By REEP and Hanne Eide Andersen, Kavlifondet
The program component called “School Mothers” has seen a great improvement in 2017 with the women involved becoming increasingly popular for what they do for REEP.
How it started
The School Mothers’ component is an idea which has already been implemented in Sudan with support from the Kavli Trust. The trust also encouraged REEP to implement it as well.
“In 2016 the School Mothers’ component did not get a good start because REEP did not involve the husbands of the women. With the husbands being one of the major stakeholders of the project, the component did not start well,” says Camilla Legendre, daily manager at 100 % for børnene.
“Husbands in northern Ghana are in full control of their wives and as such they were not happy that their wives were attending meetings and activities which they were not aware of. For this, the women were prohibited to attend meetings and activities”, explains Camilla Legendre.
With the effort of the REEP board and management, a stakeholders meeting was organized. With all the husbands and the women attending, along with the management and board of REEP, an agreement was reached.
Progress of the content
The School Mothers has now become one of the most successful projects REEP has carried out for its improvement and impact to the people in the area.
There are two school mothers for each of the five schools in the programme. The ten women have been visible in the communities helping in carrying out advocacy for girls’ education.
“These women have been trained to speak about the importance of girls’ education and also to mitigate between parents and daughters whenever a girl is facing a problem with her parents,” says Camilla Legendre.
She proudly tells that the School Mothers’ advocacy talk show on the radio and their participation in the community forums has made these women and REEP in general very popular in the area.
“Now their husbands feel very proud that through the work of REEP, their wives have become more popular by changing people’s mindset on girls’ education,” she says.
The legitimacy of REEP as an organization has been strengthened and many people are now seeking for the women’s advice as REEP is also more visible.
FACTS ABOUT THE SCHOOL MOTHERS
• The mothers have become proud and influential women in their respective communities, now having a title and a platform to speak from.
• The mothers serve as role modules for the girls in the clubs and the mothers feel excited being around the school girls, having an important role.
• Changing of mindset of the people has taken a different dimension since it is coming from their own circles, as wives and mothers, supplementing REEP and the girls in the work.
• The mothers are now used to mitigate between parents and their daughters in the communities whenever there is a problem.
• The girls express that it is good for them to have a different mother to go to than their own, to discuss delicate matters which can be hard for them to approach their own mothers about.