Cablegate: Final Report: Democracy Small Grant for Al-

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A) STATE 187026 B) SANAA 5295

1. Al-Mara'wa Social and Health Association has
concluded its project titled "Girls' Education: Awareness
and Advocacy Program". The Association conducted two
workshops in ten selected rural areas with dense
population in Al-Marawa district in accordance with the
terms of their Democracy Small Grant.

2. PAO and PAS attended the opening ceremony of the
first workshop conducted on August 13, 03.
Representatives from the Ministry of Education, local
council, district mangers, social figures and parents
attended the opening session.

3. PAS made a monitoring visit and met with the NGO's
head in Hodida Governorate who explained the project's
progress in the selected villages. The mobile awareness
workshops were moving from one village to another to talk
to parents, and social leaders encouraging girl's
education and discussing existing obstacles in the rural

4. PAS traveled with the NGO's head to Al-Ashaarya
village to attend an awareness session. Two of the
speakers at the session were a member of the local
council in the district and the General Manager of the
Education Office. The Education General Manager talked
about the importance of girl's education and the efforts
of the Education Office in the area to provide female
teachers and locate girl schools in the district. The
audiences were parents and leaders in the community who
discussed obstacles to girls' education in the district
and ways to move forward.

5. PAS observation on the awareness session is that it
was very necessary but it has little effect on the
current reality. From the debates in the session, PAS
sensed that these communities feel so isolated and
abandoned and their motivation and enthusiasm is at a low
level. So even though the awareness session was a good
opportunity to engage parents in a healthy debate and
help them realize the importance of girls education, more
collective efforts need to be made in terms of building
girls schools and providing female teachers in order to
increase girls enrollment in schools.

6. Outcome: Strengths

Workshops reached the selected villages and received
a positive welcome from the community.

Parents expressed their enthusiasm about
participating in awareness programs in rural areas where
it is much needed.

Participants acknowledged their dire need for more
workshops at the governorate levels as they gain
knowledge and touch upon very important and current
issues facing women.

7. Weaknesses:

The awareness program was much needed in the rural
areas where little efforts are made to increase girls'
enrollment in schools; however, the program has little
impact for the long term. The NGO's effort to tackle the
issue alone shows a good commitment, yet the magnitude of
the problem needs serious collective efforts from
government, community and the civil society.

Some of the selected speakers were adequate but not
engaging; therefore some sessions were not as well
attended as others.

In some of the visited districts, there seemed to be
a feeling of helplessness and passiveness among the
community, so even though they attended the awareness
session, they were skeptical of any changes happening in
their community.

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