After emerging from a ravaging civil war marked by horrific cases of violence, rape, and human rights violations, development indicators listed Sierra Leone as one of the worst places in the world both socially and economically. Although the country has today achieved relative national stability, violence is still very much a part of life for the majority of girls in Sierra Leone. Teen pregnancy has reached alarming rates among girls in Sierra Leone. Over 40% of young women had their first baby by the age of 18, and 12% gave birth by age 15. Pregnancy is a leading cause for school dropout among girls.
The government of Sierra Leone is taking action to prevent teen pregnancy and school dropout with a national campaign featuring the slogan “Let Girls Be Girls and Not Mothers.”
Our Girl Power Project aligns with the government agenda to protect girls from falling through the trapdoors of early marriage and pregnancy, which swiftly limit their future opportunities. We are creating support groups and savings associations for girls, as well as developing community awareness programs around these issues.
Girl Power lays the groundwork for girls and young women to become strong leaders in the community. Through our savings programs, girls are gaining financial literacy abilities, and through our school clubs girls are learning valuable leadership skills. With this foundation, girls can take control of their own futures and truly ignite change in their families and communities.