Future Girls: Confidence in Education

Introducing our new girls’ education project, Future Girls

Future Girls: Confidence in Education is a project that not only aims to ensure that girls are able to attend school, but that they are able to attend with confidence. Enabling girls to achieve at school has a ripple effect of positive change across communities and down generations. Together We Learn runs a number of projects specifically to support girls’ education and we are very pleased to introduce this new project that will build on what we have learnt to reach even more girls.

In the first year of primary school the average class has more girls than boys. By the time they reach university, only three students in 10 are female.

“I am proud of having a child but I regret not being able to finish my school and not having enough income to support my family. I used to be very shy and not confident to look into people’s eyes, but I can now.”

Lijinete Womens Network member

Why is the project needed?

In the first year of primary school the average class has more girls than boys. By the time they reach university, only three students in 10 are female. Girls still bear the burden of household chores and get less time and freedom to study. Girls face the risk of sexual violence and harassment, and they have to manage their periods without adequate materials or facilities to do so. All of this means that girls often miss more school, achieve lower grades and drop out earlier than boys.

What will the project do?

The Future Girls project brings together everything we have learnt from our previous and ongoing projects supporting girls’ education to build learning environments that enable girls to go to school with confidence.

Practically, this means:

  • Communitee outreach exploring what causes girls to drop out of school, with a focus on the impact of unplanned teenage pregnancy
  • Distribution of re-usable period packs and providing training that lessens the stigma of periods
  • Training with male students to to explore gendered social norms, to reduce stigma around periods and raise awareness of other issues affecting girls
  • In-school discussion sessions with female role models
  • Establishing safe spaces for girls to learn from each other, to provide support for one another, and to develop new skills, with an understanding female leader.
  • Interactive training with teachers to discuss the issues facing girls and develop actions to create environments where girls are able to learn with confidence.

Where are we now?

The Future Girls project is currently in development phase and we are holding focus group discussions with female students and teachers. These discussions will help us to identify the most effective way to create female-friendly learning environments in schools.

The Future Girls project is possible thanks to donations received from our Big Give Christmas Campaign in 2020 and a generous legacy donation in memory of Paul and Leny Lucker.

Can You Help?

  • £15 could provide a girl with a period pack and training
  • £40 means a guest speaker can visit and inspire a girls club
  • £150 funds a discussion and awareness training session for teachers at a secondary school
Together We Learn - Ethiopia