Schools Without Borders is an innovative education program that empowers girls in third and fourth grades exposed to trauma in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Grounded in Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development, Schools Without Borders integrates
the left brain (logical) and right brain (emotional), through blending Early Grade Reading (EGR) with Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) to increase overall cognitive development and literacy; and decrease the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).
Sierra Leone remains among the world’s poorest countries, ranking 180th out of 187 countries. The total adult literacy rate is 43.3% and only 52.1% women and girls aged 15 and 24 can read and write; and school participation and attendance decreases for girls in Sierra Leone from 75.6% in primary school to 33.2% in secondary school. (Unicef, 2018).
Girls in Sierra Leone are at risk of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), physical and emotional abuse, access to education, poverty, food insecurity, mental health disorders, natural disasters, and more.
During critical cognitive developmental stages, Schools Without Borders provides new books and to increase early grade reading (EGR) and therapeutic writing and creative arts based workshops in the areas of the five Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) core competencies to educate, equip, and empower girls exposed to direct and/or indirect trauma.
To date 267,589 books have been distributed through the GIRLS! Project. 5314 girls have benefited from our workshops. Participants are inclusive of visually impaired and hearing impaired girls.
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