It’s the first Feel Good Friday in Women’s History Month and we’re kicking it off with Girl Effect, an organization that “uses the power of media to unlock the power of girls.”Girl Effect works “to support adolescent girls in low and middle income countries through a stage in life that defines their future. We support girls to make choices for themselves so they are healthier, more educated and financially secure. To do this we create safe spaces for girls to find information and advice, online and in their communities. We answer girls’ curiosities, questions and concerns through our content and products, and connect girls to services that help them take control of their bodies and their lives.”
The problem Girl Effect is addressing is outlined in this 3-minute video. When a girl turns 12 and lives in poverty she’s often seen as a woman and more likely to spend her teenage years getting married and having children rather than staying in school and getting an education. While there are many services available for girls, often they are not used because girls don’t see the services as being “for them”.
To counter this perception, Girl Effect works with partners in more than 50 countries in Africa and Asia to develop youth brands that shine a light on issues girls are facing by telling girls’ stories in their own words. Girl Effect also use mobile technology to connect marginalized and vulnerable girls around the world. The content Girl Effect creates helps girls build confidence to make choices and changes in their lives so that “every girl can choose to be in control of her body, her health, her learning and livelihood.”
Examples of the work they do includes the Hear Her Voice project where Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors, aged 18-24, have interviewed over 15,000 girls and share their stories online. You can watch those videos here There is also a chat bot powered by artificial intelligence called Big Sis which gives girls a safe, private, non-judgmental and accurate source for information on topics that they don’t feel comfortable discussing elsewhere. Since its inception in 2018, Big Sis has reached 10.8 million girls.
Overall, by working with their in-country partners, Girl Effect’s youth brands and mobile platforms reach an estimated 29 million people a year in over 50 countries!
If you’d like to help Girl Effect create a future where girls are healthier, more educated, and more economically secure, you can make a donation and spread the word by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @girleffect. #TheGirlEffect