GESL is a feminist-based org in Sierra Leone that nurtures & enhances the leadership skills of young girls to become effective advocates & social change agents in their communities. With a keen interest to support sustainable development at the community & national level, GESL offers yr-long comprehensive training programs to participants. With IGNITE (a blended-format series that focuses on Violence Against Women and Girls), we aim to enhance the advocacy & activism skills of our participants.
Sierra Leone remains one of the world's poorest countries. UNICEF statistics show females falling significantly behind males in literacy rates (52.1%- 70.5%). Child marriage is extremely prevalent (17.7% of girls in Sierra Leone are married by 15 and 43.7% by 18), plus the worrying statistics for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), domestic abuse, little knowledge of HIV-prevention or sexual health issues-all of which demonstrate a real need to target Sierra Leone's younger female population.
Access to knowledge & support seems to be the biggest deprivation young girls are experiencing in Sierra Leone. The goal of our organization is to equip girls with the necessary knowledge, skills & networks they need to overcome the numerous obstacles they face in their societies. In helping our girls' community advocacy, our IGNITE series will host activists from around Freetown in an open-talk format where female activists & thought leaders will share their story focused on a specific topic.
GESL has successfully impacted over 200 girls in 5 years - help us impact more! Our girls say Mentorship by female mentors in our program helps them remain in school, that our leadership programs have helped them become more self-confident, aware of themselves and assume leadership roles. They gain technology skills, they become change agents and and are better equipped to identify problems and develop solutions both on the community and national level, and they build a lasting sisterhood.