We Stand “With Her:” How GGAC is supporting the educational development of Nigerian girls
Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl Child. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face globally, while promoting girls' empowerment and the attainment of their human rights. This year, the theme is “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce.”
The world as we know it is changing rapidly thanks to technology and innovation. Yet, although there is increasing demand for educated and skilled workers, estimates show that approximately a quarter of young people are currently unemployed and not enrolled in any education or training program. Of this group, most of them are female.
Over the next decade, roughly 1 billion young people — 600 million of them adolescent girls — will enter the workforce. More than 90 percent of these young people live in developing countries where the majority of opportunities available to them are in the informal sector. This means that over the course of their lifetimes, they will have to deal with working for little or no pay and endure abuse and exploitation.
As an NGO working to support the rights of the girl child in Nigeria, Give Girls A Chance’s mission is to transform the lives of low-income girls by ensuring that they have access to quality education and skills training programs that could increase their chances of finding meaningful and fulfilling work in the future.
On 11 October, International Day of the Girl Child, we are working alongside other concerned citizens and organizations and all Nigerian girls to expand existing learning opportunities and chart new pathways. We are calling on Nigeria and the global community to rethink the approaches being taken to prepare our Nigerian girls for a successful transition into the world of work.
In line with this year’s theme “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce,” Give Girls A Chance pledges to engage in a year-long effort to raise awareness of the status of the Nigerian girl child. We commit to working with partners, local and international, to design and implement interventions that will address the most pressing educational and skills training needs of Nigerian girls.
Remembering that all girls matter, Give Girls A Chance’s mission for the following year is to establish a coding program, Code Her Future, for girls living in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Abuja, FCT. Targeting up to 200 girls in the first year, the goal is to partner with coding academies to design a program suited to the needs of IDP girls. The girls will receive coding training over the course of the year and will be linked to community development workers, who will serve as mentors and help address some of the psychosocial challenges these girls face as a result of the trauma they have endured. If the pilot is successful, we hope to extend the program to other IDP camps and reach up to 1,000 girls by the end of 2020.
"If you educate a boy you educate an individual, if you educate a girl you educate a nation"