Project name: GIRL EFFECT
Project location: Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi
Project dates: 2014 – onwards
More of an over-arching, cross-cutting programme agenda than a ‘project’ in itself, Act4Africa’s Girl Effect work in Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi aims to provide gender equality and health education, life-skills training and leadership opportunities to enable vulnerable girls to escape poverty. We are committed to the aims and objectives of the global Girl Effect movement, and seek to address gender inequality in everything that we do.
Adolescent girls in East and Southern Africa experience poverty through gender relations that leave them powerless and vulnerable. This forces them into lives of low-paid work, early marriage, unwanted pregnancy and sexual and domestic violence. This gender injustice denies these girls their human rights and prevents the nation from benefiting from the invaluable economic and social contribution that young women can bring.
Applying the Girl Effect agenda across our projects releases the untapped potential of adolescent girls through the provision of comprehensive training, education and leadership opportunities. When they’ve received this training, we call these young women our ‘Peer Educators’ and they’re then mobilised to share the positive messages they’ve learnt to others in their peer group, families and wider community. The girls grow in stature, know their rights, and begin to exercise positive leadership roles that bring positive change not only to their lives, but the lives of people around them.
Project name: GROW A GIRL
Project location: Uganda
Project dates: 2014 – onwards
Project supported by: Supporter donations
Act4Africa’s Grow a Girl project developed as a response to requests from our teams in the field and from our supporters to provide ongoing support for our individual teenage Peer Educators as they progress. This project is designed to help them to remain in education, maximize their opportunities and to realize the ambitions they’ve identified as part of their Peer Educator training. Grow a Girl represents the culmination of our Girl Effect agenda – securing the futures of individual young women and investing in their ability to create positive change for their community, both now and for future generations.
This project is supported entirely by individual donations. You can sponsor a girl who will be provided with the essential support she needs to help her continue with her education. This includes the provision of a refillable back-pack, equipped with educational supplies, pencils, notebooks, and crucially, sanitary protection to afford her the dignity she needs to attend school that one week in the month that many of her peers choose to remain at home. Act4Africa has mobilised close to 300 trained Peer Educators across our areas of operation – bright, hopeful young women who have the potential to drive great change in their communities. Without support, their chances are drastically reduced. Just £15 per month from you can help them succeed. Sponsor a girl now HERE.
Project name: HEAL (Health, Empowerment and Livelihoods)
Project location: Uganda
Project dates: 2014 – 2017
Project supported by: DFID
In April 2014 we launched HEAL, Act4Africa’s innovative 3 year project in Mayuge District, Uganda. HEAL stands for Health, Empowerment and Livelihoods, and we’re delivering the scheme in partnership with Five Talents, funded by the Department for International Development, DFID, as part of their Global Poverty Action Fund. Through this project we are creating improved life-chances and livelihoods for 3000 out-of-school adolescent girls and young women in Mayuge District.
The project combines HIV prevention training, testing and counselling with savings and business enterprise coaching, helping these young women to secure access to higher earnings. Higher earnings means more independence, which in turn has been proven to have a direct positive impact on health outcomes. The project is backed up by the provision of HIV services for a further 6000 men and women in their communities.
Project name: HEAL Malawi (Health, Empowerment and Livelihoods)
Project location: Malawi
Project dates: Phase 1: 2014 – 2015; Phase 2: 2016-17
Project supported by: Souter Trust and Soroptimist International Manchester
In 2014-15, Act4Africa also ran a successful, one year HEAL project in Malawi, supported by the Souter Trust. The project trained 50 Community Mentors and provided HIV prevention training, business enterprise coaching, and life-skills classes for 1500 out-of-school adolescent girls and young women and a further 750 men and women in their communities.
Thanks to generous support from Soroptimist International Manchester we are now able to build upon the HEAL project, changing the lives of women and girls living in extreme poverty in the Mchinji district. We are training a further 20 Community Mentors who will set up local women’s savings groups comprising 25 members in each of their villages.
Act4Africa staff assist with the setup of each group, providing advice on constitution and officers, record-keeping and bank arrangements, as well as facilitating financial literacy training to the group. Groups meet once or twice a month and at each meeting, members put a small amount into a group savings account. Members can then submit requests for loans to support individual or collective business projects.
As well as providing this much needed economic empowerment, the HEAL project educates women and girls in their sexual and reproductive health rights and engages them in discussions about the gender equality issues they face in their lives.
Project name: GEHKU (Gender Equality & Health Kasese, Uganda)
Project location: Kasese, Uganda
Project dates: 2012 – 2016 (project completed)
Project supported by: The Big Lottery Fund
Over a four year period, Act4Africa’s ambitious GEHKU project has reduced the spread and effects of HIV/AIDS in Uganda by reaching approximately 300,000 people in Kasese District in Western Uganda. The project has improved access to health education and mitigated the factors contributing to HIV transmission using interactive teaching/communication programmes that draw on Theatre for Development (TfD) techniques.
The Big Lottery funded project has informed and influenced vulnerable target groups, improved knowledge of risk of HIV infection, promoted the human and the sexual rights of women, challenged gender inequality and reduced the stigmatisation of people living with HIV/AIDS, and people with disabilities. 300 teachers, health workers and traditional herbalists have also been provided with training opportunities to improve their skills in these areas. Mobile and house-to-house HIV testing and counselling has been provided and the project has left a sustainable resource of over 300 community-based trainers and 300 school-based peer educators. Read more about the project on the blog.
Project name: Healthier Lives
Project location: Tanzania
Project dates: 2012 – 2014 (project completed)
Project supported by: Eleanor Rathbone Trust plus supporter donations.
The project delivered interactive training sessions within schools, discussing HIV prevention, gender equality and gender respect. Two Peer Educators were trained at each participating school, enabling ongoing ‘Life Club’ drama groups to serve as interactive discussion forums for ongoing health/ gender education and support.
Project name: STRIDES (Strengthening Reproductive Health Services )
Project location: Uganda
Project dates: 2010 – 2012 (project completed)
Project supported by: USAid
The aim of Act4Africa’s STRIDES project was to enable the young people in the Mayuge District of Uganda to take full control of their lives through improved access to sexual and reproductive health services and information.
The project has led to young people and adult community members having better access to ante natal care and safe live births together with information and care regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections, condom distribution, teenage pregnancy, contraceptive use and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV .