We are thrilled to share an update having finished our first year of the Own Your Destiny project funded by Comic Relief and the Scottish Government. The goal of the project is to bring back to school 750 girls who dropped out between the age 18-25. We are working in partnership with School Club Zambia, another education NGO based in the Sinazongwe District, a five hour drive from our country office in Livingstone.
Our specially designed curriculums aim to build knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and life skills, empowering and supporting girls to live happy and healthy lives and to become leaders within their communities. Implemented in partnership with local health clinics and schools and facilitated by peer coaches, the project addresses different important health topics — such as prevention and transmission, clinical services, healthy relationships and contraceptives, and life skills – including self-awareness, peer pressure, decision making and entrepreneurship.
95% have demonstrated a rise in confidence, with 23% now saying they feel that they are independent
Play it Forward Associates conducting a survey of the local community
“Many girls still lack the self-belief and are left at home to look after the family even when they are very young.”
“This opportunity has really helped a lot of young adolescent girls of Sinazongwe District to access clinical servicers, develop their self-confidence, becoming aware of their bodies and being independent”
Education can play a key role in protecting children and young people from exploitation and abuse, as well as helping to break down the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Girls, young women and the most marginalised will be the worst affected. We must not let them fall behind.
Moving into the second year of the 3-year project, we will take our learnings and experience and encourage even more girls to return to school to complete their education.