Female Role Models: Zainab Deen

Zainab Deen, from The Gambia, is a 23year old female student enrolled in a diploma program in Information Technology. Besides the need to achieve professional skills in this field of study, she has developed special interest in development and youth empowerment. Outside school, she enjoys participating in forums that would build her capacity in social development and promote rapid development in her community. From a youth background of mostly disadvantage peers, she’s enthusiastic about positive change within the youth the community at large. She engages in many voluntary works including: The Alphabet King Reading Lab, which is a state of the art and cost effective plug and play solution solving the educational challenges of kids all over the world, and specifically those in crisis situation, refugee camps and less developed countries.
2. Forward For you: An initiative that aims to foster sustainable human development in The Gambia and does this through three core components:
a. Let Girls Learn
b. ForwardForYOUth
c. Forward For All
Let Girls Learn – is a project that supports young girls in the Gambia by providing them with opportunities to build a brighter future. The project covers all tuition costs and provides funds for auxiliary needs in order to ensure a successful school experience. Auxiliary costs being transportation, lunch money, uniforms, school supplies, textbooks and additional books for preparation. Students from this program and students sponsored by Forward For You are typically from very low income families and are chosen in a variety of ways- some are children that are selling on the streets. Forward For You volunteers and do home visits to explore the conditions in which the girls live to better cater for their needs.

ForwardForYOUth – aims at reducing the youth unemployment rate in relation to the illegal migration rate through researching the issues that youth face and coming up with viable solutions to combat this epidemic. The project seeks to tap into the creativity of the youth in the Gambia and transform their social impact ideas into actionable projects, such as promoting entrepreneurship by providing them with seed money and mentor-ship for viable business ventures.

Forward For All – The project focuses on the physical and mental well-being of vulnerable groups such as impoverished youth and children, through the use of advocacy, mentoring and support group programs to achieve general health stability. They also cover health costs, and work to support public hospitals and ‘homes’ such as ‘Tanka Tanka’. It is their goal to build a society more accepting of those that are mentally disabled by addressing the core cultural barriers, as well as providing assistance of basic necessities, engaging them in social activities and introducing a new and impact Field Day program. Zainab is a good role model.

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