Dear GlobalGiving and Partners,
Empowering the Girl through Education Project is a life changing activity which is improving the lives of girls in rural Sierra Leone more especially the Northern Region. This project has become more popular due to its role in the lives of these girl children, give rights and power to Girls has been the bedrock of this project, which has helped lot of girls regain their lost dignities. Throughout 2018, we have been focusing on rescuing these girls who has been engaged in forceful and early child marriages, teenage pregnancy, also guided, protected and supported through development, advocacy and relief.
250 girls affected need to continue their education for another academic year has started. 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.
In another development, 32 schools were visited with messages of “I am a girl, Not a Bride” 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.
Also, we organized an event called “He for She” were boys advocating for girls in over 30 communities. They stand in the gap to advocate for girls in these communities. Boys who were mentored during the event, were supported to reach other boys, on one to one meetings with the message “Hands off our girls”.
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 items during the holiday period.
The support from donors to this project is well appreciated. Donations from GlobalGiving Foundation, its donors, friends and partners contributed and received were used to support the areas of need for girls to access and retain in schools, and to give voice to girls, to be change agents, against issues affecting them.
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.
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.
During our outreach programme a lot was discovered, more girls were identified to access education and other rights. The urgent needs that were discovered are exercise 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 fluctuation of the foreign exchange, rise in food commodities. At the moment there is a huge presence of extreme poverty, which has led poor parents and their children into illegal practices which includes prostitution, gender-based violence and early marriages, girls and women are deep suffering.
In many communities visited, Girls 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. Sierra Leone as a country, is now experiencing challenges that needs to be address. Though it is a daunting task for it to be address at this moment.
We wish to extend thanks to you as one of our generous supporters, who have worked with us to meet the need of beneficiaries. Our heartfelt thanks goes to GlobalGiving and all our supporters for making this project a success. Your partnership, donations, love and concerns, means a lot to us. We love you very much.
We cannot achieve this alone but with your support this can be achieved. We are still looking forward to your support in making this possible.
He for She