In developing communities, girls and young women are too often blocked from education and left behind. This can be the result of anything from child marriage or early pregnancy, to the social and cultural taboo surrounding periods. But whatever the cause, they all contribute to structural gender inequality. And whatever the cause, being held back from achieving an education leads to girls falling into a cycle of poverty from which they are not equipped to break free.
Get Set is our girls education and training programme in Northern Ghana. It focuses on equipping girls and young women under 25 to complete an education, whether that means reintegrating into school, or learning literacy, numeracy and practical skills to enable them to earn a living.
Together with TradeAid, the Non-Formal Education Department in Ghana, and local schools and employers, we work with girls and young women who are out of school, using an interactive numeracy and literacy programme delivered both with technology and face to face learning support.
For those girls whose age or circumstances prohibit them from returning to school, we initiate vocational training and a work placement for them to gain vital experience and develop their practical skills and knowledge.
We also work with girls’ family members to increase their understanding of the value of education. In order for their girls to return to and complete school, it is essential for families to be on board, as their support and encouragement will give them the strength to persevere.
And because we know that their lack of education is very likely to have affected their confidence, we make sure that all the girls engage in life skills training and interpersonal support.
We work with organisations in developing communities to raise awareness about the knock-on effect of girls missing school due to periods, and increase access to the sanitary products that will enable them to attend school wherever they are in their cycle.
We have worked in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for over 50 years, including launching a Literacy and Adult Education Office at Birzeit University in 1976. In that time, literacy rates of people over 15 years old have increased from 47% to 96.9%.
In Ghana, over 600,000 girls are out of school (UNESCO). We're working with local communities and government to change that.