Girls’ Education Program Keeps African Girls in School

Girls’ Education Program Helps Empower Girls 

Paska, our Girls' Education coordinator, meeting with Agwata girls.

Paska, our GEI coordinator, meeting with the girls at their weekly meeting after school at Cubu. The school buildings are in the background.

Our Girls’ Education Initiative (GEI) program seeks to empower girls in northern Uganda. Outreach Uganda started the program in 2011 with 19 fourth to sixth grade girls. At that time, the African girls were either not attending school or were dropping out very early, even at second or third grade. At this age, their mothers might want them helping with gardening, fetching water or child rearing at home.

We also found that girls often dropped out early because of poor performance or lack of support at home.  Often, these girls would then get married very young simply “because there was nothing else for them to do” according to community members.

Beginning of the Empower Girls Program

With the support of our Agwata women’s group, our women’s group coordinator began meeting with the girls in 2011.  She encouraged the girls to stay in school and be attentive to their studies. Gradually, the numbers of girls increased so that in 2014, we hired a full-time person to run this program, There are now over 130 girls from second grade to sixth grade in this weekly program .  Twenty girls completed P-7 (sixth grade) in 2016. In total, we now have 15 Agwata girls enrolled in secondary or vocational training with the help of our sponsorship program.  Enrollment of girls is now much higher in the upper classes of fourth to sixth grade.  In 2016, twenty of the thirty-two sixth grade students were girls.

Key Components to Support Girls’ Education and  to Keep African Girls in School 

Career guidance is part of our girls' education program to empower girls.

Girls in our program receive career guidance and encouragement to stay in school.

Our Girls’ Education Initiative program has six key ingredients which are critical to the success of our program:

  1. Full-time staff person on site who runs the program and interacts, monitors and inspires the girls.
  2. Weekly meetings with the girls. Our coordinator presents the specialized curriculum material and arranges for opportunities for fun and socialization among the girls. We also bring in some outside speakers.
  3. Periodic presentations to the parents and to community members relative to their involvement and support of girls’ education.
  4. Follow up with girls who have issues at home or school, or who are not regularly attending school or weekly meetings.
  5. Provision of reusable sanitary pad materials to those girls needing them.  Sanitary pad kits last three years.
  6. Availability of scholarships and sponsorships through Outreach Uganda for girls who pass well in sixth grade so they can continue their education.

How Can You Help Our Girls’ Education Initiative Program Accomplish Even More?

Girls' education volunteer meets with girls in Outreach Uganda's Girls' Education Initiaitve Program to empower girls.

Volunteer Wendy interacts with our sixth and seventh grade girls while visiting a Kitgum secondary school which four sponsored girls attend.

1. Volunteer: Since its beginning six years ago, our GEI program has made much progress and grown substantially. We want to keep that momentum going and both solidify and expand the program to more girls.  In 2018, provided donor funding is available, we would like to split the girls into two age groups each with their own curriculum.  In addition, we want to train teachers at other interested nearby schools so they can offer the GEI program as well. Email us if you’d like to volunteer to write curriculum or train teachers!

2. Sponsor an S-1 student:- S-1 means the student has completed the primary level (6th grade) and is 7th grade which is the first year of secondary level (7th to 12th grade). This is a critical point, especially for girls, where they often drop out of school for lack of school fees.  Be a life changer for a girl now and make secondary school happen!

Girls' education matters. Empower Christine through child sponsorship.

Empower Achola Christine through child sponsorship.

Please help Achola Christine find a sponsor for the 2017 school year so she can continue to secondary school. She was the top performing Agwata girl in 2016.

3. Donate: Donate to provide food and pay for a matron for the girls in the 6th grade boarding section. There are 13 girls for the 2017 school year. Donate now.

Girls Make Beaded Crosses to Earn School Supply Money

Girls in our program make and sell beaded crosses to earn school supply monies.  Outreach Uganda started this program in 2015 because some parents told their older girls they needed “to get a man” if they wanted any support for school supplies.  At the beginning of the last two school years, we took their bead cross earnings and bought school supplies which the girls identified as being the

Empower girls. Buy a beaded cross.

African girls in our Agwata girls’ program make beaded crosses to earn money for school supplies.

most important items.  In 2017, 30 girls earned mattresses and many more earned bedding, blankets, pens and exercise books, laundry soap, uniforms and shoes.  Would you like to support our girls in their tremendous efforts to get an education?  Please buy a beaded cross.

Our Other Efforts to Improve African Girls Education Initiative Program

We provide several other programs which complement our Girls’ Education Initiative program. Such programs target keeping more children in school, and performing well while also developing their life skills and leadership capabilities. These efforts include:

  • Our child sponsorship program where we are sponsoring over 200 children from Nursery age through vocational and university
  • Holiday tutoring program which provides focused tutoring for selected groups of sponsored students
  • Special scholarships and sponsorships to qualified students, especially girls, completing P-7 at the Cubu Primary School in Agwata. This will allow the students to continue their education beyond primary
  • Field trips and end of year awards which recognize students’ achievements