Who we are

TeachGirls Global (TGG) began with a book discussion in the living room of Lois Self. In January 2010, people gathered on two different nights to discuss Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WeDunn. Mercy Corps, a non-profit charitable organization, had suggested that people organize groups to discuss the book and learn more about the issues facing women in the developing world. People who attended these discussions agreed that they would like to continue the discussion. On February 25, 2010, about twenty women met on campus at NIU to talk about how they might proceed to learn more about countries in which girls found it difficult to get education; to discover what non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were particularly effective in reaching that population; and what measures of success were available. The group decided to meet monthly and continue its own education.

On March 3, 2010, at the annual International Women's Day luncheon at Northern Illinois University, Kay Forest made a presentation on the situation of girls in developing countries and the impact education has on girls and women in these areas. At that meeting, over 60 people signed up to be kept informed about further activities of the group that had begun to meet.

After a few meetings, the group decided on a name, TeachGirls, which later becamse TeachGirlsGlobal, in order to emphasize the worldwide reach of its focus. One of the group's first tasks was to develop evaluative questions that could be used to assess the effectiveness of any NGO that TGG considered supporting. People associated with the NGO world, including the director of NIU's Non-Governmental Organization Leadership and Development Center (NGOLD), and people with experience with NGOs in Africa and the Philippines talked to the group about their perspectives. Participants in TGG did research on specific countries and NGOs and shared their findings with the group.

In its first two years of existence TGG has deveoped a greater appreciation of the need for girls' education in developing communities and of cultural and economic issues that influence the ability of girls to obtain an education. It has developed a comprehensive framework for evaluating projects that we may consider supporting and for assessing their success. Several members of the group have visited projects of interest and reported on what thy found. TGG has also conducted community outreach, explaining the role of TGG and talking about the work of the two NGOs which participants have supported to date, the Jane Adeny School in Kenya and Tanzania Development Support, a local group that partners with NGOs in Tanzania to support education.

Mission Statement

TeachGirls Global identifies NGOs and grassroots organizations that support and sustain education for girls and women in developing communities around the world. The group is committed to increasing awareness of the importance of girl's education and to raising financial and other resources for a select number of organizations doing this work.

All who share this mission are welcome and encouraged to attend the monthly discussions.


During 2012 TeachGirls Global will continue monthly meetings. Our goals for the year are

  1. RESEARCH: Continue increasing our knowledge by applying the questions/rubric we have developed to projects dedicated to improving girls’ status through education. This will occur through invited reports from organizations in which our members have involvement and interest as well as through reports by members and/or guest speakers about additional projects that we may choose to endorse and support.

  2. OUTREACH: Share our knowledge and concerns with interested local audiences (civic groups, schools, churches, etc.) through presentations on our work to promote our visibility and that of he projects we support and to grow active participation in TeachGirls Global. In the early fall we will host at least one public event, launch an improved website, and encourage others to join our monthly discussion meetings.

  3. FUNDRAISING and SUPPORT: We expect to recommend to our members monetary contributions and other forms of support for several projects by year’s end. We will also explore member’s different ideas for fundraising and engage in at least one such activity, perhaps in coordination with hosting the public event mentioned above.

  4. ORGANIZATION: As time and resources permit, TeachGirls Global will continue to consider various models of organization, such as non-profit status, affiliation with the DeKalb County Community Foundation, or continued informal operation as an educational discussion group and “giving circle” which recommends financial support to certain tax exempt entities.