Girls2-WEBOur adolescent girls face enormous obstacles to completing school and securing stable employment.

  • Societal norms discourage girls from believing that they have rights and privileges equal to the boys.
  • Family responsibilities affect girls’ ability to attend school regularly and to use their evenings for study.
  • Sexual exploitation often leads to pregnancy and dropping out of school.

The Girls Empowerment Team of the Umoja Project (GET UP) addresses girls’ needs through programs focusing on health education, positive relationships, life skills and girls’ rights. Community women are trained to serve as mentors, and professional women provide vocational guidance.

Girls-Alice-WEBGET UP meetings provide a regular opportunity for the 500 middle school girls and 100 older students to focus on their own needs and personal goals, as well as offer support to one another. The Umoja Project also provides sanitary towels for 500 girls each year at a cost of $10 per girl per year. These basic provisions are critical for a girl to attend school regularly and perform well.

Since the program began in 2012, we have seen steady improvement in the girls’ academic performance. Our goal has been to help girls overcome the additional challenges they face as young women, such that they can perform as well as the boys on the national exam concluding secondary school. In 2014, for the first time, 6 of our highest-achieving girls scored well enough to earn government support for university studies. These pioneers are now enrolled in university, inspiring the young women who follow them.

With effective support, girls learn to GET UP instead of giving up!