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History of the Senegalese Education Fund

The Senegalese Education Fund was started in June of 2000 for the purpose of providing monetary aid for education to young people in Senegal. This fund was started by Judith Kader, a former Peace Corps Volunteer,after her return to the US. While she was living in Senegal Judith lived, worked, and connected with many young people. She realized that one of the most important differences that could be made in her friends' lives was having access to both formal and informaleducation.

Presently, one in 25 boys graduate high school. Only 1in 75 girls ever achieve a high school diploma. Out of these extraordinary young people who have persevered through high school, only a few can afford to goon to higher education. If a family can afford the cost of tuition of a University or Technical School, the cost of housing the student in an urban area is usuallybeyond their means.

Young Senegalese face many obstacles to getting an education, including sexual discrimination, bribery, and family status and situation. Due to the low enrollment of young girls in the formal government education system, Girls Clubs have started as an alternative all over the country. These offer meetings focused on a central theme, including writing, reading, mathematic, money management, and craft making, while utilizing local women as their facilitators and teachers.

The SEF fund was started to offer monetary supplements to both high school graduates to continue theireducation and to Girls Clubs to support the work that they are doing. An average year at university or technical school costs approximately $1000.00 and one year of a Girls Club costs approximately $200.00. This includes all the tuition, book, and living costs of higher education and the travel and materials cost of the Girls Club.