Category

The Girl Impact

The Girl Impact, Kilimanjaro

By | The Girl Impact
In Tanzania we are working with partner schools as well as a group of unemployed women to teach vital skills training and mentorship.
Gender equality in Tanzania is relatively advanced, compared to it’s neighbouring countries. However, while there is a higher number of women in school, work and even in politics, women are still hugely under-served in rural communities and face many inequalities in their daily lives.

  • About 14.6% of all women and girls aged between 15 and 49 have been subjected to female genital mutilation.
  • 41% of girls transition to secondary school education. However, only 3% complete the cycle, mostly due to pregnancy.
  • The percentage of women aged 20-24 who were married before the age of 18 is 38%.
  • Salaries paid to women are on average 63% lower than those paid to men.
  • When women own businesses, they make 2.4 times less profit than men.

In the town of Moshi, at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro, African Impact run education, public health and enterprise projects to target some of these issues, and have more recently developed a gender equality initiative in conjunction with The Girl Impact.

These gender empowerment projects focus primarily on empowering girls through education and skills development initiatives, while engaging all members of the community, including boys.

EDUCATION – We help reduce the barriers to education for girls, enabling them to stay in school for longer and improve their ability to earn a living.

HEALTH – We help educate boys and girls about health risks, prevention and treatment, as well as providing support for those living with health issues such as HIV, AIDs or malaria.

SAFETY – We aim to change attitudes of whole communities on violence against girls and women, as well as providing support to those who have been the victim of violence or do not live in a safe environment.

EARLY PREGNANCY – We provide education to girls, boys and communities which aims to reduce the rates of early pregnancy in young girls, avoid unwanted pregnancy and support girls who are dealing with teenage pregnancy and early parenthood.

INCOME GENERATION – Our program prepares girls to make a living as they get older by discussing their options, teaching skills and supporting their efforts.

SELF-CONFIDENCE – We give girls a platform to value asking questions, be challenged and supported in their opinions as a means of building up girls’ self-esteem and confidence so they can take more responsibility for their future.

As part of The Girl Impact Women’s Group, Wakipa Women’s Group was established in 2015 to provide health, educational and support workshops to 13 women. Over the years, the women grew into an income generating group with an aim to start their own business.

  • 2018: The women identified they would like to start their own events company. Together we created a programme that would assist in the creation of an events company run by the 13 women, as well as an opportunity to train, coach and employ 13 girls in business skills and event management.  As a result of the fundraising efforts in 2018, these 13 women attended a series of event and business management training sessions so they could start their own events company.  For its launch, funds also supported their purchasing of equipment such as chairs, tents, pots and cooking utensils.  At the end of 2018, these women were hosting events for up to 500-600 attendees! It is now Wakipa’s goal to train the additional 13 girls in their community and then employ them in their business.
  • 2019: Fundraising will support the training of these girls, as well as supporting the growth of the Wakipa’s events company.

For more information go to the Girl Impact website

The Girl Impact, Zambia

By | The Girl Impact
In Zambia we are working with over 100 girls, as well as boys and women to create lasting change.
In Zambia, life for a young girl is hard. With over 60% of the population living below the poverty line, it’s no surprise that school dropout usually begins around the age of 13. Teenage pregnancy, menstruation, duties around the home or having to care for younger siblings, often causes girls to abandon their schooling, or fall more than two years behind their expected age grade. With very little support for those girls, it limits their potential and has other far-reaching implications.

  • HIV spreads twice as fast among uneducated girls in Zambia than any country in the world.
  • Women with no education have their first birth 6.2 years earlier than women with secondary education.
  • 1 in 10 Zambian women are married before the age of 15 and 45% are married by the age of 18.
  • About 28% of young females aged 15 to 19 years have begun child bearing.
  • 47% of women in Zambia have experienced physical violence since they turned 15 years old.

These startling statistic, along with many others, founded the need for African Impact’s volunteer programs in Victoria Falls. For many years, the teams on the ground have provided essential education, medical, sports, nutrition and community development initiatives that have benefited local people living in the Victoria Falls area.

Despite these successful programs, no program focused specifically on empowering the smart, young women that the team interacted with each day. Thus, The Girl Impact in Zambia was born.

EDUCATION – We help reduce the barriers to education for girls, enabling them to stay in school for longer and improve their ability to earn a living.

HEALTH – We help educate boys and girls about health risks, prevention and treatment, as well as providing support for those living with health issues such as HIV, AIDs or malaria.

SAFETY – We aim to change attitudes of whole communities on violence against girls and women, as well as providing support to those who have been the victim of violence or do not live in a safe environment.

EARLY PREGNANCY – We provide education to girls, boys and communities which aims to reduce the rates of early pregnancy in young girls, avoid unwanted pregnancy and support girls who are dealing with teenage pregnancy and early parenthood.

INCOME GENERATION – Our program prepares girls to make a living as they get older by discussing their options, teaching skills and supporting their efforts.

SELF-CONFIDENCE – We give girls a platform to value asking questions, be challenged and supported in their opinions as a means of building up girls’ self-esteem and confidence so they can take more responsibility for their future.

African Impact Foundation works with several different communities – known locally as compounds – throughout Livingstone, including Linda, Dambwa, Libuyu and Mwandi to name only a few. The total population of Livingstone is an estimated 136,897 (Census 2010) – however, figures are difficult to accurately measure given the transient nature of the town and the location of surrounding settlements. Livingstone is a tourist town and a border town (borders Zimbabwe) set to the backdrop of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The Girl Impact, the Foundation’s gender equality programme, was launched in Livingstone in 2015. From the start of 2015, we have been hosting Girls’ and Boys’ groups as well as our Women’s group under a mango tree, a non-conducive learning space to talk about gender equality and sensitive issues

  • 2017: The idea to build a Community Centre was launched in order to better facilitate workshops and extend our impact past the 200 girls, boys and women we work with.  Our vision for this centre is to create a safe space to have workshops, counselling, activities and support education for girls, boys and parents to bring better opportunities for girls as they grow into young women.
  • 2018: Fundraising was launched where we raised enough money to purchase land for the Community Centre as well as start Phase One of the build. Additional funds raised in 2018 were spent on providing resources and support for the income generation garden, women’s income-generating group, as well as The Girl Impact group sessions for resources and materials.
  • 2019: We will continue to fundraise for the construction of the Community Centre and looking for the right plot of land / building to create our new centre, as well as continue support on our existing Girl Impact programmes.

For more information go to the Girl Impact website

The Girl Impact, Cape Town

By | The Girl Impact
The girl impact project in Cape Town aims to provide education and skills development to girls, boys, women and men.
In post-Apartheid South Africa, girls are in real need of support. Particularly in Cape Town, issues surrounding access to and staying in education, restricted access to healthcare, high abuse rates and a patriarchal system where men hold primary authority all mean that girls are often left behind. Through the Girl Impact project in Cape Town our aim is to leave no girl behind.

Buyelekhaya Community Development is a registered non-profit organization (NPO) situated in Khayelitsha. Originally beginning in 2007, and formally registering as an NPO in 2010, Buyelekhaya seeks to work with vulnerable children and youth to learn about their own culture and backgrounds through dance.

The afterschool hours are especially hazardous for these vulnerable children and youth in this area. The group aims to provide the children with a safe environment and teaches values promoting a safe and healthy lifestyle. In creating a positive after school environment and engaging in the positive outlet of dance, the youth are less susceptible to substance abuse and gangsterism, while staying involved in school and working to achieve academic success. Buyelekhaya is an extremely intimate atmosphere to be a part of as the group practices within their leader’s home.

African Impact was first introduced to Buyelekhaya in the second half of 2015, and began meeting with the youth late in 2015.

African Impact’s role is to run aftercare sessions each Friday afternoon as a source of support for the group, helping them to work through any issues they may have with school or at home. Programming is now centring around the pillars of the Girl Impact: education, health, early pregnancy, safety, making a living and confidence in self.

• Just over half of girls in South Africa will leave education before completing Grade 12
• 39% of girls aged 15 – 24 years have given birth, with 28% having never married or lived with the father of the child
• Only 1 third of clinics in South Africa provide contraception options to people seeking contraception aged 13 -19 years
• 45% of girls aged 14 – 24 years describe their first sexual experience as coerced by their male partner

The low standard of living in the surrounding area means parents often don’t have the means to support their children by providing essential items such as food. As African Impact programming continues, this is becoming increasingly apparent. This is evident with the group’s leader feeding the children when she has an occasional surplus of money and hunger affecting the concentration of the children/youth during sessions on a Friday afternoon.

African Impact’s volunteer programs in Cape Town have been working in the township community of Khayelitsha, among others, for many years. While their continuing programming touches on key issues such as early childhood development, health and nutrition, as well as education, they saw a need to provide a more targeted initiative towards their 11 – 18-year-old male and female participants that focused on gender equality.
Their relationships with existing community partners and the children and adolescents in their care soon served as a platform for launching a gender empowerment program, hand in hand with the team at The Girl Impact.

6 PILLARS

EDUCATION – We help reduce the barriers to education for girls, enabling them to stay in school for longer and improve their ability to earn a living.

HEALTH – We help educate boys and girls about health risks, prevention and treatment, as well as providing support for those living with health issues such as HIV, AIDs or malaria.

SAFETY – We aim to change attitudes of whole communities on violence against girls and women, as well as providing support to those who have been the victim of violence or do not live in a safe environment.

EARLY PREGNANCY – We provide education to girls, boys and communities which aims to reduce the rates of early pregnancy in young girls, avoid unwanted pregnancy and support girls who are dealing with teenage pregnancy and early parenthood.

INCOME GENERATION – Our program prepares girls to make a living as they get older by discussing their options, teaching skills and supporting their efforts.

SELF-CONFIDENCE – We give girls a platform to value asking questions, be challenged and supported in their opinions as a means of building up girls’ self-esteem and confidence so they can take more responsibility for their future.

Short term:
Introduce a relief feeding program whereby children receive healthy and fulfilling food once a week, prior to African Impact sessions. This will be at an approximate cost of R250-R300 per week for the whole group.

Long term:
A structure put in place incorporating the following:
• Sourcing of partners who can fund the program / provide food directly to Buyelekhaya
• Integration of income generation activities to make the group more self-sufficient
• Possible creation of a food garden at Buyelekhaya so that they can grow their own food
• Ongoing support of African Impact volunteers in shaping a bright future for the youth where they feel empowered to finish school and seek employment, thus funding their own futures.

Khayelitsha is a partially informal township in Western Cape, South Africa. Located in the Cape Flats area in the City of Cape Town, Khayelitsha means ‘New Home’ in Xhosa. It is noted to be the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. Today Khayelitsha has an estimated official population of over 500,000 people but the unofficial number counts just under two million people including informal settlement areas as well. The ethnic makeup of Khayelitsha consists mainly of Black African residents, who predominantly speak Xhosa. Khayelitsha has a very young population with over 40% of residents being under the age of 19. As with other settlement communities, residents in Khayelitsha have limited access to basic utilities such as water, sewage, electricity and health care.

The Girl Impact was established in 2015 to offer gender equality workshops and income generating activities to focus on the gender equality gap across our East and Southern African programmes. Launching in 2015, one of Cape Town’s first partners included working with Buyelekhaya Dance group, a dance group programme which served as an after-school programme to provide a safe space and for genuine connection through the medium of dance. The Foundation provided a feeding scheme for 3 years; however, this came to an end in 2018, as the teenagers had aged out of our programme

  • 2018: We welcomed our new partner, Masibonisane, a women-led initiative and income generating group where we support through health advice, income generation skills and English lessons. Funds spent through the year were used to provide income-generating resources to groups. Finally, through our other partner, GAPA, we host Girls’ and Boys’ Talks which consist of bi-weekly gender equality workshops and a reading club. We fundraised for a mobile library which is used in a structured reading programme every Monday. Students can also check out books to read outside of the classroom.
  • 2019: We want to expand the programme with our new partners to increase our impact and reach.

For more information go to the Girl Impact website