What are we doing to support girls?

I recently stumbled on an inspiring article online by a young lady about what she is doing to support girls in her community. I was interested in the piece because I have a girl child and know many girls who should be supported to maximise their potential.

The piece which is reproduced below is a confirmation of the fact that the task of development is not that of the government alone but for everyone to contribute his or her own quota.

We can blame governments at all levels for not doing one thing or the other, but the question we should ask ourselves is what I am doing to make my community better.

It doesn’t matter how little your contribution may be, but the aggregation of the efforts of all will go a long way in improving the standard of living of not only girls, but everyone that deserves our support.

Read on the account by Jennifer Umeh, a social entrepreneur and student empowering girls in rural communities:

I shouldn’t be shamed for sharing my pains, struggles and life experiences. No girl deserves to be slammed or termed ‘attention-seeking’ or ‘too sensitive’ for sharing her story. Our stories need to be told because in them is the hope for survival for every young woman.

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My life’s journey epitomises, to a great extent, the challenges faced by the African girl child. I have been through most of the issues plaguing young women, from domestic abuse , low self-esteem and everything else in between. Walking young women through their ordeals is a mutual healing process as it helps me as much as it does them.

While visiting the motherless babies home in my community, I considered it my duty to mentor them, put smiles on their faces and help them make the right life choices. Gradually, this mentoring circle grew to become a house hold name in humanitarian sector.

Our programmes inspire girls to have an independent voice, confidence and problem-solving capacity to speak up, be decision makers and create social change. To address this, the Hope for African Girls Initiative has a conference for young girls as well as outreach programmes for primary and secondary schools.

In addition, to debunk the myth that young women are naturally faced with Inferiority Complex, we created a platform for all the volunteers. Here, we come together in an informal setting to discuss issues relevant to girls, share opportunities, advertise and have meaningful debates about girl issues in Africa.

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Our approach is the first of its kind. Our structure includes a board, a committee, and volunteers. Our diversity reveals the implicit beauty of our differences and we are determined to do much more.

Through our several social media platforms, we invite volunteers to contribute to our planned projects. Most times, our outreach programmes were carried out by the volunteers and our growing membership increases the need to incorporate a wide range of issues facing every young girl. We work closely with other NGOs while monitoring progress through the appropriate authorities.

I am that strong girl that everyone knew would make it through the worst. I am that fearless girl, the one who would dare to do anything. I am that girl who never backs down.

I am Jennifer Umeh

I am bold for change



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