The Ambassador's Girls Scholarship Program is part of the five-year Africa Education Initiative announced by the President of the United States. Over 250,000 girls in 45 African countries will receive free primary-level education and accompanying benefits such as uniforms, school supplies and supplemental foods. In addition mentors have been designated to help the girls complete their homework and learn about topics such as personal health and hygiene, study tips, and HIV/AIDS.
The United States Government has awarded these scholarships in collaboration with USAID's program for orphans and vulnerable children under the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief ("Emergency Plan"). In Mozambique, orphans and vulnerable children are less likely to attend school than children with two parents, so this program provides an opportunity to 6,000 disadvantaged girls to complete their primary education. Past experience shows that girls with at least a primary-level education are better nourished, delay the birth of their first child and have fewer children, have higher incomes, and contribute more to the economic growth of their country.
Official launching of the scholarship program was held at Cidadela das Crianças, a school run by ADPP, one of our Emergency Plan partners on May 19, 2005. The 250 girls of Cidadela das Crianças will be among the over 6,000 girls across Mozambique who will receive this special assistance. The Ambassador and the USAID Deputy Director were present at the launch ceremony.