Through Glamour’s The Girl Project, Caterpillar Foundation and Plan International USA began collaborating on the Girls Take the Lead Project in 2016, which is an education-based protection project offering safe education spaces for Congolese girls in Rwandan refugee camps.
As part of the Because I am a Girl movement, this project aims to provide girls with the ability to recognize the heightened risks of gender-based violence (GBV) and provide them with access to the services they need in refugee camps. Life skills, such as self-confidence, decision-making, and communication skills, are taught with entrepreneurship training in these safe spaces, which also allow access to psychosocial support. A small grants program enables girls to launch their own income-generating activities. This project also engages boys in the refugee camps through the Men Engage curriculum, which addresses the formation of gender norms, positive masculinity, rights, laws related to GBV, and strategies for boys and men to engage in SGBV prevention and response. The Girls Take the Lead project currently directly benefits 300 girls and young women, and 300 boys and young men. Through this additional investment from the Caterpillar Foundation, Plan will expand the project to reach an additional 60 girls and young women.