Helping girls futures and so much more.
According to a 2010 report by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Uganda has the highest school dropout rate in East Africa and about 50% of girls who enroll for primary education do not complete due to early pregnancy, forced marriages, hidden costs at school such as uniforms, meals, scholastic materials, and family responsibilities.
When girls get married earlier, their effective reproductive life is prolonged which contributes to the rapidly growing population thus increasing direct dependence on declining environmental resources. Without any skills acquired in schools, these girls resort to the traditional occupations like hunting , farming and cattle rearing all of which directly depend on the environment.
HELPING GIRLS TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR FUTURE
JGI’s Peer Education project equips young women in Uganda with information on reproductive health and family planning topics including HIV/AIDS, other STIs, and provides menstrual hygiene kits. JGI also provides training on life-planning skills designed to help girls successfully navigate the challenges of maturing into adulthood. The girls then return to their schools and communities and share what they’ve learned with their peers who are often more comfortable receiving information from people of the same age group rather than adults.
The project also provides participating schools with materials to help teachers guide students and inform them about women’s health issues. Girls from families that cannot afford scholastic materials are provided with pencils and workbooks. The project is currently based out of schools that also participate in Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots programme within proximity to priority wildlife conservation areas.
Before the introduction of JGI’s peer education programme, in most schools an average of 20 girls completed grade seven. With the introduction of the programme, now an average of 35 girls attend grade seven in each school. A large portion of the programmes success is due to its work to educate parents about the benefits of girls’ education. Thanks to the peer programme, young women have also learned that education is their right and are more confident and motivated to assert their right to go to school.