On a quarterly basis our Charity Partner OneGirl release their report card, sharing with their business partners some of the wonderful work they’ve been able to achieve. We’ve had a read through and have some notable tidbits from the report to share so you can see changes this amazing charity is making through its programs.
Promoting Health and Menstrual Hygiene Management, and Tackling Period Taboos: Last year OneGirl launched a pilot of the digital wellbeing course, Girl Tok – to much success. This year, OneGirl are spending some time to make it even bigger and better, with greater impact for the girls and their lives. To do this, the charity has been chatting with the girls who took part in the pilot, and gathering all of their insightful feedback to help us re-design each of the lessons. The goal is to ensure girls are receiving the most useful and practical information as possible around menstrual health and hygiene, whilst tackling some serious period taboos and promoting healthy and safe relationships.
OneGirl’s partner in Uganda, Action for Rural Women’s Empowerment, has spent the past few months catching up with Girls Emerge program participants, by undertaking 8 different monitoring visits across both Wakiso and Kyankwanzi districts. The visits were to 20 different groups of young women who had received small financial grants, as well as training in leadership, bunsiess and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Here’s a small snippet of some of what the 20 groups have been up to:
Each group reported the effective use of the grants to start small businesses, enabling participants to raise enough income to save a portion on a weekly basis.
11 of the 20 groups raised an average savings of UGX355,000 (approx AUD$129.54) for the past 4 months.
8 groups have increased membership from 10-15 and 15-25 members. New participants were from within the same communities and had expressed interest in participating in the VSLA activity.
Small scale businesses set up by participants range from selling vegetables, samosa and chip frying, and market stalls.
How Do They Do It?
OneGirl supports girls and women to overcome all of the barriers to education that they face, to provide every opportunity for them to be the best they can be. But you might be wondering how exactly the charity gets this done.
Access to quality education: Each month, scholars in Sierra Leone attend a group meeting designed to unite scholars from different schools, where they are able to meet, interact and learn new skills together. During these meetings, lunch funds and sanitary products are distributed to each of the girls. At the beginning of the year, OneGirl launched a new activity for scholars, where they reflect on a One Girl value, and how they have lived / experienced or witnessed it in their daily lives. In January the girls focused on ‘Always Learning’, February was all about ‘Collaboration’, and March looked at ‘Transparency’.
Supporting and Inspiring Future Role Models: We all know that parents are extremely important figures in the lives of girls. Over the past few months, meetings have been held with parents and guardians in both Freetown and Tonkolili, to help find ways in which parents can provide support to their children to study at home and attend school regularly. During these meetings, OneGirl staff offered various ideas and suggestions to parents/guardians, and facilitated discussions. Some of these ideas included:
Deeper involvement of parents/guardians in their children’s education, by visiting the school and building relationships with teachers
Supporting their children to study at home, and checking in with them to ensure they are meeting school requirements
Supporting children to arrive at school on time, with less household chores and family responsibilities
Championing Gender Equality By Elevating The Role and Status Of Women and Girls: What better way to elevate the role and status of women and girls than with useful business and financial skills training. As a part of Girls Emerge in Uganda, OneGirl partner organisation ARUWE conducted a series of training sessions with various VSLA groups. Training consisted of group dynamics, conflict management and resolution, governance and constitution development. A big part of this training also looked at financial management and support, where groups discussed different ways to effectively manage money, innovative savings approaches and various sources of funds.