Present: Robin Whitaker

Girls in attendance and region:
Absent: Ainsi Gaye Gayene Momar
Awa Sylla Thila, Passy Region

Another great meeting. We started with Coumba Demb - she gave an excellent talk on the importance of identification - i.e. personal identification cards, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. Also, where to go, what to ask, and how to go about getting these papers. None of the girls had these, so it was very good for them to learn. In the afternoon, we did syrup and juice making with Hibiscus flowers. Fatou led this and the girls participated. Overall a fun meeting!



Meeting Date: March 10, 2002

Topics: Family Planning and AIDS/STDs

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director
Astou Sylla- Pharmacist at Passy health clinic
Anna Ndong- RADI Relais

Peace Corps Volunteers Present: Robin Whitaker

Girls in attendance:
All in Attendance

An interesting meeting. Basically, these taboo subjects were approached very well by Astou Sylla (who gave the AIDS presentation) and Anna Ndong (who gave the family planning presentation). Each woman brought a flip chart guide as well as concrete examples of condoms, birth control pills, etc. and gave/led a discussion on AIDS and family planning. I think this was the first time many of the girls had actually discussed these topics and most of them were very shy about it. However, Astou and Anna were very dynamic and got the girls to participate and ask questions. The overall reaction of the girls was good; however, there were a few who expressed their dislike for such methods of family planning saying that it was Allah who decides how many kids they have. Fatou gave a great wrap up at the end expressing that knowledge/knowing that these methods exist and what they can do to help is the key.



Summer and Fall 2002 Report

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director
Peace Corps Volunteers: Robin Whitaker

Robin is now gone but there is a newly installed volunteer in Passy that could assist me with the new young girls chosen in Passy, Santhi, Keur Layine and Dialaba II. Before leaving, Robin assisted with November 27th meeting in Passy. It was her last time with us and the first time for the new volunteer. The new girls are 15 years old. Our last meeting had the theme of closure and evaluation with the old and new girls. There were others invited, such as trainers. This was done to further relations between us. The next meeting will be Jan. 5th at Passy.



Meeting Date: January 5th, 2003

Topics: Transformation of Fruits

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director
Peace Corps Volunteers Present: Kendra Hanson

Girls in attendance and home village:
NAME VILLAGE TRANSPORT COST
Fatou Gaye Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Gaye Dialaba 500 cfa
Elima Sall Dialaba 500 cfa
Elima Diop Dialaba 500 cfa
*Amy Cisse Dialaba
Amy Diba Passy Santi 500 cfa
Amie Toure Passy Santi 500 cfa
Yacine Drame Passy Santi 500 cfa
Mame Diarra Tare Passy Santi 500 cfa
Rokily Toure Passy Santi 500 cfa
Mame Diarra Drame Keur Layine 500 cfa
Fatou Diouf Keur Layine 500 cfa
Awa Fall Keur Layine 500 cfa
Mbene Ndour Keur Layine 500 cfa
Ndeye Diop Keur Layine 500 cfa
14 TOTAL 7000 cfa
Expenses (Transport, Lunch, Teaching Fees, Supplies, Etc.):
DESCRIPTION COST
Fatou Transport to Villages 2000 cfa
Girl's Transport (14 girls, 500 cfa/each) 7000 cfa
Lunch 10000 cfa
Supplies (bissap, sugar, etc.) 10000cfa
Salary for Fatou (January) 30000 cfa
Total for Meeting #1 59000 cfa

Evaluation: This was the first meeting for the girls and me. The girls all showed up well dressed and prepared to begin this exciting and new year. Fatou prepared for the meeting by getting the necessary materials for making bissap and preparing the lesson for the meeting. The beginning of the meeting began with an introduction of all the girls and their respective villages. Fatou then went on to explain the Girl's Club and its purpose for these girls. She discussed the formation with past volunteers and supporters in the US and its overall mission - to inspire the girls and inform them of all kinds of different topics and ideas to get them thinking.

After the introductions, we got right into learning how to make bissap. Fatou gave a demonstration and included all the girls to help assist or watch up-close the process. She also discussed with the girls how they can replicate this into their life and possibly use as an income-generating project. She gave the girls lots of encouragement and confidence to replicate the project. I could see many girls thinking about possible ideas, and recently, have heard some girls have made bissap!

Overall, the first meeting was a successful introduction to the Girl's Club and its overall mission of educating and encouraging. The girls got to know everyone and began the process to continue the next meeting with getting to know one another further. Fatou and I discussed the meeting and we both think there might have been too much downtime. We could have planned another topic for the meeting since bissap takes an hour or two to sit before it can be heated into the syrup so the girls had to wait for this process and they talked for a little while together, but they were still a little shy and quiet. Fatou and I have looked at the next meeting and planned to ensure there are activities for the girls if there is downtime.



Meeting Date: February 2, 2003

Topics: Gestion & Soap Extension

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director
Peace Corps Volunteers Present: Kendra Hanson

Girls in attendance and home village:
NAME VILLAGE TRANSPORT COST
Fatou Gaye Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Gaye Dialaba 500 cfa
Elima Sall Dialaba 500 cfa
Elima Diop Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Cisse Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Diba Passy Santi 500 cfa
Amie Toure Passy Santi 500 cfa
*Yacine Drame Passy Santi
Mame Diarra Tare Passy Santi 500 cfa
*Rokily Toure Passy Santi
Mame Diarra Drame Keur Layine 500 cfa
Fatou Diouf Keur Layine 500 cfa
Awa Fall Keur Layine 500 cfa
Mbene Ndour Keur Layine 500 cfa
Ndeye Diop Keur Layine 500 cfa
13 TOTAL 6500 cfa
* not present
Expenses (Transport, Lunch, Teaching Fees, Supplies, Etc.):
DESCRIPTION COST
Fatou Transport to Villages 2000 cfa
Girl's Transport (girls, 500 cfa/each) 6500 cfa
Lunch 10000 cfa
Supplies (soap, cahiers, bics.) 1400 cfa
Salary for Fatou (January) 30000 cfa
Total for Meeting #2 49900 cfa

Evaluation: The meeting began a little late and we were short of two girls. Tabaski is coming soon so many people are away already visiting family. We began with an introduction on the day's topics - management/bookkeeping and soap extension. Some girls had brought their notebooks and pens, but others forgot. We stopped the meeting and bought some for those who forgot so everyone was prepared to participate fully and record the lesson.

Fatou began with explaining the importance and numerous possibilities with organizing. She explained the concept of groupements and how a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, etc. all operate in such groups. She explained the importance of saving money in a caisse for potential income-generation (i.e.: savings clubs). It seemed new to the girls and they were very interested. We proceeded onto a lesson on gestion and some basic business skills and bookkeeping. Fatu expressed the importance in documenting expenses and the concept of receipts for following expenses. The lesson took slightly longer than we anticipated because Fatu carried it out in both French, Wolof and Arabic since not all girls can write French or Wolof. Thankfully she knows all the languages! All the girls got it and wrote down everything to have for their future information. We then broke for lunch and then finished with the soap extension demonstration. We had some girls help out with the process. All the girls were excited to learn the process and take home some samples of soap.

Overall the meeting was very full and comprehensive. We hope to get them there a little earlier next time since the weather is getting warmer and the girls get tired quicker.

Meeting Date: March 2, 2003

Topics: Women's Rights

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director
Kumba Demb, Guest Speaker
Peace Corps Volunteers Present: Kendra Hanson

Girls in attendance and home village:
NAME VILLAGE TRANSPORT COST
Fatou Gaye Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Gaye Dialaba 500 cfa
Elima Sall Dialaba 500 cfa
Elima Diop Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Cisse Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Diba Passy Santi 500 cfa
*Amie Toure Passy Santi
*Yacine Drame Passy Santi
Mame Diarra Tare Passy Santi 500 cfa
Rokily Toure Passy Santi 500 cfa
*Mame Diarra Drame Keur Layine
Fatou Diouf Keur Layine 500 cfa
Awa Fall Keur Layine 500 cfa
Mbene Ndour Keur Layine 500 cfa
Ndeye Diop Keur Layine 500 cfa
12 TOTAL 6000cfa
* not present
Expenses (Transport, Lunch, Teaching Fees, Supplies, Etc.):
DESCRIPTION COST
Fatou Transport to Villages 2000 cfa
Girl's Transport ( girls, 500 cfa/each) 6000 cfa
Lunch 7000 cfa
Guest Speaker Fee 2000 cfa
Salary for Fatou (January) 30000 cfa
Total for Meeting # 47000 cfa

Evaluation: This month's meeting focused on the introduction to Women's Rights under a Senegalese context. Kumba (the speaker used last time) came well-prepared and discussed many topics concerning education, legal rights, and marriage. The girls were very attentive because Kumba is a very powerful woman and has a strong presence. Many actually seemed scared or frightened. The topics made many of them shy and uncomfortable since women's rights is not really discussed much. Kumba and Fatou tried to help get the girls talking by posing questions or presenting some scenarios, yet only a couple girls spoke out or responded. We did not want to push it too far so we called it a meeting.

Overall the meeting went okay. I wish there had been more discussion between the girls over the different issues and case studies. Maybe we should think next time of different ways of approaching this topic so the girls are more comfortable in speaking out. Maybe group work with the girls talking between themselves would work better and then reporting back with a spokesperson to the whole group. I really did not get a sense what the girls thought on these issues of women's rights that we discussed. Hopefully next time we will. Maybe the girls will talk about these issues back in their villages.




Meeting Date: April 4, 2003

Topics: Foyer Ameliorer

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director
Peace Corps Volunteers Present:

Girls in attendance and home village:
NAME VILLAGE TRANSPORT COST
*Fatou Gaye Dialaba
*Amy Gaye Dialaba
*Elima Sall Dialaba
*Elima Diop Dialaba
*Amy Cisse Dialaba
Amy Diba Passy Santi 500 cfa
Amie Toure Passy Santi 500 cfa
Yacine Drame Passy Santi 500 cfa
Mame Diarra Tare Passy Santi 500 cfa
Rokily Toure Passy Santi 500 cfa
Mame Diarra Drame Keur Layine 500 cfa
Fatou Diouf Keur Layine 500 cfa
Awa Fall Keur Layine 500 cfa
Mbene Ndour Keur Layine 500 cfa
Ndeye Diop Keur Layine 500 cfa
TOTAL 5000 cfa
* not present
Expenses (Transport, Lunch, Teaching Fees, Supplies, Etc.):
DESCRIPTION COST
Fatou Transport to Villages 2000 cfa
Girl's Transport ( girls, 500 cfa/each) 5000 cfa
Lunch 5250 cfa
Supplies (cement, etc) 10000 cfa
Trainer for stove-making 2000 cfa
Transport of stove to Passy Santi 2000 cfa
Salary for Fatou (January) 30000 cfa
Total for Meeting # 4 56250 cfa

Evaluation: This meeting focused on the technical skill of making a mud stove. Because of some confusion on dates and previous plans I was unable to attend this meeting. However, Fatou discussed with me the success of the meeting and the mud stoves among the girls and in the village. The village of Diallaba had an event this day, and thus, no attendees to this meeting. She said many young girls in the group helped out with the making of the mud stove by helping to prepare the materials and assisting in forming the actual stove out of clay and cement. This mud stove was then put on a charet and sent to the village of Passy Santi where it was placed in the home of one of our Girls Club members, Amy Diba. Fatou said it was quite an event in the village and many visitors came to Amy's house to see for themselves this new stove and to hear about its benefits. Many people have expressed interest in possibly constructing one in their compound, too.

I recently had the opportunity to take a walk with Fatou out to Passy Santi to see this stove and how it works for the family. We talked about how they use it and it burns less wood. However, it was placed inside a room and this may alter its effectiveness since the family has said they have encountered some problems keeping the fire going. So we are thinking placing it outdoors is better (Fatou has one outside at her house and has not had any problems.) We took some photos of the girls from Passy Santi around the stove. It was exciting to see the result of a lesson like we had at work and in place afterwards!!




Meeting Date: June, 2003

Topics: Malaria

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director; Mme Faye, Radi; Astou Gaye, Poste de Sante
Peace Corps Volunteers Present:

Girls in attendance and home village:
NAME VILLAGE TRANSPORT COST
Fatou Gaye Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Gaye Dialaba 500 cfa
Elima Sall Dialaba 500 cfa
Elima Diop Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Cisse Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Diba Passy Santi 500 cfa
Amie Toure Passy Santi 500 cfa
Yacine Drame Passy Santi 500 cfa
Mame Diarra Tare Passy Santi 500 cfa
Rokily Toure Passy Santi 500 cfa
Mame Diarra Drame Keur Layine 500 cfa
Fatou Diouf Keur Layine 500 cfa
Awa Fall Keur Layine 500 cfa
Mbene Ndour Keur Layine 500 cfa
Ndeye Diop Keur Layine 500 cfa
TOTAL 7500 cfa
Expenses (Transport, Lunch, Teaching Fees, Supplies, Etc.):
DESCRIPTION COST
Fatou Transport to Villages 2000 cfa
Girl's Transport (15 girls, 500 cfa/each) 7500 cfa
Lunch 7000 cfa
Salaries, Trainers 4000 cfa
Salary for Fatou 30000 cfa
Total for Meeting # 50500 cfa

Evaluation: I was unable to attend this meeting. I spoke with Astou and Fatou regarding the meeting and they said it was very successful and informative. All the girls learned about the problem of malaria, its transmission and how to prevent the affects of such malady. The health talk was carried out with visual charts and discussion between the trainers and the girls. Many girls helped to participate in the discussion by answering questions and asking their own questions. The timing of this session was great with the rainy season beginning in July, a prevalent time for malaria all over Senegal. Hopefully the girls will take the information back to their villages and spread some information about prevention.




Meeting Date: July, 2003

Topics: Kaolack Trip

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director
Peace Corps Volunteers Present: Kendra Hanson

Girls in attendance and home village:
NAME VILLAGE TRANSPORT COST
Fatou Gaye Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Gaye Dialaba 500 cfa
Elima Sall Dialaba 500 cfa
Elima Diop Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Cisse Dialaba 500 cfa
Amy Diba Passy Santi 500 cfa
*Amie Toure Passy Santi
Yacine Drame Passy Santi 500 cfa
Mame Diarra Tare Passy Santi 500 cfa
Rokily Toure Passy Santi 500 cfa
Mame Diarra Drame Keur Layine 500 cfa
*Fatou Diouf Keur Layine
*Awa Fall Keur Layine
Mbene Ndour Keur Layine 500 cfa
Ndeye Diop Keur Layine 500 cfa
TOTAL 6000 cfa
Expenses (Transport, Lunch, Teaching Fees, Supplies, Etc.):
DESCRIPTION COST
Fatou Transport to Villages 2000 cfa
Girl's Transport (12 girls, 500 cfa/each) 6000 cfa
Lunch 11000 cfa
Transport Vehicle To/From Kaolack 20000 cfa
Salary for Fatou 30000 cfa
Total for Meeting # 69000 cfa

Evaluation: This meeting was a trip to Kaolack for the day. Many of these girls have never left Passy, let alone traveled to Kaolack. We began the day with a visit to the Post Office. A worker gave us a tour of the Post Office and showed us all around and discussed with the girls all the different services available at the Post Office. Next, we went to the Radio station in Kaolack. This was very exciting for the girls to see where the radio voices they hear all the time come from. We got to see two studios and talk with some of the workers. Our group was featured on the radio and Fatou Cisse explained about the Girls club. One girl got onto the radio and responded to some questions, though she was a little shy. The final meeting was at the police station. The commissioner gave us a tour and talked to the girls a little about the services the police can provide - even in their villages if there ever was a problem. We went to lunch at a local restaurant in Kaolack down the road. We had the plate du jour for the day, rice and meat. The girls were very quiet since many had never eaten in a restaurant before in their life. We had a nice meal and all the plates were empty when we left! Our final stop was at the cyber cafe. Fatou explained to them the Internet and the concept of email. We showed them the different information available on the Internet like news. Also, we pulled up the website for the Senegalese Education Fund and everyone got to see the Girls club program on the Internet. They all really liked that. Overall this day was a very informative day for the girls. They really enjoyed the different places we got to see for the day. I think it really opened their eyes as to what is out there beyond their village and Passy.

Meeting Date: Fall 2003

Topics: Reforestation

Teacher's name: Fatou Cisse- Girls Club Director; Waly Ndiaye
Peace Corps Volunteers Present:

Girls in attendance and home village:
NAME VILLAGE TRANSPORT COST
All Girls Present
TOTAL 500x15=7500 cfa
Expenses (Transport, Lunch, Teaching Fees, Supplies, Etc.):
DESCRIPTION COST
Fatou Transport to Villages 2000 cfa
Girl's Transport (15 girls, 500 cfa/each) 7500 cfa
Lunch 7500 cfa
Salaries, Trainers 2000 cfa
Salary for Fatou 30000 cfa
Materials (50 sacs, 20 guaves, 10 mangoes, 10 lemon, 10 papaya and 10 orange) -- 50x250 12,500 cfa
Plant transportation 2500 cfa
Total for Meeting 64000 cfa

Evaluation: For this we had our experience in Passy and afterwards everyone took a tree home with them. 10 plants were planted in Passy and 40 in the 3 target villages with the trainer. Currently there is no more money for the program. The next meeting is to be on tye-dyeing.