education and literacy are essential for a better future
100% of the profits from the sale of Three Sisters products are donated into the Trois Soeurs Education Fund (TSEF), Cotonou, Benin. TSEF is a grassroots organization that was founded in 2014 by Sandrine Chikou and Marcy Hessling O’Neil, both anthropologists who have done research on education for over 15 years. Our organization exists to strengthen economic empowerment for individuals in the lowest economic quintile by providing specialized tutoring and literacy programs. We envision a world in which education leads to meaningful employment and where individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds are able to reach their potential.
Our objectives and methods
Desired Long-Term Changes as a Result of the Project:
1) Changes in literacy levels, completion rates for primary and secondary, income generating activity for long term poverty reduction.
2) As anthropologists we use qualitative methods including participant observation, interviews, and focus groups to understand the impact of our programs. We have observed an increase in interest in reading through the limited production of the books in our pilot program.
3) We also use quantitative data to measure the impact of our tutoring program and we have seen a 19% average increase in percentile rankings among our students in the first year, and sustained performance in the following years.
4) We expect that participants in our digital literacy workshops will gain skills that will enable them to have a competitive edge in the contemporary job market, these skills include the ability to type, competency in the Microsoft suite of products, and Bloom software (bloomlibrary.org). Possessing these skills will likely increase the earning potential of these participants. In the Beninese context children are expected to contribute to the wellbeing of their extended family to the extent that they are able, and so we expect that this will decrease poverty levels in the community.
5) This project will also result in books that can be sold to generate income for the tutoring program, which can then increase the number of beneficiaries who will stay in school and not drop out when they take their standardized exams.
6) This project could also potentially decrease early marriages, as research indicates that the longer girls stay in school the less likely they are to marry under the age of 18. Early marriages are a particular concern for girls in the lowest quintile.
Our books that bind team
Over 80 people have worked on Books That Bind Volumes 1 and 2. We’re excited to share our work with you, and hope that you find the books as interesting as we do.
Our students range in age from 4-19, and are being tutored in French, Chemistry, Mathematics, and English. All of the tutors that work with us are qualified university graduates who teach in local schools. We'd love to add more students to our program, and have several on our waiting list. Every donation is appreciated and goes directly into the costs of providing tutoring to these great kids. Thank you!