Dear GlobalGiving and Donors,
Our project (Empowering the Girl through Education) is a life changing activity which has done a lot by improving the lives of girls in rural Sierra Leone more especially the Northern Region. Our project has gained popularity amongst girls due to its major contributions and life changing activities for girls. Our project has give voice to girl children, give rights and power to Girls has been the bedrock of this project since its inception, which has really put a lot of smiles into the faces of a lot of girls.
This project has engaged in a lot of activities ranging from ending early and forceful marriages, teenage pregnancy campaigns, protect and guide to choose a career path, advocacy and relief exercise. Within the past months it has gain a lot of success stories. We have able to end 20 marriages and take further actions against perpetrators. Also, our campaign has engaged authorities in enforcing the laws which has to do with early and forceful marriages.
Our continued supports to 250 girls who were force to get marriage still continues and these affected girls need to continue their education for another academic year. Girls supported were able to be agents of change in their communities, raising awareness of the importance of girls’ right, accessing education and training. Also, girls who were stopped from being early mothers, join their peers in advocacy, using themselves as an example of change. Their peers were touched by the campaign words of ending teenage pregnancy and early child marriage. Also, our campaign has joined the country First lady with a campaign message “Hands Off our girls”. With these efforts it has put smiles again into the faces of these girl children.
Furthermore, 38 schools were visited with message “Hands Off our Girls” this message sends shock waves to these communities and traditional leaders summoned themselves into urgent meetings to support the claims of these girls. The campaign message was well greeted and gains a lot of momentum.
This strategy really pays off as many girls who were victims of early and forceful marriages have return back to school. These girls have been enrolled, admitted and provided with educational facilities. These girls were provided with different support such as uniforms, tuition fees, bags, pen, pencils, vest and books. Teen mothers were provided with baby used items. These girls were also provided with food and non food items.
The rural poor communities are facing serious Harmful Practices and our project has taken stiff measures on providing justice for victims. The prevalence of the Harmful Practices against girls, especially FGM and child marriage in Sierra Leone are among the highest in the world. Our message about FGM is wait until a girl turn 18 before she could decide on what to do.
The fulfillment of women’s and girls’ rights is challenged by communities’ norms that maintain the status quo and stereotypes about men, women, girls and boys and their respective roles in society.
Our outreach programme helped us to discover more girls who cannot access education and other rights. The urgent needs that were discovered are books, uniforms, backpacks, sanitary pads, shoes and transport facility and other school charges. This has been a barrier to access and retain in schools. There is an economic and social change which has increased costs since after the general elections in 2018 due to the high inflation in the country, parents and foster care givers prefer to send their girl child to the farm than attend school. In these visited communities poverty is really visible and one can feel it, which has lead these children into illegal practices like prostitution, gender-based violence and early marriages, girls and women are deep suffering. Poverty has been the bedrock for early and forceful marriages and we discovered the negative impact levied on these children.
The outreach programme reveals more teenage pregnancies, high dropout rate, women battering, an increase in forceful marriages practices in hidden communities, inadequate provision of daily needs and abuse of Child’s Rights.
We appreciate our supports and GlobalGiving for this opportunity to help these girls. There is a lot to do but we cannot do it without your continued supports.