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Viola Vaughn

Viola M. Vaughn is the founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Health Education and Prevention Strategies Alliance (WHEPSA) and 10,000 Girls programme in Kaolack, Senegal. An American with an Ed.D. from Columbia University’s renowned Teacher’s College in New York, she acquired considerable administrative and teaching experience in health care and education in both the U.S. and six African countries, including Senegal.

In 2000 she and her husband, Jazz musician Sam Sanders, made the decision to emigrate to Senegal with their family. Home-schooling her grandchildren led to some local curiosity in their community in Koalack. The idea for 10,000 girls sprouted after a 9-year-old girl asked Viola to help her finish third grade. The organization now reaches over 2,000 girls, has the first bookmobile going to rural areas of Senegal, hosts Democracy camps, and also teaches skills like sewing and baking (and e-marketing).

Executive Director 10,000 Girls

Viola M. Vaughn is the founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Health Education and Prevention Strategies Alliance (WHEPSA) and 10,000 Girls programme in Kaolack, Senegal. An American with an Ed.D. from Columbia University’s renowned Teacher’s College in New York, she acquired considerable administrative and teaching experience in health care and education in both the U.S. and six African countries, including Senegal.

In 2000 she and her husband, Jazz musician Sam Sanders, made the decision to emigrate to Senegal with their family. Home-schooling her grandchildren led to some local curiosity in their community in Koalack. The idea for 10,000 girls sprouted after a 9-year-old girl asked Viola to help her finish third grade. The organization now reaches over 2,000 girls, has the first bookmobile going to rural areas of Senegal, hosts Democracy camps, and also teaches skills like sewing and baking (and e-marketing).

Events with this presenter

Headline and Cultural Forums

Transforming Girls’ Lives in Africa: Social Entrepreneurship and Education

Viola Vaughn

Most girls in Senegal do not finish school. For every 60,000 girls entering the first grade, roughly 200 succeed in completing high school. Half of these young women attend university, and ultimately only 20 women out of the 60,000 will obtain a grad Read More ››



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