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Circle of Sisterhood

What is the Circle of Sisterhood?
What is CoS

Circle of Sisterhood was founded in 2010 by Ginny Carroll, a member of Alpha Xi Delta at Western Kentucky University. With their mission “to leverage the collective influence of sorority women to raise financial resources for entities around the world that are removing educational barriers for girls and women facing poverty and oppression,” this philanthropy is supported by many Panhellenic communities nationwide, including the University of Maryland Panhellenic Association.

The Circle of Sisterhood works to fund education in two ways. First, they provide grants to organizations are working to support women and their education. Additionally, organizations donating to the Circle of Sisterhood can fund a school build in a local community of a developing country. Schools built have regulations to ensure at least half of the students are girls. Since their founding in 2010, Circle of Sisterhood has provided $1,000,000 worth of grant money, and built 16 schools in developing countries.

Importance of CoS and Why We Need Education

In many countries, women's rights are limited and oppressed. They are often denied rights to education and men are taught that they have “rights” over women.


  • In some countries, a man can set his wife on fire because he wants a new wife or throw acid in her face because she spoke to him in a disrespectful manner or wasn’t meeting her wifely duties.


  • A male child soldier in the Congo is trained to believe it’s his right to rape any woman he chooses.


  • Barely literate parents could believe that educating a daughter is pointless; therefore, a girl who wants to learn to read and write is sentenced to poverty by her own culture.


Education is essential to empower women and give them the tools to break the cycle of poverty and oppression.


  • Educated women earn 25% more income and reinvest over 90% into their families, breaking the poverty cycle.


  • Educated women are less likely to become victims of human trafficking


  • Educated women are three times less likely to contract HIV


  • Educated women are more likely to pursue a trade or start a business


  • Educated women have children who are 40% more likely to live past age 5


  • Educated women have smaller, healthier families


  • Even one year of education beyond the average, boosts a girls' eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent.

CoS at UMD
Circle of Sisterhood at Maryland

UMD Panhellenic funded a school build this past summer in Malawi. It will take several months to finish the whole project. The children of Ntondoko will soon have access to quality education and a path out of poverty because of our fundraising.

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About Ntondoko, Malawi

The South African country of Malawi is home to more than 18 million people with more than 71% of the population living below the poverty line and more than 35% unable to read and write. The village of Ntondoko is a community of approximately 900 people located in the Mwanza region. Most are subsistence farmers who rear livestock and grow soya and wheat. View the community on Google Earth >

Why This School Matters

The village of Ntondoko currently has four proper classrooms and one temporary classroom (pictured), which is not suitable for learning and is holding back the village’s 504 students (262 girls and 242 boys) from receiving a proper education. The next nearest proper school is a 8 km walk from the village. Eleven teachers are teaching six grade levels at this school.

Meet a Ntondoko Student
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Ernest Nguluwe is 12 years old and in the 5th grade. His favorite subject is math and he wants to be a mechanic when he grows up. With your support, he's now much more likely to achieve his dream and break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations.


Check out the CoS Fundraising Guide here.

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