Empowerment of Girls Through Education

by Free a Girl
Empowerment of Girls Through Education
Empowerment of Girls Through Education
Empowerment of Girls Through Education
Empowerment of Girls Through Education
Empowerment of Girls Through Education
Empowerment of Girls Through Education

As of September 2016, the project reached 687 girls directly through empowerment workshops and film screenings of He Named Me Malala sharing the inspiring story of education activist Malala Yousafzai. 

A 4-day programme with multiple sessions was used at 4 rehabiltiation centres for at-risk girls and girl victims and a one-day programme was organised for girls and boys in 5 schools in vulnerable communities and 2 drop-in-centres in red light areas of Kolkata. The sessions included providing information on the Right to Education Act and Kanyashree programme in West Bengal, focus group discussions, games, audio visual exercises, screening the inspiring film He Named Me Malala, role play sessions and a feedback session for each day. The participatory exercises centred around themes such as: defining successful/ empowered women, discussing the benefits of being educated, and restrictions of girls in our society and how to overcome it.

Most girls (90%) reported back that they were inspired by the workshops and the story of Malala Yousafzai. This programme mainly focused on promoting education for empowerment, but also focused on holistic empowerment and increasing self-confidence for girls. Many children at the drop-in-centres in red light areas, many of whom had dropped out or never attended school, expressed their desire to enrol in formal education – these children are both boys and girls. Not only that, girls in the rehabiltiation home were provided with non-formal education and access to formal education.

After completing the empowerment workshops several girls from the drop-in-centres in the red light areas self-formed a Peer Advocacy Group and are working towards ensuring rights of the local children, including expalining the problem of child marriage and promoting the importance of education. This is incredibly inspiring! Nadia district government in West Bengal expressed their strong interest to include this empowerment project within the existing government programme, ‘Sabala’, which is also a significant achievement for sustaining this work.


Quotes by participants 

  • “If Malala can… why can’t I”- participant from a rehabilitation home


  • “After watching the film, I decided to continue my study again. My step father came to the shelter home and threatened me to quit study… I  have a challenge… I will show him what can I do”- participant from a Shelter Home


  • “I am Malala in my own world”- participant from the drop-in-centre, Bowbazar.


  • “The film teach me how to protest… I protested for my friend and rescued her from Child Marriage”- participant from drop-in-centre, Khiddirpore.


  • “I want to help those helpless children, who are in difficult situation… as Malala does”- a participant from a school, Nadia.


  • “ We should show this film to the girls in Bangladesh who are fighting for their rights for years… Malala is an inspiration for us”- a Bangladeshi survivor


  • “Education has no age limit…… I want to study again”- 29 year-old participant from a rehabilitation home.
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Empowerment of girls through education: supporting girls who are victims or at risk of commercial sexual exploitation


1. Summary

 Progress Report: Empowerment of girls through education: supporting girls who are victms or at risk of commercial sexual exploitation

Reporting period: 1st April 2016 - 16th April 2016


2. Activities conducted

In total, 415 girls were reached at 8 different institutions (rehabilitation centre, government institutional care facility, two drop-in-centres and four high schools) during the reporting period, 1 - 16 April 2016. Two different methodologies were used: one-day session for the school children and a four-day session for the children in shelter homes and drop-in-centres. The sessions were simple and enjoyable for the children. The emphasis was placed on screening the film, ‘He named me Malala’, as well as presenting and discussing Malala Yousafzai’s main message about the right to education at empowerment workshops. For both the one-day and four-day sessions, the following key modules were included:

  • Introduction by the Facilitators
  • Storytelling on Malala Yousafzai: A one-page write up on Malala and her journey so far was developed and distributed to the children. It was noticed that 95% of the children were unaware about Malala (through interaction) before the session was conducted. So it was important to conduct this session before showcasing the film, 'He Named me Malala'.
  • Screening'the film, ‘He Named me Malala’: To ensure that the film was understandable to the children, the film was divided into 10 chapters and in between most chapters, an interaction and discussion was undertaken.  The interaction was required to clarify the journey, messages of the film to the participants. 
  • Informing the children about 'Right to Education Act’ and 'Kanyashree' instruments in West Bengal: Right to Education Act is to ensure the rights for all children to get education until he/she reaches 14 years of age. Kanyashree is a scheme by the Government of West Bengal. This aims to help girls to continue studying and also to prevent the early child marriage among girls under 18 years of age. Raising awareness on the legal instruments available is vital to explaining the importance of education. A two-sided handout was distributed to the children.
  • Participatory and interactive activities during workshops aimed at raising awareness and empowering girls: Group activities and exercises such as ‘successful Indian women’, ‘successful women and the importance of education in their lives’, ‘girls in our society’, and ‘story-building sessions’ took place during all the four-day workshops at the Sanlaap rehabilitation centre, government institutional care facility and drop-in-centres.
  • Feedback session:  Feedback is essential to assess the success of the workshop and to learn from participants themselves. Instead of verbal feedback, a one-page written feedback form was developed and distributed to the participants. A process to analyse the results systematically is also being developed. 
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Organization Information

Free a Girl

Location: Haarlem - Netherlands
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Twitter: @freeagirl
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Free a Girl Free a Girl
Haarlem, Netherlands

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