We draw to the attention of the world and potential donors to a grassroots community based organisation supporting girls leadership and empowerment which is based in Uganda-Girl Child Network Uganda. This is a success story where a Changemaker called Memory Bandera has dedicated her life, time and skills to ensuring that the lives of girls are transformed.
We made a grant to Girl Child Network Uganda from all donations you made here of US$ 450 dollars so that it supports their own going efforts to support girls self help projects. From their annual report and audit which has been shared with us and many donors we are pleased to say that over 200 girls benefitted from vocational training and are on their way to starting their economic projects which are critical especially for girls who escape war and violence from the North.
One project that the organisation desired to launch and to which this grant has added to in terms of support is the women as role models program where women leaders are brought to girls to inspire them and adopt girls to mentor and coach as well as pay for school fees. This project seeks to bring local leaders to tackling some issues that girls face and raise awareness directly on the plight f girls. There are girls already benefitting from this project and we appeal for more women role models from round the globe to give support to this first ever project to girls.
The following account posted by GCN Uganda shows with what impact this project has on over 500 girls.
Their words of wisdom inspired many of us in attendance, especially the girls from Acholi Quarters (Kireka, Kampala) and Wells of Hope Ministries (Wakiso) who had made the trip into town for the day. The crowd was laughed and clapped for these young Empowerment Club members as they told their stories on the microphone. One young woman from the Acholi Quarters Achiever’s Club told the story of how participating in GCN’s Opportunity Program enabled her to begin a small business and earn money to save – and shared her goal of purchasing her very own car! A second touching story was shared by a primary school member of the Wells of Hope Shining Stars Club. She informed the group that, because she was reassured of her own value by participating in GCN and Wells of Hope activities, she was confident to become a doctor and treat the sick and poor across Uganda. Her speech received a loud applause from the entire audience!
We have observed donations coming to this project and we are so confident that the more support like this for girls we get the more this project grows. This is a cost effective way of protecting girls at a much early age in Africa. This to us is a best practice that offers quick solutions to protect girls to harmful cultural practices.Please you are all invited to keep support to a life changing project.
In 2013 this project focussed mainly on building girls empowerment clubs so that we support leadership of girls and prevent any form of abuse happening to them. By the end of the year some girls Girl Child Network Worldwide supported with school fees wrote and thanked GCNW CEO as follows,
Thank you Betty for making me realise my potential. I was hopeless when we met but look at me now. Just graduated with my first degree. God bless you Muzvare
Our organisation, Girl Child Network Worldwide extends this message from a young woman who was supported by your donations. She is a girl from rural areas who now graduated with a science degree and she is about to start her career. Added to her there are three more girls at University level and doing Advanced levels who wrote their exams and they are equally grateful.
Girl Child Network Worldwide coordinated the training, mentoring and rescue operations of girls at risk especially of rape in Zimbabwe ensuring there is an emergency team that could assist the girls whose communities are increasingly breaking silence using social media. There were excellent networks of girls that came out with excellent projects. Girl Child Network Sierra Leone received support to set up an information centre for girls and it was successful. They were also very successful in setting up girls income generating projects as well as a counseling centre which is helping many girls. Girl Child Network Uganda were supported to launch a Women As Role Models program to mobilise support for girls education. The program was successfully launched in Kampala on 4 December 2013. We are encouraged with great work to set up girls clubs by GCN Uganda. We have reports that over 2000 girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda were part of the girls empowerment clubs.
Moving forward we are very encouraged by the results and reports of this project. It was our very first project on Global Giving to set up a network of girls clubs across Africa and mobilise their support. Identifying leadership amongst girls and grooming young leaders for peer to peer support was greatly achieved.
We are now taking this project forward in 2014. Based on reports and feedback of each country we supported we have asked each country to give us its priority needs for girls and for each girls network we have formulated a project proposal to post on global giving so that some of you our donors and supporters could fund a specific project you want.
We are also appealing for more volunteers to help us with the new projects where we target to fundraise less than $20 000 for the next year. We are also looking for in kind donations like travel miles so that we can travel to the projects we support and impart more skills and empowerment and leadership training.
On behalf of Girl Child Network Worldwide can we thank all of you for making our dream to replicate our model come true. Yes we have three girls networks in Africa and they are helping girls and emsuring prevention of abuse as well as mitigating where abuse has happened. Join us in 2014 as we help one girl at a time.
Our project in Zimbabwe has got support and women and girls mobilising at community level. We strated this project a year ago and we were so determined to have more girls supported in girls clubs and this has happened according to our plan. The last disbursement to us had a total of US$240 and we donated it to 10 girls who will be attending the Never Again Royal night where for the first time in the country girls and women come together for inspiration and to share projects to mobilise resources that will be taking place on the ground.
We are delighted to report that one of the best results out of our empowerment program to empower girls is emergence of a leader for girls, Blessing Chiyekete who has taken over the Girls Empowerment program with thrust on mobilising human resources from local communities so that they support girls who are sexually abused who come to Girls Empowerment Villages to seek support. Community is gathering on 31 August in one of the first projects organisied by girls to share their stories and to get inspiration from women who triumphed.
This program that has been organised over the past six months has brought to Zimbabwe an expert from USA on girls empowerment who will speak to over 20 girls empowerment clubs and over 5000 girls during her visit. Renowned women and girls will also inspire girls in their clubs.
Girl Child Network Worldwide would like to invite you all friends to support this historical event for girls in Zimbabwe. You are welcome with suggestions, donations in cash and in kind. Also as we start a nationawide campaign to empower girls and to stop sexual we invite you to keep your support. Tell us how you want these empowerment to go and what would make them stronger.
Girl Child Network Worldwide is most grateful for the grant received of US$5000 from supporters and donors to help rehabilitate survivors of sexual violence aged 0 to 16 who seek assistance through our Girls Empowerment Villages during the period under review. The most critical part of our work was to ensure Girls Empowerment Villages facilities are renovated and extended in the hostel are so that they take in more girls. This was successfully accomplished at Chitsotso Girls Empowerment Village.
During the period under review, Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe received a total of 203 rape cases involving minor children. Three cases involved more extra work at global advocacy level because they involved high profile politicians who enjoy impunity in Zimbabwe. The team managed to rescue at least 123 of the total and ensured they received medical, legal and educational support. A profile for each girl the youngest being 3 years old was created to keep monitoring their progress with their case in the courts, hospital and police beyond the grant. This report serves to inform our donors and supporters that the Girl Child Network Team managed to ensure protection and counselling of at least 123 girls through the Girls Empowerment Villages. Shelter, food clothing and medication was provided to some girls.
Girl Child Network Zimbabwe has since submitted needs assessments of all girls assisted and realised that on average girls who have been sexually abused need at least an average US$ 500 per month for school support, medical and court attendance. What was most challenging were distances of some girls from the national headquarters. Also in some days where many girls needed shelter the human resources were limited because at the moment there is only one paid frontline counsellor and an assistant.
This grant has enabled the work in Girls Empowerment Villages to be strengthened so that we get more girls and possibly match them with some future funders as clearly a number of them and especially those infected with HIV and AIDS need long term care. The majority of girls we dealt with over the last quarter are orphaned girls who find themselves with no one to be part of their social support systems. One of them sent us a text message in its original form as follows:
Muzvare m srry 2 b botherin u bt i rily nid yr help,i nid to be assisted from my uncle raping me since last year 4 my,i dnt knw f u cn bt i beg u 2 pliz help me wth watever u hve.
If only there was no grant like this, maybe her life would have been lost. Now that we rescued her from the abusive uncle and got him arrested through emergency grants to Girl Child Network Zimbabwe, she is happily back in school. To think only 200 dollars would have made her lose a lifetime opportunity to come out of the abuse makes us feel our supporters should know how we appreciate their support and how this support comes at a time when it is needed most. There are no emergency grants for indvidual girls who find themselves in situations where they must move out.
At the moment we have started profiling each and every girl receiving our assistance but of course we will respect their privacy when sharing with the public. We will keep girls empowerment clubs where most of them operate from to keep imparting empowerment skills and knowledge so that we create platforms that help prevent abuse and start projects to eliminate poverty. Our work remained very active in all 20 girls empowerment clubs we target during this period.
We still have over 200 girls on our data base needing urgent help with school fees, medication, justice, and rescue from violent situations and we have two more Girls Empowerment Villages to renovate so that girls are safe during healing. Feel free to join our Girls Appeal Fund and be sure to get a girl who will be directly linked with you. Your support has made our work stronger and we hope you join us and be active and even volunteer so that we reach out to more girls at risk. Please send us feedback on any issue and join our global advocacy group for some cases where high profile people enjoy impunity and have become a danger to girls.
Please note we have shared some cases we are dealing with just for you to understand which girls we are currently targeting from this grant and what efforts we are making to sustain programs.
Girl Child Network Worldwide presents, Girl Child Network Sierra Leone as a success story which can be shared globally to demostrate impact of work of women like Anita Koroma who work with minimum resources but achieve the most for girls. Anita Koroma resided in UK for over a decade and one day she made a decision to meet Founder member of Girl Child Network Zimbabwe, Betty Makoni so that she could be trained on how to start and run girls empowerment clubs. This was a big success and the next time Anita Koroma was in her native land empowering girls like what happened in Zimbabwe a decade ago. She carried training manuals in her bag as that is the only way she could print them cheaper.
Upon her arrival in Sierra Leone, Anita organised girls empowerment workshops in rural Sierra Leone. She trained over 2000 girls to start and lead in girls empowerment clubs. In November 2012 Anita launched the girls clubs in the Northern province of Sierra Leone and invited leadership amongst girls for an award ceremony. This grant provided Anita Koroma addition funds to produce girls empowerment packages which were used for training.
Today, we want to present the leadership that came as a result of this project and to share with the world our vision to see girls transformed at a much earlier stage from perceived victims into leaders. Girl Child Network Worldwide is an organisation that believes that if we catch girls whilst young and develop them into confident women, we are assured of a world where women can solve their problems in the home, school and community. Our project demonstrates that girls have potential that must be unleashed. Anita Koroma did not have millions of dollars to build girls empowerment clubs for 2000 girls-she had the knowledge, skills, experience and inspiration to instil into them.
We invite you to support Anita Koroma who has now started work on a Girls Empowerment Village which is one stop shop for girls who during club activity open up on abuse, seek counseling and are assisted to heal and move their lives. The Girls Empowerment Village seeks a start up grant of US$ 10 000 dollars. Always we invite you to our project to empower one girl at a time and please support us to have this dream come true. We have the passion, skills, knowledge and experience to transform lives of girls in Sierra Leone and many parts of Africa, but we also need the financial resources to keep this life saving work going.
As summed up by 16 year old Aisha, `When we stand up for ourselves, stand up with us.`
The Girls movement is getting bigger and stronger in Sierra Leone and we invite you to celebrate the success by continued support.
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