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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Circle of Women

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development

Mission: We mobilize students to provide access to education for girls without it. We collaborate with communities eager to implement innovative, sustainable, and localized solutions to increase girls’ access to secondary schools. In doing so, we cultivate a new generation of global citizens by providing students at home with hands-on opportunities in organizational leadership, fundraising, and project management. We also raise public awareness about the health, education, and interests, so that our project becomes a global exchange of information and resources.

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.

Programs: Provided funds to barli development institute for rural women, which educates rural, village and tribal women who have not had the opportunity to receive secondary education, to build classroom, computer room and dormitory space for 50 additional students.

provided funds to daraja academy, a free boarding secondary school for girls in east africa, to create additional dormitory housing for 5th year transition students and four secondary classes. Funds also provided for multi-use common room to be used for testing, seminars, study hall and speakers as well as for other social and recreational events.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Circle of Women(CoW) is a brilliant effort to build self-sustainable educational institutions for women in developing nations. I have been thoroughly impressed with the work of CoW. As a student-run organization, CoW has raised funds using unique and creative ideas ranging from poker nights and holiday bazaars to women’s brunches. After working with the organization, I have observed that CoW is extremely efficient and works like a “well oiled machine”. Efforts of these women are laudable and have inspired me to work with them towards an important social cause. Education is synonymous with independence and success. Universal Education is one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Moreover, in developing nations, a large percentage of women do not have access to formal education (85.1% in Afghanistan). By understanding and addressing this need in developing nations, Circle of Women is acting as a social change agent across borders and changing numerous lives in the process. By maintaining low operation costs and successfully raising funds, CoW is solving an important problem at the grassroots level. Watching women, from one of the world’s greatest educational institutions: Harvard University, work towards the goal of providing underprivileged women in remote areas of the world with post-secondary education, is particularly exciting and satisfying. CoW is committed to working for the educational development of women who lack similar opportunities. We sorely need many CoWs to make this world a better place.