The Girls’ Empowerment Program has been a main focus for Determined to Develop as a way to strengthen girls’ agency to overcome obstacles that often hinder their educational and personal development. Our program consists of three separate initiatives, all focused on creating a platform for female youth to realize their full potential. They include Girls Club, the Female Mentorship Program, and a girls’ Income-Generating Activity (IGA).
The Girls Empowerment Program has seen an increase in enrollment numbers in all four sections of Girls Club during the 2018-2019 school year, with a record-breaking number of 247 participants! In order to keep up with our girls’ needs, the D2D staff has been creating a new informal education curriculum to ensure that lessons are age-appropriate and aligned with each group’s level of education and understanding. Unlike previous years, Girls Club is now separated between four groups, with Standard 5-6, Standard 7-8, Form 1-2, and Form 3-4 meeting on different days during the week. Despite having four different curricula, each curriculum will build upon one another, following the girls’ educational and personal development. The lessons are designed to address a wide range of issues and challenges, as expressed by our local community and our own female youth. Subjects include decision making skills, leadership, assertiveness, resisting peer pressure, self-esteem, confidence building, malnutrition, and reproductive health.
Recently, one of our Girls’ Club members has completed her time as a participant, and has assumed the role of a leader in our Girls’ Club community. Martha, age 21, has been a D2D sponsored student and active Girls’ Club member since 2015. Having completed her Form 4 exams at Kwawa Secondary School in July, she will be on break awaiting her scores for the next few months. However, you can still find Martha on the D2D campus working hard on the girls’ IGA and acting as an exemplary leader to all our sponsored youth. Martha has taken the reigns on the girls’ IGA, sharing her knowledge on proper chicken care with the secondary school girls, while also keeping them accountable. When she’s not tending to the chickens, you can find Martha in the Girls Club classroom, helping to teach the primary girls and advising those in secondary. “Girls Club has helped me feel more empowered by teaching us to be brave and confident for the future. Young girls are listening and learning skills to help them achieve their goals and focus on their school performance. The chicken IGA will help us to buy items like soap and lotion, and not be dependent on parents or older men, and help us to learn to do business”. In the future, Martha wants to be a medical doctor. She believes that the education she’s received in school along with the life-skills she’s learned from Girls Group will help her to achieve her goals.