We sat down with Emmanuel Otoo, GFC's regional program director for Africa and the Middle East, after his recent visit to the girls’ school run by GFC Partner Girls Leading Our World Initiatives
(iGLOW) in Ukwala, Kenya. He began by describing the distance to this remote community, a 9-hour drive through rough terrain.
But despite the community’s isolation, Emmanuel told us that as soon as you arrive at the Ukwala girls' school, you can feel the energy and can sense just how much the girls are thriving there.
Focused on extremely vulnerable girls in rural Kenya, iGLOW removes barriers that commonly prevent girls from going to school. Most of these girls have been rescued from forced marriages or from sexual abuse, and many come from single-parent households and have been affected by HIV/AIDS.
iGLOW’s process begins with counseling for both the girls and their families, school placement, and teacher orientation. Leadership training, mentorships, and tutoring build the girls’ self-esteem and accelerate their learning. Meanwhile, healthcare services and reproductive health education improve the girls’ overall well-being and teach them how to protect their bodies and their rights.
iGLOW continues to demonstrate that girls can be at the forefront of social change and that young girls can be leaders in their own right. This focus on girl empowerment helps to improve conditions for girls in the community, and to break the cycle of poverty.
IMPACT: iGLOW reaches more than 200 Kenyan girls, and last year, 98% of these girls successfully transitioned to the next grade level in school.
ABOUT International Day of the Girl Child (IDG). Established by the UN and celebrated each year on October 11, IDG serves to highlight major issues and accomplishments in the field of girls' rights. Girls around the world confront many of the worst forms of violence, including genital mutilation, child marriage, and sexual abuse and exploitation.
GFC supports grassroots partners globally that are working to help the most marginalized girls and halt the cycle of violence.