Circle Of Women
Rating: 5 stars 18 reviews
Location: P.O Box 381365 Cambridge MA 02238 USA
Results: In 2009, after 18 months of construction and fundraising about $180,000, Circle opened the doors to its first girls school. The two-story building has twelve classrooms that service the community as a gathering place after school hours. Local leaders registered the school with the Afghan Ministry of Education and designed the curriculum after state standards. In 2010, after the major earthquake hit Pakistan and badly damaged the local secondary school for girls, Circle of Women, in partnership with the Nathiagali Residence Committee, embarked on a large-scale re-building of the girls’ school involving the construction and installation of four new bathrooms and a septic tank, a computer lab, two drinking water tanks and a library. Currently, Circle of Women is building a boarding house in Cumbum, India, to increase access to education for girls who would otherwise have to stay at home because of recent increases in reports of sexual assault, and the single-sex (male-only) policy of many local hostels.
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I have been involved with Circle of Women since its inception in 2006 and have seen the organization grow from a handful of students exchanging big ideas in college dorm rooms to a professional, student-run organization with chapters across the country and internationally. My experience with Circle of Women has been invaluable, both personally and professionally. The organization has introduced me to dear friends; it has challenged me to develop strong management and organizational skills; and it has been a launching pad for my career in international development. One Circle's greatest strengths is that it is an organization that thinks before it acts, whether through detailed research on potential projects and partners or careful consideration and reconsideration of its mission and theory of change. The organization's commitment to reflection, self-critique, and impact ensures that it avoids cookie-cutter approaches to women's education in the developing world and instead focuses on what works in what context.
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