Program Spotlight: Girl’s Scholarship Project


In many rural communities throughout Africa, girls must take a back seat to boys when it comes to education.

Due to limited economic resources, families often have to choose which of their children are sent to school and who will stay to help the household. In the vast majority of these cases, boys are selected to attend school while girls end up remaining in the home. Many of these girls are encouraged to marry early and start a family, further decreasing their chances of getting an education.

To address this issue, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) launched our Girl’s Scholarship Project in 1998 to provide girls and young women with the resources they need to attend school. This project is aimed at decreasing the disparity of education levels between males and females in the Kigoma community of western Tanzania.

The girls who receive scholarships from JGI are all part of JGI’s Roots & Shoots program, the Institute’s global youth environmental and humanitarian program. In addition to helping these girls attend school, JGI also trains their families on sustainable farming techniques and what they can do to preserve the forests around them.
This program spotlight was written in honor of United Nation’s World Population Day. Established by the United Nations in 1989, World Population Day is aimed at increasing global awareness about population issues. Issues concerning population are related to a variety of other concerns, including to gender equality, human rights and conservation.

Rapid population growth in Africa is adversely affecting wild chimpanzees and other endangered great apes. As the human population grows, forests are cut down to make room for houses and farms, illegal poaching increases, and incidents of human-chimpanzee conflict rises. For these reasons, and many more, JGI is committed to addressing the issues surrounding population growth in communities located in and around chimpanzee habitat areas. In observance of World Population Day, please take a look the links below and learn how JGI is saving chimpanzees by addressing population growth in Africa.

Read about our Peer to Peer Education Project.
Donate to help JGI fund these and other critical programs.

About Author

Shawn Sweeney is a senior director of community engagement at the Jane Goodall Institute and works to create connections among the organizations staff, constituents, supporters and the wider world. Shawn has been involved with the Jane Goodall Institute since 2004 when as a college student he led a group of fellow students in Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots at the College of Wooster. Shawn has a masters of education in humane education and has been working in service learning and communications with the Jane Goodall Institute since 2007 when he joined the staff.