Girls want to use their hands, creativity and resources around them to create income in order to alleviate poverty and support their education. Six girls clubs (300 girls) from rural and urban poor areas of Sierra Leone have set up viable projects in weaving, piggery and African dress designs. Their leadership structures, needs assessments and their mentors are all in place to support them but all they need is start up income to ensure their projects get the materials they need to start.
Many girls in Sierra Leone are on the markets selling in order to bring income to families. Many of the girls have dropped out of school due to the fact that they cannot pay school fees. There is exploitation of girls from rural areas in hotels where they are forced into commercial sex work. Some girls who refuse to undergo female genital mutilation are rejected by families.
Girls proposed a project called Money from our hands because they felt being economically empowered goes a long way in stopping parents, traditionalists and traffickers from exploiting them. They know how to use their hands in order to send themselves to school. Once they have income with them they can advance their knowledge of doing things and develop themselves and many girls around them. Lack of income forces them to take the abuse because that is the only alternative.
Creating sustainable income for girls using locally available resources goes a long way in positioning girls as leaders and not the victims communities think they are. It is hoped many girls will get the business skills necessary to set themselves up in more organised enterprises and take charge of their economic empowerment which is key to social development.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).
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