Empowering The Girl Child is AGABA’s alternative education program that allows young women and girls, generally 12-25 years of age, to access education and livelihood opportunities learn about their human rights and to cultivate leadership skills. To date the Empowering The Girl Child has served 110 young women, for 60% of these young women this is their first chance to receive any education.
This project is designed to serve participants with various learning levels, cultures, languages, and traumas in a unique classroom environment that provides education, social support, and life skills at their own individual pace. The project also provides an onsite daycare facility for young and new mothers.
Depending on individual needs, project participation typically ranges from one to three years. Participants engage in four transitional program components:
- Basic Education:AGABA’s specialized alternative education curriculum includes various learning tracks of literacy and basic math, English courses. The curriculum is based on the national Department of Education’s Non-Formal Adult Education Guidelines. The program consists of three levels and corresponds with formal primary school primary 1-7. Depending on the grade level, participants are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, language skills, social studies, and science.
- Life-Skills Development:The life-skills component includes units on health, human rights and peace building, leadership, and community resources. Trainings are structured in participatory way so girls gain self-confidence and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. Considering many girls have been denied access to information and support to protect their own sexual and reproductive health, we have a particular focus in creating a safe environment in which they can make informed choices. Topics include sexual and reproductive health and rights, sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response, HIV/AIDS prevention. Additionally, through afterschool programs and special projects like photography, poetry, and newsletter writing, we engage girls to think critically about issues affecting their own communities and how they can become agents of change.
- Vocational Training: In this six-month tailoring course, participants gain skills in hand and machine stitching, measuring and cutting of fabrics, and sewing. Participants also learn a variety of stitch techniques like embroidery. In the latter two months before graduation, participants are enrolled to pre-production training where they learn advanced designs unique to the African crafts. They also receive a small stipend to jumpstart their savings and transition into independence.
- Income Generation:Through the Miss Independent, an innovative economic springboard that helps foster self-sufficiency, participants create and manage a line of unique hand-dyed scarves and other textiles. Participants are able to save money, open bank accounts, and achieve the ability to pay their own rent and household expenses.