We hope this report finds you well.
The end of the year is almost upon us and we have been working doubly hard in the past several months to continue strengthening ties with our partner orgnizations and communities as well as reaching out to other vulnerable groups in and around the major cities of Cebu. Although finding the perfect venue and time to do our various scheduled activities have been quite challenging as face-to-face classes have resumed, we are also grateful as this makes reaching out to our community partners a lot faster and easier.
In the month of October, we have conducted Safe Spaces and Community Mentorship activities which have been wonderfully received. We have also conducted leadership and youth empowerment training sessions to give our partners the necessary knowledge and skills to become better versions of themselves. In the month of November, we also organized and capacitated Community and school partners on key areas on child participation - a move that proved to be very beneficial in this time and age of having social media as a platform for individual free speech.
Below are some of our milestones in the last three months:
What’s Next and Why?
To deepen the impact of the Girls Got This Program from the 2022 Project, the adolescent girls and young women will undergo leadership and youth empowerment tracks, and 3-Pathway Program: Hospitality and Operations Management Pathway, Entrepreneurship Pathway, and Digital Pathway with the overall goal of equipping them with various technical and soft skills. The skills they will learn under the different pathways will prepare them for the world of work, while also ensuring their school, community and youth mentors are capacitated in addressing their issues and concerns.
Ending 2022 will surely be a memorable year to date for these adolescent girls and young women for you have been with them throughout their journey. Here are some more details of these girls' achievement.
We trust this report finds you well and safe.
We have been extremely busy over recent months with continuing and expanding our reach to the most vulnerable girls across Metro Cebu. While the educational fallout of COVID-19 continues to impact girls, the more immediate pressure has been the sudden cost of living for families in poverty. Essential goods cost up to 30% more than in March 2022, putting a huge burden on those living on the cusp of poverty. This added financial stress and placed more pressure on adolescent girls to take the role of income generators.
FundLife, through Girls Got This, has been responding in real-time, delivering our mentorship, counselling and employment-ready skills training to ensure girls can stay in education and gain dignified employment.
Below are some of the highlights we have achieved over the last three months:
We thank you for your ongoing support and hope you can take some time to read more details about the success of some of these girls that we are continuing to support
We trust this report finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
Despite the continued impact of Typhoon Odette, it has been a hectic and rewarding three months for our 'Girls Got This' projects. Here are some of the highlights which have been delivered as a direct result of your continued support;
We share below some pictures from the field and invite you to read more about these successes through the links provided. We also hope you can follow our work via our socials where we continue to provide regular updates;
Thank you for your continued support!
Girls Got This, Cebu
We hope our latest project updates find you safe and well.
It has been a very difficult few weeks for people all over Central Philippines, including many of the girls we are supporting in Cebu, as they continue to recover from the impacts of Typhoon Rai, which ravaged the communities of Surigao Del Norte, Leyte, Negros, Cebu and Palawan when it hit on Dec 16th, 2021. In total, over 4 million people were displaced from the Typhoon, which was the strongest typhoon since Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit in 2013. Many of the most vulnerable are still trying to recover as their homes were damaged, and for so many, completely destroyed.
The typhoon also directly impacted FundLife communities and staff from Cebu. Many communities in Cebu City were without power for almost 3 weeks and communities in the province are still without access to power or clean drinking water.
For vulnerable girls in Cebu, the Typhoon came on the back of an almost two-year lockout from school and further threatens their right to a safe childhood and access to learning. It is vital we still continue to prioritise education for girls, despite the urgent need to ensure they have safe houses and access to water and food security.
Prior to the typhoon, there had been great progress being made through our 'Girls Got This' programming, with the following notable updates occurring between October - December;
Our focus this month has been ensuring all the girls we have been supporting prior to the typhoon and safe and have their basic needs met. Many of the programming activities planned for January have not been possible due to power and mobile signal being lost after the typhoon.
Our intention is to kick-start our 2022 programming early in February and remind girls that no matter what challenges we face, the right to our education and dreams should never be compromised. Adversity gives strength and for all the girls who continue to work, despite COVID-19 challenges and now the Typhoon, it will build amazing resiliency and show them that they can overcome anything!
We believe in her dreams and we are excited to see what 2022 brings for girls!
Thank you for believing in our work and for your ongoing support.
I am writing to share an update report showing all the developments we have done so far with our #standwithgirls movement.
While nearly every country in the world has partially or fully reopened schools to in-person classes, the Philippines has kept them closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. School enrolments fell to 26.9 million in September 2020 and have dropped a further 5 million since, according to official figures. The current educational emergency has an immensense impact on the future of all children, and especially adolescent girls.
To cope with this educational crisis, #standwithgirls has been busy to keep adolescent girls engaged with their studies and help them not drop out of school. Since the last time we spoke, we have been able to distribute over 750 'Safe at home and in-learning packs' to the most vulnerable girls in Cebu. These packs include: educational materials, as well as internet load to join online classes, hygiene products and activity books to help girls deal with anxiety and mental health pressures during the pandemic.
To have a better grasp about the needs and struggles of the girls we work with, we conducted a survey interviewing over 750 adolescents in Cebu. Findings showed that our respondents strongly agreed that they are having a hard time finding a good wifi/data connection for their online classes. 40.8% said that they don’t have an available internet connection while 5.8% answered that they use mobile data to connect to their online classes incurring additional expenses that are hard to cover for many families in the Philippines. This shows how critical the support is that we are providing, and how much your help is needed to help us continue our efforts!
We have been able to resume with our 'Community Learning Spaces' in Leyte, providing access to safe learning zones for children who do not have access to learning spaces. In total, 105 children have been using the space since it was launched in partnership with local health authorities. To empower our girls we have organised women empowerment and mentorship sessions across Cebu and Leyte with a total 139 adolescent girls and young women joining these sessions.
Some of the young women have been able to complete our 'Girls Got This Works' COVID-19 employment pathway program with a 60% employment success rate. Another 14 girls are currently enrolled in the program. 2 young women will be starting vocational training courses where they will develop new skills that can translate into a rewarding career.
To create more opportunities for young people we launched our Online Programming Classes last year, where 5 youth mentors graduated from at the beginning of this year. Another 12 participants have enrolled in the Online Programming Classes in Tacloban and 10 more adolescent girls will be starting the online programming courses next month in Cebu, where they will enhance their skills in coding, web design, software development, data analysis and in other technical areas.
We are still going strong with our 'stay at home' videos and 'educational' videos, which are shared on our social media platforms twice a week, to keep children informed on social issues like peer influence ,what drugs are & what are the effects and gender identity. These videos are not only created to educate children about certain topics but also to keep them sane and healthy while in lockdown.
We also continued with our community based session, and extended our mentorship sessions across Cebu. We have been delivering mentorship sessions four times a month in several communities in Cebu focusing on the topics like my changing body, peer pressure and menstruation during the pandemic. The girls expressed that they are learning more about themselves and find the sessions useful in terms of getting different insights in life.
Thank you for all your support, which is what makes our work possible. I hope we can do more good together in helping adolescent girls during this educational crisis!
For more information, follow our Girls Got This on Facebook or Instagram!
Stay safe, healthy and active during these very difficult times.
All the best,
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