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Jappal: Hold On to Our Girls & Deter the Cycle through Economic Opportunity

Sandiara, SenegalSandiara, Senegal
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Lacking financial & educational opportunities, girls as young as 9 from Sandiara, Senegal are sent to distant cities to marry or work as domestic servants. Jappal is an alternative to this opportunity-depriving cycle, providing artisanal training, giving these women economic roles in their village.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if a girl deprived of education still had the chance to stay home with her family and become a woman with opportunity, economic independence, respect, and confidence?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

We target women who have been pulled from school and young girls who were never given an educational opportunity. Typically these women are sent off to distant cities to marry or become domestic servants at young ages. By this point in time, any chance for economic independence has slipped away. Essentially, the cycle dominates every aspect of their lives: from attending school, to working or marrying as early as 9. Opportunity is missing.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Jappal proactively addresses the problems of these young women with a sustainable solution. Recruiting young women from Sandiara, who are demand to stay in the village with their families. We collaborate with local artisans and train these them to make and sell clothing and artisanal goods. While beneficial camaraderie is experienced by those in attendance, this project is not a club, but instead a class which equips students with tools to transfer into local artisanal markets. Completing the upgraded, extended two-year program, graduates are transformed into empowered economic actors, prepared to apprentice for tailors, specialize in producing garments for sale to markets, or even begin teaching for Jappal.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Ndeye, a teenaged girl who was sent to live in the city as a domestic laborer, was called back by her family to enroll in the newly upgraded course; she is currently performing well and treasures the opportunity to remain in the village area with the promise of future work. An alumna of the first graduating class, Awa, who was an excellent student, now proudly teaches the upgraded version of the course. A final example involves Mariam, also a program graduate, who secured employment as a tailor apprentice; while maintaining her job, she also returned and teaches a class in the program.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

As a fledgling program our impact is merely just beginning to be felt: A) 20 Students participating in the upgraded, expanded course; B) 5 of these students are teenage girls who have come back to their homes from far away cities to join our class. With this opportunity, they are able to make the choice to live with their families while learning a skill which will provide them income; C) 5 Mothers (between ages of 25-30) from a very poor sub-village have already used the skills they have learned to produce goods for sale. They were able to buy fish for their children to eat. As students acquire additional skills, they are able to apprentice for tailors within the village and earn a small salary.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

In order to grow the program, we will: Engage females at various points within the opportunity-depriving cycle and give mothers opportunity to become economic actors and allow them to be examples to their children by working, generating an income and providing food. Additionally, we will provide assistance for graduated students who aspire to start their own proprietorship. We plan to create a sponsor program in which donors will contribute to a student’s education to pay for books, inscription fee, uniform, and lunch to alleviate any financial burden.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

-Annual Fundraiser in which participants will receive donations from sponsors to participate. Proceeds will provide salaries, materials, maintenance, etc. -Cycle of Student to Teacher: Graduates returning as teachers allows employment opportunity for participants -Partnerships with local vendors -Exportation of product to international markets, where the course members are paid for their work and sales proceeds portions return to the program

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are organizations in Senegal that work to sell local products, but what makes us different is that we are targeting an underserved population: uneducated, poor young women who fall victim to the cycle. This program is homegrown. It has the support of the community. With this support, we can reach more students and make more of an impact. In addition to a technical education, we provide an education in basic business. We provide opportunities for our members with the intention of female empowerment and breaking the cycle.

Founding Story

In 2013, Julia Tinneny joined the Ndiaye household as a Global Citizen Year Fellow. Julia & Marie Ndiaye instantly bonded sharing strong desire to improve circumstances around them. In an effort to keep local girls in the community, Marie began to teach a sewing class in a front yard hut. Marie purchased a machine for the girls to use. By the time Julia came to the program, Marie had acquired actual classroom space. Still, there was only one machine. Julia recognized the need for and potential of the program. She knew that her friends and family in the U.S. would help, if only they knew. Through crowdfunding and Facebook requests, Julia raised funds and donations of sewing machines.


Marie Sarr-Co-Founder. Marie (“Mama” as she is called by all who enter her home) is a respected member of the community in Sandiara. In an effort to keep local women in the village, she started an informal sewing class to teach them a trade. Together with Julia they have grown the class into a formal program to train local women in a trade and the other aspects of business. Marie’s dream was to provide local girls and women with the opportunity to stay in the community while learning a skill and earning a living. Too many times, she saw young girls pulled out of school because the parents could not afford to pay or girls sent to live and work hours away. Marie and Julia knew it must end and discussed possibilities and options. Julia Tinneny-Co-Founder. Julia met Marie Sarr as a Global Citizen Year (GCY) Fellow. Julia recognized the need for the class and the dedication of Marie Sarr. As part of her GCY project, Julia raised funds to purchase materials and secured additional donated sewing machines. Julia returned to Senegal after completing her first year of college to complete an impact study. The time was right to start formal classes. Agnes Ndiaye, Awa Ndour, Mariam Diallo, Dabba Sarr -The Instructors. These women completed the original class started by Marie Sarr. They have received additional training at the expense of the program and are teaching the current students. Each has a particular skill in which she excels.