the incredible work of action aid

We are proud here at Iris Dares HQ to sponsor ActionAid’s Niamina West Project in The Gambia. The people there are very poor, but very eager to work to tackle their issues. They are working together with ActionAid to improve food production, increase the quality of life, education and importantly raise the status of women in their area. Women’s issues are of particular and great important in this area where women are not as highly thought of, their education often being dismissed and the threat of violence is constant.  

overburdened...

Aja Yama Njie lives with her husband and children in Niamama West. She explains: 

“As a woman, life is even more difficult for me because I have to work in the rice field and also do domestic chores at home…most women and girls are overburdened with work at home and in the fields. I rely on my daughters to help me at home with some domestic chores…This is their role. But I also hope for them to have an education and different future.”

Around the world, women and children are affected the most by poverty. From the moment they are born, girls especially face inequalities and injustice in almost every aspect of their lives. This terrifies me to think of how I would feel if this was my children in this position. They are lucky enough to get free education, they don’t have to worry about gender-based violence as they walk to work, they are not expected to do physical work alongside their primary education. They don’t have to be prepared for natural disasters and sleep in warm, cosy beds free from worry. 

It is crazy to even imagine being in that position! I’m passionate in empowering my girls to be strong and independent but most importantly I tell them constantly about feminism and equality with men. This is not even a possibility in many countries that do not respect women’s rights, all domestic chores naturally and culturally fall on their shoulders. Caring for younger children comes above their own education and this is then passed onto the next generation. Girls leave school earlier, get married younger and have children quickly, often being a mother as well as a child themselves– and so the cycle continues. 

take action

We must not ignore these issues, just because it’s not under our noses doesn’t mean we can’t do something. Talk to your kids about it, do some fund raising – or even sponsor a child yourself! Let’s support girls who need it.   

Please check out ActionAid and Young Lives Matter for more information