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Carving a Way Forward in the Fight Against HIV

By: Catherine Nyambura, Women Deliver Young Leader

It has been 30 years since Kenya’s first case of HIV was diagnosed. The efforts to fight HIV/AIDS have been bittersweet, with a lot of lessons, challenges, and opportunities. The International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) provides just the platform to reflect on the journey thus far and to carve a way forward. Read more...

We Must Educate Girls to End Child Marriage

By: Onward Chironda and Nehsuh Carine Alongifor, Women Deliver Young Leaders

Fifteen million girls are married every year before they turn 18. That means 15 million childhoods interrupted, 15 million lives forever changed. Child marriage is a violation of girls’ rights. It disrupts their access to education, jeopardizes their health, and makes them vulnerable to violence. It also keeps girls from reaching their full potential and from fully contributing to the social and economic growth of their families. Read more...

Ensuring Access to Education on Universal Children’s Day and Beyond

By: Joannes Yimbesalu, Women Deliver Young Leader

Every November 20th, I am reminded of my childhood and the fun of simply being a child. But I’m also reminded of the millions of children across the world who are denied their rights because they are children.

As Universal Children’s Day and the National Day of the Child, countries observe November 20th as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children and a way to promote the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. This day marks significant international landmarks in children’s rights, including the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of both the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the Convention of the Rights of the Child in 1989. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Girls in Malawi Cycling Towards a Better Future

By: Brittany Tatum, Women Deliver

62 million – that’s the number of girls across the globe that are not in school. Even though we know that with an education girls can shape their futures, and transform their communities we still see hundreds of young girls dropping out, and sometimes not even enrolling in school.  In Sub-Saharan Africa, it’s estimated that 50% of children don’t have access to any education. Read More...

Say NO to Child Labour and YES to Quality Education

By: Isaac Oriafo Ejakhegbe, Women Deliver Young Leader

“Education helps young people know about trending issues like the Sustainable Development Goals, one’s basic right as citizens and how to contribute to government developmental plan”  - 13, Junior

Between 50 and 60 million children between five and 11 worldwide are involved in some form of labour according to the ILO. This labour may threaten their education, health, and safety and too often many of these children are engaged in a manner that is hidden from the public eyes or in settings where child labour is considered normal and acceptable.

Engaging a Community to Ensure “Every Girl, One Contraceptive”

By: Maureen Odour, Women Deliver Young Leader

Too often, society blames only the girl for getting pregnant. The reality is that adolescent pregnancy is most often not the result of a deliberate choice, but rather the absence of choices, and of circumstances beyond a girl's control. Early pregnancy takes a toll on a girl's health, education and rights. It also prevents her from realizing her potential and adversely impacts the baby. A country's economy is also affected by teenage pregnancies as adolescent mothers are prevented from entering the workforce. Read more...

Getting girls in school, period.

By: Brittany Tatum; Originally posted on Global Citizen

The call to get more girls in school, and keep them there, has not been a quiet one. Everyone from First Lady Michelle Obama to twelve year-old Kenyan activist Eunice Akoth have been on the front end of the battle to get more girls in school. Even with the progress in recent years, girls still continue to suffer severe disadvantages and face many barriers in education systems, particularly in the developing world. Read More...

Celebrate Solutions: How Reusable Sanitary Pads are Empowering Women in Uganda

By: Brittany Tatum Women Deliver 

Imagine you are a young girl or woman, who has begun to menstruate and the only thing you had available to you in the realm of sanitary products were pieces of foam, toilet paper, or banana fibers. For some girls and women that’s a reality they face every month. They face embarrassment and vulnerability to infections, all because they can’t access or afford proper menstrual hygiene management (MHM).  This becomes an even larger problem when young girls miss school because of their periods. A study done in Uganda in 2013 showed that over 60 percent of girls skip school during their period. That’s where organizations like AFRIpads come into play. Read More...

The Importance of Comprehensive Sexuality Education

By: Maureen Odour, Women Deliver Young Leader

The right to education is a human right. Investing in education is the right thing to do; it enables young people to transition into decent work and empowers girls and young women to fulfill their dreams and aspirations for equality. Young people everywhere have the right to quality education, including comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), and together we can make it happen. Read More... 

The Challenge of Girls’ Education in Nigeria

By Nnamdi Eseme, Women Deliver Young Leader

As Nigeria celebrated Children's Day on 27 May, one cannot help but lament the challenges facing girl’s education in the country. Nigerian girls face many challenges in their bid to acquire an education, from threats from terrorist groups to gender norms. Nigeria has recently come under intense international scrutiny following the declining levels of education, especially among girls, and the increasing insecurity. While various efforts have been made by the government, private sector, and international organizations, very little has been achieved in reversing this disturbing trend. Read more...

The Folly of Farring Pregnant Girls from School in Sierra Leone

By: Chernor Bah; Originally posted on Africa is a Country

Pregnant girls are now barred from school in my country Sierra Leone. The government has decided that as schools reopen this week for the first time since the vicious Ebola outbreak that has claimed over 10,000 lives – and plunged our country into fear, lock downs, economic and emotional pain – pregnant girls should simply stay away. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Reducing Social Isolation Can Also Reduce the Risk of HIV Infection

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Despite years of investment and progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the disease remains the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 in Ethiopia. In addition, adolescent girls remain disproportionately at risk of infection. The Population Council’s Biruh Tesfa project is seeking to change this by taking a “whole girl” approach to addressing HIV infection – social isolation, economic insecurity, poor access to services, and sexual and gender-based violence. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: The Sisterhood in Girls’ Education

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

Sadhana is one of five sisters, living in a remote village in Maharashtra, India. Like many others, they were born to parents who felt that girls were a burden and who were therefore indifferent to them. We discovered her story hidden in the New York Times as an opinion piece. It was written by Priyanka Chopra, known globally as a prominent Indian actor but by her own preferred definition, a UNICEF ambassador devoted to promoting child rights. Read more...

Most Girls In Her Village Don’t Finish Elementary School. Maureen Graduated From College.

By: Women Deliver and Maureen Oduor

Women Deliver eagerly celebrates the gradtion of one of our Young Leaders, Maureen Oduor, who received her Bachelors degree Kampala International University in December. Rather than shining the spotlight on herself, Maureen took the opportunity to use her graduation celebration as a platform to bring local and international light to the issue of education accessibility and the need for girls’ access to schooling. This is her story. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Finding the Beauty in Education

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

Every girl deserves an education, and one major American magazine is joining the global campaign to prioritize the education of at-risk girls all over the world. Glamour magazine has collaborated with four nonprofits to raise money for girls to help them attend secondary school.

Cindi Leive, Glamour’s editor in chief, said that the magazine started The Girl Project in part because of recent world events, including the girls kidnapped from their school in Nigeria and the many schools damaged in Gaza. Read more..

Celebrate Solutions: GAP Inc. P.A.C.E. Program Drives Female Garment Workers’ Success at Work, Home

By: Whitney Sogol, Women Deliver

Sujatha, a young garment worker from South East Asia, was struggling to care for her family while working as a low-level garment worker. Without access to education or professional training, she had little hope for a better future. Sujatha’s situation dramatically changed whenshe joined Gap Inc.’s Personal Advancement, Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) workplace education program. Today, Sujatha is a supervisor at a Gap Inc. source factory, a role model for her family and community, and living proof that that the benefits of corporate investments to improve the world for women ripple across society and business. Read more...

For Girls, Success Starts with Safe Schools

By: Katja Iversen, Women Deliver; Originally posted by Thomson Reuters Foundation

When I think back to my schooldays, the memories are mostly bright and fond: learning, laughter, friends and play – and the occasional quarrel and teenage tension that come with being a child and growing up.

Most people remember their schooldays fondly, but for too many children the reality is very different. We see bullying; we see fighting; we see sexual assaults. Every year, millions of children, particularly girls, experience physical and/or sexual violence at or on their way to school. Sadly, it is most often teachers, peers, neighbors, and even friends who are the perpetrators. Read more...

Why Sexual Rights Are Important

These seed grants were funded by Johnson & Johnson and WomanCare Global via the Women Deliver C Exchange Youth Initiative.

By: Chukwudera Bridget Okeke, Concern Women International Development Initiative (Nigeria)

My project, the Concern Women International Development Initiative, seeks to reduce the burden of HIV/AIDS among female sex workers (FSW) and their clients in Benue State Nigeria. To do this, we trained FSWs to be peer educators, conducted interpersonal communication capacity-building to reach clients of FSW and non-brother-based FSW, held sensitization workshops on FSW-friendly services for 10 private providers, and translated informational and educational materials on HIV and STIs into local dialects. Read more...

The Power of Peer Education

These seed grants were funded by Johnson & Johnson and WomanCare Global via the Women Deliver C Exchange Youth Initiative.

By: Humphrey Nabimanya, Reach a Hand Uganda

From a survey that we at RAHU conducted last year, nearly 85% of young people, ages 15-24, think that there is a need for them to whether freely access information on sexual and reproductive health. Young people face issues like unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and cross-generational sex and, therefore, require full access to sexual and reproductive health information and services to protect themselves.

In January 2014, we started the first ever Peer Education Academy in Uganda - a unique initiative to empower young people with life development skills, self-awareness skills, and sexual reproductive health and rights information. Through this program, we trained 50 young people (23 female and 27 male) in peer education; counseling and guidance; sexual and reproductive health and rights; drug, alcohol, and substance use; and integration of social media and sexuality education. Read more...

When Challenges Turn Into Highlights

These seed grants were funded by Johnson & Johnson and WomanCare Global via the Women Deliver C Exchange Youth Initiative.

By: Tunde Ajidagba, Campus Health & Rights Initiative (Nigeria)

Although I faced some difficulties in implementing my project, there were also some highlights. The first was the reception of the SMS services. The text messaging campaign was the first of its kind on campus and the students were excited about it and really wished it could continue. We also had a positive reaction to the educational and informative pamphlet we produced. We have been getting positive feedback since we started distribution and it has been very encouraging.

Another highlight of my project initially started out as a challenge. When my project site at Obafemi Awolowo University was forced to close down due to strikes, we had to look for another school to continue. Just as my project was set to come to a close, the school re-opened and the HIV counseling and testing services and Campus Health Forum were brought back to the school. Read more...

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