GlobalGiving Girl Fund

by GlobalGiving
GlobalGiving Girl Fund
Meet Fatima
Meet Fatima

In the three months since you met  GlobalGiving’s new Girl Fund leaders, they’ve made incredible strides.From reopening sports camps in Jordan to supporting women within the LGBTQI+ community in Argentina, their efforts are as diverse as they are impactful—and their importance can be seen in stories like Fatima’s.

As the Taliban's rule jeopardizes the future of women and girls in Afghanistan, some courageous women refuse to stop learning, growing, and leading their communities. 55-year-old Fatima, who is living as a refugee in Greece, is one of these brave women. 

Fatima started attending Farsi Literacy classes led by Girl Fund member Irida Women’s Center years ago and kept up her studies virtually throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

"I come to the class, and I feel that I can achieve something. I want to learn more!" Fatima shares.

Earlier this fall, the Irida Center rebooted their Farsi Literacy Lessons. Fatima was there, ready to expand her knowledge and horizons—and help support newly-registered fellow students. In the past eight months, 49 classes have been held with 10 regular attendants like Fatima.

Thank you for supporting women like Fatima. With your generosity, the Girl Fund leaders can continue breaking down barriers for women and girls worldwide! 

With gratitude, 

Nic + the GlobalGiving Team

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Fondo de Mujeres del Sur
Fondo de Mujeres del Sur

Globally, women and girls have always faced challenging hurdles, from access to education and healthcare to gender-based discrimination—and COVID-19 has only exacerbated these issues. As a GlobalGiving Girl Fund donor, your generosity provides vital support to organizations breaking down these barriers across the globe. 

Each year, GlobalGiving staff selects a different group of locally-led nonprofits that are helping women and girls can thrive for their incredible impact, thought leadership, and commitment to working with local communities. 

Today, we're thrilled to introduce our 2021/2022 Girl Fund leaders!

1. Creating safe spaces and new possibilities for women and girls

Committed to advancing the rights of women and girls, the Women Inspiration Development Center (WIDC) originally set out to put an end to gender-based violence through services and activities in Nigeria. Through this initial work, it became clear that needs stretched beyond their founding purpose, and today WIDC provides vital support to improve the health, economic, and social well-being of women and girls in their local community.

Busayo Obisakin, Founder and CEO at WIDC, shared: “[It] is like we have gone 10 years backward as a result of COVID 19. The time is now to engage, mentor, and help girls regain back their confidence which is paramount to raising their voices in sensitizing their communities and policy makers to be more intolerant of sexual and domestic violence, encourage balanced power in relationships, and provide more legal, social, and financial supports for activists speaking out.” 

2. Helping refugee women take ownership of their lives


In Northern Greece, Irida’s Women’s Center is dedicated to creating a safe and warm space for women and girls who are refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. From providing individualized psycho-social support and legal counseling, to protective services and language classes, their team is committed to eradicating the inequalities that typically leave women dependent on male family members.

When asked about the importance of their work and mission, Lydia Siapardani, Head of Media and Advocacy for the center, shared: “Despite the immense challenges they may face, we strongly believe that investing in the potential of the world’s women and girls is one of the safest ways to achieve global economic progress, political stability, and greater prosperity for all individuals across the world. Investing in women means investing in their entire families and communities. This is why we have chosen to work directly with women in creating a more inclusive community for all.”   

3. Challenging gender stereotypes in Nepal

In Nepal, longstanding gender stereotypes and discrimination limit the ability of women and girls to carve out their own path in life. Women LEAD is working to create positive change that will see opportunities for women and girls grow through skills training, education, sexual and reproductive health, and much more. 

Women LEAD Development Officer Dipasa Bista shared how the organization’s programs supported her: “My journey with Women LEAD started back in 2011 as a School Leadership Program (SLP) Participant when I was a 9th grader...Back then, I lacked self-confidence and subjected myself to constant self-doubts as a result of the bullying I faced in school. At Women LEAD, I found a safe space to express myself, explore my potential, and challenge my comfort zone along with my fellow program participants. I was given a nurturing environment at Women LEAD which helped me greatly to shape the life I’m currently living and the roles I am leading right now.” 

4. Discovering strength and ambition through sport

Run by women for women, Reclaim Childhood, Inc. (RC) creates safe and inclusive spaces for underserved girls in Jordan—many of whom are refugees— and uses sport to develop their confidence, leadership, and teamwork skills. RC believes that building friendships across different national, economic, and religious backgrounds can help build their self-esteem, self-efficacy, and foster their integration into local communities.

When sharing about the importance of their mission, Jordan Program Director Rima Yacoub said:  “A girl, refugee, or Jordanian alike looking for physical activity in Jordan will face male-only gyms, fields that have never hosted women’s games, and a lack of programming and teams that they can join. This lack of access exacerbates the challenges girls and women face as they build their lives and futures in Amman. RC gets girls out of the house and onto the field, providing a safe space to play, learn, and build community.”

5. Supporting women and girls through COVID-19

Fondo de Mujeres del Sur’s (FMS) is focused on contributing to building societies in which  women, girls, and LBTIQ+ people can exercise all of their human rights and have access to equal opportunities to live happy, safe, and fulfilling lives. Their project in Uruguay is addressing the needs of survivors of gender based violence advocate by supporting grassroots organizations that provide legal and psychosocial support, deliver training courses, and run women's shelters and hotlines. 

When asked about their current programming, Rocio Alonso, Local Resource Mobilisation Head at the FMS, shared: “Our present challenges are located in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed and accelerated the breakdown of our social institutions. It has disproportionately impacted women, girls, and LBTIQ+ people, combined with the shrinking of civic space and the rise of regressive governmental and societal forces, which has further pushed back progress on gender equality. The FMS’ Grantmaking Model of Philanthropy supports women and LBTQI+ rights organizations through direct grants from a horizontal and transparent partnership, based on the conviction that women, girls, and LBTQI+ people have enormous potential to be agents of social change.”

Thank you for your continued commitment to building a more gender-equal world. In the months to come, we will update you with the ways that these five organizations transform the lives of women and girls across the globe! 

With gratitude, 

Nic + the GlobalGiving Team

Reclaim Childhood
Reclaim Childhood
Women LEAD
Women LEAD
Irida Women's Center
Irida Women's Center
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Photo: Global Water Challenges
Photo: Global Water Challenges

Curious where your donation to the Girl Fund ended up? Here's just a glimpse of the moments that were made possible thanks to the support of donors like you. 

Next month, we will be announcing a new Girl Fund cohort filled with five more amazing, community-led organizations working to accelerate gender equality in their communities. If you set up a recurring donation to the Girl Fund, your donations will begin to go to these organizations starting on July 1, 2021. 

Until then, let's take a moment to celebrate how far we've come in the past year. Here are eight moments out of a year full of gender equality wins, brought to you by the leaders of the 2020 Girl Fund:

May 19, 2020: Marigold learns how to crochet. 

Marigold, one of the students at Sheepcare Community Centre, learned how to crochet on Youtube and is now helping train her peers. Founder and President Luke Jakoywa told us that crocheting helped students like Marigold cope through the pandemic. 

Aug. 4, 2020: More than 20,000 emergency menstruation kits are distributed.

After an enormous explosion tore through Beirut, Lebanon, 300,000 people were displaced. The Days for Girls International community came together to make sure no menstruator was left behind, providing dignity and comfort to those affected.

Aug. 26, 2020: The first peer health education session is held. 

August 26 marked a huge breakthrough for Adolescent Health Champion's ongoing work developing a youth-led health education model and mobile application. The team launched the mobile application in April 2021. Now, 5,500 female students in India are emerging as health leaders and will provide essential health education to 60,000 students across India. 

Sept. 2020: Celebrating a victory from hard work paid off.

On the first anniversary of their project, Rural Entrepreneurs Livelihoods Support Project, the local team at Generation for Change and Development (GENCAD) visited Ambiya's recently renovated home. Ambiya, a widow and mother of seven, used to live in a cramped one-bedroom home. But after Ambiya's business took off with the help of funding and skills training provided by GENCAD, she could construct a new room for her family.

Oct. 11, 2020: Young girls return to the beach for watersports. 

After six months away, Mariposa DR Foundation restarted their watersports programming again on International Day of the Girl. These trips help the girls maintain their mental health and stay connected during these otherwise isolating times.

Dec. 2020:  Water collection time is cut from three hours to just 45 minutes.

A new water access point was completed, which drastically eases the burden of water collection on busy Rwandan women and girls. The water source will serve roughly 850 households and 1,456 students at a nearby school for the long haul, according to Madeline Flamik of Global Water Challenges

April 28, 2021: More than 200 back-to-school menstruation kits are delivered. 

The Women's Global Education Project is helping girls start the school year focused on their studies instead of their periods. The scholarship recipients in Tharaka-Nithi county, Kenya also participated in various community-led programs and workshops throughout the year.

April 31, 2021: A day of listening to the stories and challenges of young mothers. 

When the Act4Africa team visited a village in Mayuge District, Uganda, they met a young girl who had just given birth hours before, at home, with no medical assistance at all. Following this encounter, they spoke and surveyed 225 adolescent mothers in the district to learn how best to support their mental health and wellbeing. 

These stories (and so many more) were made possible thanks to the generous support of donors like you. Let’s keep the stories rolling as we transition to our 2021 gender equality champions next month! 

*If you wish to continue supporting one of the projects from our 2020 cohort, please set up a recurring donation on their GlobalGiving project page (linked above).  

I look forward to introducing the next cohort very soon! 

All the best, 

Sami + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo: Act4Africa
Photo: Act4Africa
Photo:  Days for Girls International
Photo: Days for Girls International
Photo: Women's Global Education Project
Photo: Women's Global Education Project
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Photo from Act4Africa
Photo from Act4Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly clear that disasters disproportionately affect women and girls, with experts pointing to countless examples of its gendered impacts.

Another crisis that highlighted the disparity was in the mountainous Kasese District of western Uganda. Seven months of torrential rainfall between May and November caused severe flooding in the area after nearby rivers burst their banks. The floods destroyed homes, roads, bridges, crops, and other important structures. More than 10,000 people left their communities in search of refuge.

One of them was 26-year-old Birungi, who was living with her mother, siblings, and newborn baby. Before the floods, Birungi and her family earned a living from small-scale farming. When the floods destroyed their garden and the security it offered, they joined hundreds of community members who traveled to one of the 27 camps available for flood survivors. Once in the camps, pregnant women and recent mothers like Birungi faced a new set of challenges. 

The floods’ gendered impacts  

A local official informed Kabunzugwire Moris of Act4Africa, a Girl Fund cohort member, that pregnant mothers were giving birth in the camps without proper care due to limited resources. New mothers were walking long distances to access antenatal services and immunize their children.

Kabunzugwire and his team at Act4Africa delivered nutritious food, sanitation products, and bedding to young mothers like Birungi and their children.

The short-term relief provided by Act4Africa was vital after the floods, but it’s just the beginning. Once the women can safely return home and pandemic restrictions are lifted, Act4Africa will resume classes and workshops to help them cultivate new skills, access the resources needed to start small businesses, and assume more leadership roles in their communities. 

These efforts are fueled by the generous support of donors like you who contribute monthly to GlobalGiving’s Girl Fund. As the pandemic and other disasters continue to impact every aspect of life for many people around the world, the Girl Fund cohort continues to support women who are navigating the challenges.

Here are more examples of how your generosity is fueling the Girl Fund cohort:

  • Days for Girls International is providing vital resources, including menstrual health education, face masks, and menstrual health kits to 2,509 women and girls in Nepal’s Kalikot District. 
  • Women’s Global Education Project’s leadership program is creating new ways for women to protect their peers from gender-based violence (GBV) in rural Senegal. Students have developed community radio programs to educate their peers on GBV and formed neighborhood watch programs and peer support networks. 
  • Generation for Change and Development is delivering donkeys, sheep, and goats for income-generating projects run by women in Kenya. Others received sewing machines and merchandising lessons to boost their livelihoods.
  • Sheepcare Community Centre is continuing to support women in Kenya by providing clean water, a safe place for students to study, and crocheting lessons. 
  • Global Water Challenge is merging gender equality and water access in Rwanda. The organization has helped 536 families access clean water, and they are also organizing gender equality and family planning training in compliance with local COVID-19 regulations. 
  • The Mariposa DR Foundation is planning pandemic-safe beach escapes for girls in the Dominican Republic. The trips help the girls maintain their mental health and stay connected during these otherwise isolating times. 

Your generous support of the Girl Fund makes these efforts possible. Thank you for your continued commitment to gender equality, and I look forward to sharing how else you made a difference in three months.

With gratitude, 

Sami + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from The Mariposa DR Foundation
Photo from The Mariposa DR Foundation
Photo from Days for Girls International
Photo from Days for Girls International
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Photo courtesy of Women's Global Education Project
Photo courtesy of Women's Global Education Project

As we near the end of 2020, we are in awe of the tremendous impact that donors like you have had on women and girls around the world. Your ongoing support has directly helped our cohort of nonprofits keep their missions alive during an incredibly difficult year. 

To reflect on and celebrate the work of our amazing Girl Fund cohort, we gathered some of the project leaders under one virtual roof in October. They shared insights about the challenges, successes, and learnings that have come from the ongoing pandemic, as well as how donors like you can continue supporting gender equality in the COVID-19 era. Here are some of their main takeaways:

Patrik is exploring new ways to reduce instances of gender-based violence in Uganda

Quarantine has saved countless lives, but it has also isolated many domestic abuse victims from their friends and family and limited their ability to escape from dangerous situations or access vital resources. Act4Africa is a key network for women in Uganda, as the organization aims to help women form tight-knit groups and learn about gender equality, including their rights related to sexual and domestic abuse. Patrik shared that there has been an uptick in instances of gender-based violence, assault, and teenage pregnancies during the coronavirus pandemic. He said,

  • “One of the key things we are learning is to come up with robust and comprehensive strategies that are all aimed at reducing instances of this nature. One big challenge, in particular, has been the lack of community support structures that can foster gender equality services.” 

As Act4Africa continues to work toward transformative changes, the organization is also providing girls with vital resources, such as food, hygiene supplies, and learning packages.

Sarah reported major breakthroughs across women-led teams in Rwanda 

Only three out of five people worldwide have access to basic handwashing facilities, which means that a significant proportion of the population can’t take a key COVID-19 prevention measure. Global Water Challenge is working to change that by advancing gender equality through clean water access in Rwanda. 

This local women-led project is making women’s lives easier by reducing the time they spend collecting water, which gives them more time for education and economic pursuits. Unfortunately, the gendered impacts of COVID-19 have negatively affected women and girls. Despite the challenges, Sarah shares, 

  • “We’ve seen an incredible turnaround, flexibility, and innovation in these women-led venture teams in Rwanda. A cohort of women-led teams has installed handwashing stations by the water access points, where they also provide COVID-19 prevention information. Many women have also pivoted their business model to making soap and other hygiene supplies for the communities they serve. They’ve also been able to open up subsidies for vulnerable communities who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Ricky is tapping into new networks to keep peer-led health education alive

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit India hard and led to the widespread closure of in-person learning. But Ricky and his team at Adolescent Health Champions know that health education is more urgent and necessary than ever. To keep training girls as peer health educators in low-income schools outside of the classroom, Adolescent Health Champions significantly shifted their operations. 

  • “One of the proudest accomplishments we’ve had over the past six months is strengthening the role that youth play in helping us shape our strategy and vision. We’ve solidified and strengthened our youth advisory board, which consists of students at our schools across Mumbai, and they’ve been so instrumental in helping us shape our COVID-19 response. They’ve been working with us to transition in-person learning to virtual, co-design a new app, and help us develop a new curriculum, including a COVID-19 specific module.”

These are only a few of the inspiring stories we heard at the webinar, and I invite you to check it out for yourself. Because of generous donors like you, organizations have been able to turn obstacles into opportunities, and ideas into realities for thousands of women and girls around the world. I look forward to keeping you updated about all the exciting things happening with the Girl Fund cohort in the coming months.

With Gratitude,

Sami + the GlobalGiving Team

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Location: Washington, D.C. - USA
EIN: 30-0108263

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About GlobalGiving’s Disaster Response

When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.

We make it easy, quick, and safe to support people on the ground who understand needs in their communities better than anyone else.

They were there long before the news cameras arrived, and they’ll be there long after the cameras leave. They know how to make their communities more resilient to future disasters, and they’re already hard at work. GlobalGiving puts donations and grants directly into their hands. Because the status quo—which gives the vast majority of funding to a few large organizations—doesn’t make sense.

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