Picture to the right by: Dogoodfilms & Lacy Wittman
In Zambia, life for a young girl is challenging. With over 60% of the population living below the poverty line, it’s no surprise that school drop-outs usually begin around the age of 13. Teenage pregnancy, menstruation, duties around the home, or having to care for younger siblings often cause girls to abandon their schooling or fall more than 2 years behind their expected age grade. 2010 Central Statistical Office reported only 13% of girls ever make it to secondary school. With very little support for those girls, it limits their potential and has other far-reaching implications.
Since launching in Livingstone, The Girl Impact program has impacted close to 700 girls and women. Alongside running regular workshops, we also implemented the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP): Health and Life Skills Curriculum. This was developed in Zambia to teach girls to build strong support networks, increase knowledge around reproductive health, and develop their decision-making and negotiation skills.
• HIV spreads twice as fast among uneducated girls in Zambia than in 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
Working with girls aged 10-16, we provide educational workshops and activities designed around the 6 Pillars and AGEP Program to cover topics that are relevant to girls in Livingstone.
Women workshops, consisting both of support and income generation groups, educate women on the 6 Pillars so they can know their rights in their community. Skill training workshops provide skills and entrepreneur training.
After working with girls and women, we realized, what about boys? Boys come together for workshops and activities which are designed around the 6 Pillars.