Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Halima from Senegal - Everyday A Girl #EDAG

By Ndey Yassin, Gambia



This is Halima Jarjue's story for #EverydayAGirl, as shared by Ndey Yassin via UN Volunteers. 

Halima lives with her aunt. She used to live in Cassamance, a town near Senegal, West Africa. She lost both of her parents due to the war that happened in Cassamance. Her dad’s sister took her in and brought her to Gambia to live with her. 

Halima is 23 years old, and very hardworking.

Her aunt is a cleaner in one of the GSM companies in The Gambia. She has three children and they all live together with Halima. She said she enjoys school and wants to be a doctor in the future.

Although she was taken many classes back, she believes she is doing well in school. She doesn’t want to be a maid forever that is why she is going to school. She is exceptionally tired when she goes to school but she said she has no choice, but to try and stay alert and learn.


Halima Sworks as a maid to use her earnings to pay for her school fees.
Every day she wakes up early and goes to work.
She cooks food everyday for her boss.

When she goes home from school, she helps her aunt cook dinner and then she goes to bed, sometimes without eating because of exhaustion. Her grades were very bad at first, because she sometimes doesn’t do her homework because she is very tired and sometimes there is no light at their home and her aunt doesn’t want her lighting candles for she believes it is not safe, she might forget to blow it off and sleep.

Halima takes a quick nap after chores because she has to go for afternoon classes after work.

Her bosses are very nice to her and sometimes pay her more than agreed for when she needs to pay for exam fees or to buy books. She is in junior school, year 9.

Before napping, Halima cleans the dirty pots and washes the clothes.

She makes sure the clothes are very clean.


Once refreshed from her nap, she gets up to check if the clothes have dried.


She gently removes the clothes from the clothing rail.

After doing all her daily household work, Halima rushes to go home. She has to change and go to her evening classes.


Halima wants to be a doctor one day. She is working as a maid to fund her school fees.



The story of Everyday a Girl, tagged #EDAG, is a glance into the lives of ordinary women through a series of poignant photo stories. These series of images will visually express the roles, challenges, activities and duties that females in diverse communities face in their daily lives.

SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd, a volunteer-run NGO registered in Zambia, implemented EDAG in order to place a strong emphasis on positively redefining the role of females in our society. This campaign highlights that gender equality and equity, woman empowerment, and safety for the girls is key to the world’s socio-economic development.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Everyday A Girl #EDAG


By Hadassah Louis



Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a girl in another part of the world? To live like them, eat like them, and put on the cloak of womanhood as dictated by their society.

The story of Everyday a Girl, tagged #EDAG, is a glance into the lives of ordinary women through a series of poignant photo stories. These series of images will visually express the roles, challenges, activities and duties that females in diverse communities face in their daily lives.

SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd, a youth-led NGO registered in Zambia, implemented EDAG in order to place a strong emphasis on positively redefining the role of females in our society. This campaign highlights that gender equality and equity, woman empowerment, and safety for the girls is key to the world’s socio-economic development.

The women in Zambia’s society have their own unique story to tell. During the three years SAFIGI has been active in Zambia, we have encountered stories of girls that reflect a national view of the state of the marginalized girls in the Southern African country. In Zambia, just 35.4% of girls attend secondary school. And in this margin, 54% had reported sexual violence or harassment from a male peer or teacher. [Cornell University.2012]

SAFIGIs Alumni Photographer, Thandiwe Mumba, went on an assignment in Chipata, Zambia.  She asked the rural girls ‘why they are in a rush to get pregnant?’ Their response is that they have nothing better to do, since most of them have dropped out of school due to lack of support. Teenage pregnancy is the leading cause of death for young women aged 15 to 19 years old worldwide. [Daily Mail Zambia. 2015]


Alumni Photographer for SAFIGI talks to young girls about the dangers of early marriage.  Photo Credit: Thandiwe Mumba 

She also met Grace, a 17 year old girl.  Grace is a single mother to a 2 year old girl. She stays with her mother in Chipata. Her father died 4 years ago and so she dropped out of school in 8th grade.

Grace dropped out of school in 8th grade. She now has a 2 year old daughter.     Photo Credit: Thandiwe Mumba


2 in 5 Zambian girls is married by 18 years old. [UNFPA. 2016.] The story of Precious Chanda, 19 years old, got married at the age of 15 in Kapiri, Zambia. She is the only surviving member of her family and thus was forced into an early marriage due to lack of support from her relatives and lack of accommodation. Her intention is to go back to school after dropping out in 11th grade.  The story was contributed by SAFIGIs Activist, Busiku Handema.

Precious got married at 15 to escape economic hardship. She has a son. Photo credit: Busiku Handema.


The problem is more serious for the girls in peri-urban and rural areas. As seen in the picture taken by Alumni SAFIGI Public Relations Manager, Ethel Chabu, young girls return home after fetching water for house consumption. In these areas, a young girl travels long distances in search of clean drinking water; a time that could be used to study.

Access to clean water is limited, so girls travel long distances to fetch water. Photo Credit: Ethel Chabu


From the latter stories, it is evident that a broken family system plagued by poverty, illiteracy, disease and death, is causing social ills to the marginalized girls who have nowhere to go. Though this is not every girl’s life experience in Zambia, as we will see later in the photo series, these stories represent the many marginalized who have the potential to better their lives and contribute to the economy – given equal opportunity and a safe environment to thrive. SAFIGI will advocate their stories, and through our different workshops, provide an opportunity for the girl child to learn more about Safety.


(Face hidden to conceal identity). A girl in Ndola who does not go to school.  Photo Credit: Ethel Chabu


At SAFIGI, Safety is classified into two; internal safety being peace of mind, heart, emotions; external safety being protection of the body, other person, and the environment. We believe Safety Education can lead to self-actualization that contributes to overall development regardless of gender or socio-economic status. You can download the Safety Education Lesson plans here or on our website; www.safetyfirstforgirls.org

The EDAG project will bring together volunteers from across the globe to speak with one voice in support of empowerment of females irrespective of economic, religious, cultural or ethnic background. The UN Online Volunteers platform provided an opportunity for online volunteers worldwide to contribute to this project.

To get involved, contact us and to apply to be an online volunteer click here.