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“Harambee Award” given to Ivory Coast native who fights poverty with education

7 novembre 2011

November 6, 2011. (Romereports.com) In a country where poverty is simply part of life, and where education isn’t a priority, a non profit group is changing the life of thousands of women and ultimately the future of the Ivory Coast.

Christine Kadjo
President, Education and Development (Ivory Coast)
“With this initiative we want to help these young women. We want to give them training that will help them function in society.”

Christine Kadjo is an economist, who could have gone into the business world. But instead, 20 years ago, she decided to open an organization called “Education and Development” in her home country.

Recently, she was recognized with a Harambee award which is given to humanitarians who make strides in equality and education in Africa. The  annual award, is supported by an African Fund,which was created during the canonization of St. Josemaria Escrivá.

The group has helped thousands of women on all levels. From recent college graduates who can’t find a job, to young girls who don’t know how to read. According to some estimates, roughly 54 percent of young girls are illiterate in the Ivory Coast.

Christine Kadjo
President, Education and Development (Ivory Coast)
“We offer everything from reading courses to business management techniques to give these women the opportunity to support themselves and also support their family.”

With the help of grants and scholarships, around 4,000 female students have received training. Some with higher education, have gone a step further by opening their own business with micro-loans.  She says the training is not just about the individual achievement of students,  but rather about helping entire communities.

Christine Kadjo
President, Education and Development (Ivory Coast)
“African families are quite numerous. So, if we have 200 students for example, or 300 receiving training, the effects can be multiplied by ten or 20.”

When it comes to change, she says she’s convinced, it will ultimately, have to come from within the country itself.

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