Women in Senegal succeed thru Proctor & Gamble – ‘Rewrite the Future”


Senegalese women rewrite their future thanks to UNESCO and Procter & Gamble literacy partnership.

The Sowame village of about 500 inhabitants is one of the first villages in Senegal to benefit from a new literacy project launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the multinational firm Procter & Gamble.

Under the slogan “Rewrite the future”, the two year project aims to educate about 10,000 girls and women from 15 to 55 in seven different regions of Senegal.

The first phase

The literacy class in Sowame is among the first 100 classes launched in May 2012 as part of the project. This is the first phase.

The major part of the project is to reach out to girls and women through mobile phones and internet, an innovative form of learning undertaken in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education in Senegal and non-governmental organizations.

“Literacy for young girls and women through information and communication technologies (ICT),” a project initiated by the Government of Senegal in partnership with UNESCO and Procter & Gamble, was officially launched in Dakar on 30 January.

This project, under the slogan “Help my hand write my future,” aims at training 40,000 young girls and women in seven regions of the country, with emphasis on the use of ICTs to acquire skills in national languages.

“More than an act of positive discrimination for women and girls whom as we know, are the first victims of the scourge of illiteracy, this project is an innovative approach that consists of integrating information and communication technologies in the learning process,” said the Minister for Preschool, Primary and Lower Secondary Education and National Languages, M. Kalidou Diallo. “We hope that this project will have a genuinely positive impact on reducing poverty and empowering women in the regions concerned.”

Commending Senegal’s commitment to education, the Director of the Regional Bureau for Education in Africa (BREDA), Mrs. Ann Therese Ndong Jatta, said that the project is an example of “strong partnership” between government, civil society and the private sector. It is also a “good development lesson” by combining traditional literacy methods with programmes based on ICTs. “Literacy today includes the ability to master and use computer tools, ICTs and problem-solving skills to their full extent.”

This project is linked to the achievement of the 4th Education for All goal to increase adult literacy levels by 50% by 2015, especially for women. The illiteracy rate in Senegal is above 40%.

The agreement signed with Proctor & Gamble in April 2011, amounting to $750,000 over a period of two years, foresees the training of literacy teachers; face-to-face courses, virtual classrooms, the acquisition of income generating skills and the development of teaching tools and educational programmes for radio and television.


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