GPP with sponsored girls
GIRL POWER PROJECT
REPORT TO GLOBALGIVING OCTOBER, 2018
Organisation: ChildHelp Sierra Leone
Country: Sierra Leone
Project Locations: Bombali District
Donor: GlobalGiving Foundation (UK/USA)
Amount of money raised: $15,708 through 353 donations
Number of beneficiaries supported: 217 Impoverish and underprivileged Girls reached
The Girl Power Project is a life changing by design activity which is improving the lives of girls in rural Sierra Leone. Girl Power has become the issue of our rural populace, give rights and power to Girls. Since 2017, ChildHelp has been focusing on a generation left behind to be rescued, guided, protected and supported through development, advocacy and relief.
217 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. Many girls were touched by the campaign words from their peers, not to be left behind and still taking the message of ending teenage pregnancy and early child marriage.
In June to July 2018, 21 schools were visited with messages of ‘’I am a girl, am not a Bride’’ In July and August 2018, Girls Reaching Girls (GRG) where formed from the Girl Power Camp organised quarterly. Over 15 communities were reached with games and sports, to raise awareness on the topic ‘’My Body, My Rights’’ from camp exposure. Girls who were mentored during the camp, where supported to reach other girls, on one to one meetings with ‘’ My Body, My Rights’’ message, more especially in the slums of Makeni, Magburaka and Lunsar. September 2018 became a month of reaching those left behind, encouraged to enroll and be admitted in recognised schools and or training centers.
This strategy helped hundreds of girls to be enrolled, admitted and provided with educational facilities in September, 2018 when schools reopened. 217 girls were provided with different support such as uniforms, tuition fees, bags and books. Teen mothers were provided with baby used items. I bicycle was provided to a 3rd year Junior Secondary school girl-child, Mary Kebbie, going to and fro from school at a distance of 4 miles every day.
The support from donors supporting the Girl Power is well appreciated. Generous 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 before.
Rural communities are facing serious Harmful Practices and the Girl Power project has taken effect stand on providing social justice to their peer group. The prevalence of the Harmful Practices against girls, especially FGM and child marriage in Sierra Leone are among the highest worldwide. Prevalence rates vary nationally, but the Northern Province (targeted by this project) has some of the worst indicators with 60% of girls married before 18 and 95% having undergone FGM (compared with respective national averages of 50% and 88%). Categorized as a fragile state, Sierra Leone is shaped by its conflicted history, which strongly influences the situation of boys and girls (who form 52% of the population, MICS4) and the social and legal systems to protect them. Despite ratifying CEDAW (1988) and adopting the ‘three Gender Acts’ and the Child Rights Act (2007), there has been inconsistent implementation and weak capacity of the structures mandated to protect boys and girls, as emphasized by recent research (Child Frontiers, 2010).
Fulfillment of women’s and girls’ rights is challenged by communities’ beliefs that maintain the status quo and stereotypes about men, women, girls and boys and their respective roles in society. Gender discrimination is at the root of Harmful Practices, which perpetuate the dominant
position of men and boys in a highly patriarchal society. The Girls reaching Girls exercises revealed the thousands of girls aged 8 to 23 years, which still lack behind with poor access to basic human rights especially in education. Girls left behind reached were educated with ‘ My Body, My Rights’’ message. The message is about reaching communities where gender-based violence is on the increase that hinders girls from accessing education and economical benefits. The message is about protecting the rights of girls in the slums against violence in accessing their rights. It is about how girls can set out to rescue, strengthen and support other girls, in their communities and how duty-bearers can protect girls’ rights from accessing their education.
During the outreach activities, more girls were identified to access social, education and economical rights. Their needs are exercise books, uniforms, backpacks, sanitary pads, shoes and transport facility and other charges in schools. This has been a barrier to access and retain in schools. There is an economic and social change which has increased costs since May 2018 due to the fluctuation of the foreign exchange, rise in fuel and food commodities. Because of extreme poverty, which has led poor parents and their children into illegal practices which includes, gender-based violence and early marriages, girls and women are the suffering masses.
In many communities visited, Girls Reaching Girls revealed more absenteeism, 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 will be tough. Though it will be not be easy, but we believe in you and our supporters, with our lessons learnt and expansion, we will do more.
Continuous and increased donations will help us to provide girls in 2018/19 academic year with school fees, bags, uniforms, solar study lamps, a laptop, a bicycle, health pads, meals, monthly caring, power mentoring and social justice, campaign and awareness raising against FGM and Child Marriage, etc to access and stay in schools and change their communities. While we served these girls, there are more thousands of kids in proposed locations, victimized, suffering, lonely every day, dropping out of schools and abused, trapped in slavery, traditional harmful practices and marginalisation in their communities. Your Little-by-Little donations will improve girls' learning and attendance in an inclusive environment protected from harm with a sustained better life.
ChildHelp wish to extend thanks to you as one of our fine supporters, who has worked with us to meet the need of our girls left behind. Thanks to our able GlobalGiving Foundation and its donors, GPEDC, COL, John Nadolski and friends, Anthropology Compassion, Child Help Line International, Webb family, Girls Not Brides, Anne Franks Fonds etc, for such great assistance. Your partnership, donations, love and concerns, means the world to us! We love you very much.
Thank you! Please don’t forget, to tell others about our campaign, to still continue to support our girls today, as you have made a real difference in their lives and ChildHelp our active organisation. We are grateful. Thanks once more and God bless you.
Kaprie J G Thoronka
Teens in Manjawor
Girls reaching Teen mothers