My travelling companion Chris and I are now comfortably settling into our room and local community, in a small town near the girls school and hostel. Its very hot here, an unrelenting 40+degrees.
Yesterday we had an all day meeting with directors of ODAM learning about recent developments, changes in government policies and regulations, and new developments occurring in this region impacting on rural women and girls poverty and empowerment. It's xciting to see that over the past 11 years of our visiting, many things have come along way forward, still many things appear the same.
It appears that the government is now taking more responsibility for ensuring girls get a complete education through to year 12, and we are hearing about a transition period where NGO's are no longer needing to provide the education support for these girls. ODAM remains very passionate about ensuring safe and appropriate hostel care for girls, and continue to manage their hostel for both high school and tertiary students for now.
Chris at the girls hostel in 2013
We have been delighted to hear that some of 'our girls' have completed science, art and engineering degrees, and some are near completion of their nursing degrees. We have more questions to ask about their transition into meaningful employment as it seems some are not working in their fields yet (not unlike our Australian graduates experiences).
We had very productive talks yesterday about the fair trade business idea, and we feel we have alot of work to do while we're here to support ODAM to develop the proposal further. I'll write more about that soon.
Thanks for all your support over the years, its just delightful to seem what our investments have achieved here.