We work in the countries with the highest child marriage and teenage pregnancy rates. Adolescent girls are vulnerable, and the cost of not protecting them is high. Child marriage often prevents girls from continuing their education and realising their full potential. 12 years of education for every girl would result in a 64% drop in child marriage. Our goal is to empower girls by unlocking their potential through education, life-skills, and livelihood opportunities. This enables them to fight unwanted social pressures and build healthier futures for themselves.
We create and provide safe spaces for girls aged 11-21, especially those who have dropped out of school and might be at risk of getting pregnant at a young age. Our ELA clubs offer spaces where girls can read, sing, dance, play games and socialise with their friends within walking distance of their homes. In every club, one girl is trained as a mentor to teach the others about health and nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, family planning, life skills, and financial literacy.
We believe that social empowerment and economic empowerment go hand in hand. . Members are also given basic financial literacy to earn, save, handle budget management and business planning. Our microloan services for older ELA members allow them to start their own entrepreneurial journey.
Girls who are socially are aware of their rights and have the confidence to assert themselves and resolve conflict. They understand that education is a necessity and avoid early marriage and pregnancy. ELA girls take control of their lives and in turn, they empower their loved ones and their communities.
Findings from a 2015 research by London School of Economics and the World Bank:
- ELA girls are 72% more likely to engage in income-generating activities
- Teen pregnancy fell by 26% and early entry into marriage/cohabitation fell by 58%
- Girls reporting sex against their will dropped from 14% to almost half
“It looks to me that putting money into a programme like this is a darn good investment for girls during the critical transition from childhood to adulthood”
– Marcus Goldstein, The World Bank Development Impact Blog, 2012
We will develop and scale an even stronger ELA model with the knowledge we have gained. Our approach adapts itself to the local context, we will emphasize: life skills development, reduction in early pregnancy, and livelihoods/skills development. Our target will expand to adolescent boys who are brothers, partners, and neighbors of our ELA members. We understand that change cannot be possible if only girls are empowered.
YOUR SUPPORT helps thousands of adolescents find their voice. They become more confident, financially independent, better informed, and surrounded by a network of peers to help in times of need.