27.09.2013 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Famous French singer, Amel Bent, visits Senegal to support UNESCO’s literacy project

Amel Bent visiting the project for the first time in September 2012 ©melty.fr

Amel Bent, a famous French R’n’B singer, will be in Senegal on a press tour on 2 and 3 October 2013 to encourage women and girls to continue their literacy efforts

She is the Ambassador for a joint literacy initiative by UNESCO and Procter & Gamble (Always). She will be visiting the PAJEF project, a literacy project for girls and woman in Senegal, coordinated by UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar which is part of the joint partnership.The project aims to reach out to 40 000 illiterate or neo-literate girls and women in Senegal.

Amel Bent, who writes most of her songs herself, says she knows how lucky she is to be able to read and write. In today’s world, 774 million adults are illiterate and 123 million children are out of school. In Senegal, more than half of all women are illiterate.

“Travelling changes the way you behave when you get back home, it changes your everyday life and puts things into perspectives and you want to do more for the people you met,” said Amel Bent when she visited the project for the first time in September 2012.

An eye opener

“I had doubts about getting involved in humanitarian work but it was such a positive adventure, I really want to continue working with UNESCO, PAJEF and Always,” she added.

Now she is back to encourage more women and girls learner in and outside of Dakar, the Senegalese capital.

She will also discover the virtual classes of the project, where girls and women learn literacy skills through mobile telephones and the internet. This is one of the innovations of the PAJEF literacy project to reach out to a greater number of learners.

Other innovative aspects include the support given to girls in difficulty and therefore potential drop outs as well as teaching the girls and women skills that they need other than reading, writing and numeracy. They learn how to set up their own business, cooking, tailoring and much more.

The Procter & Gamble and UNESCO initiative is implemented together with the Government of Senegal. Amel Bent will meet with the various governmental partners of the project as well as with Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of UNESCO Dakar and her staff.

Following the encouraging results obtained in Senegal, UNESCO is extending the project to Kenya and Nigeria.

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