Watch Me Go is a new organization giving girls living in urban slums around the world the opportunity to go to high school. It recently launched the first crowdfunding platform dedicated entirely to girls’ secondary education in developing countries, and is currently raising funds to send 40 girls from one of Africa’s largest slums, Kibera in Kenya, to high school in February. Donors may help a student for as little as $10.
Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty by educating girls.
“Our aim is to combat one of the biggest poverty traps facing the developing world by creating opportunity for adolescent girls on a large scale,” said Katie Wood, founder of Watch Me Go and winner of the first D-Prize Award for social entrepreneurship.
High school isn’t free in many parts of the world, and poor families often focus their limited resources on boys. For every 100 boys enrolled in high school in Sub-Saharan Africa, there are only 63 girls.
Katie witnessed the gravity of the problem during her travels through Africa in 2012. She met many smart and motivated 8th grade girls who were about to be forced out of the education system and constrained to a life of poverty.
“It’s difficult for us to even imagine not being able to go to high school, but barriers to education for girls are perpetuating the cycle of poverty all over the developing world, and we want to change that,” said Katie.
Watch Me Go features handwritten letters from the girls allowing them the opportunity to tell their stories in their own words. “This is the only chance for me to achieve my goals” reads a letter by one hopeful student. “If I get this chance, I will not waste any opportunity to study–I will ensure that I will not let you down. I am a product of my past but not a prisoner of my past.” Donors to the website can also track students’ progress through an online honor-roll program and see updates from the students every trimester.
Watch Me Go partners with local primary schools that educate orphans and vulnerable children in order to identify girls with high academic performance who would otherwise miss out on a chance at high school. The organization provides additional resources for the girls outside the classroom so that every child given a scholarship reaches their maximum potential.
“We are particularly impressed with Watch Me Go’s cost effective operations, forecasted impact, and long-term feasiblity,” said Nicholas Fusso, Program Director at D-Prize.