March 8th is International Women's Day (IWD), and this year's theme was #EmbraceEquity!
To celebrate IWD 2023, we offered micro-grants to support our Fellows' grassroots programs! We received and funded six fantastic proposals that connect to this year's #EmbraceEquity theme, including
“Give Equity a huge Embrace” by the Loozeele Foundation:
Laying the foundation for education in northern Ghana, the Loozeele Foundation used their IWD funds to stock the library and computer lab in their community center. Many of the Loozeele Foundation’s beneficiaries earn money outside of school hours to support their families, hence the girls have little left for school supplies. This project addresses the lack of supplies by providing textbooks, illustrated books, and computer training to the girls. This way, girls can provide for their families without sacrificing their educational opportunities!
“Embracing Equity - Empowering Teenage Mothers to Stay in School”
by The WAT Foundation:
To mark International Women’s Day, The WAT Foundation empowered 15 teenage mothers in Chuchuliga, Builsa North District, through skills training on powdered soap, wash products, and beaded items. Beneficiaries also attended a mentorship session where two victims of teenage pregnancy, who are now excelling in their careers, shared their stories and motivated attendees to stay in school. Finally, participants were given materials to start their own soap and beading businesses as well as mentors to guide them on their entrepreneurial journeys!
“Achieving Social Equity Through Education” by the Charity Foundation:
Education is a great tool to breaking barriers—this philosophy motivated the Charity Community Foundation to unite traditional and political leaders, men, women, and children at their IWD event. Their speaker discussed the importance of education and technology in women’s empowerment. 10 dual desks and reading materials were donated to the Foundation School to support teaching and learning, meaning 30 pupils who previously sat on mats during lessons now have desks to sit on, and 115 pupils now have guided lessons from the donated textbooks! The community expressed appreciation through songs of praise and dance.
“Addressing Period Poverty” by the Boa Daakye Foundation:
A key educational challenge for adolescent girls is staying in school, as periods can keep girls out of school several days or weeks, causing them to fall behind. To meet this challenge, the Boa Daakye Foundation trained 43 girls in the Dehia Basic School (rural Ghana) on strategies to stay in school, continue learning, and end “period poverty”! Training included educational sessions on menstruation, sexual health, avoiding pregnancy, and menstrual hygiene, as well as a workshop on producing low-cost menstruation products.
“Mbasiafo” by the Empowered for Change Foundation:
In commemoration of International Women’s Day, Mbasiafo launched its fellowship program on the theme: “Equitable Opportunities, the young girl in focus.” They engaged 35 participants, mainly tertiary and high school students. Modeled on Women Changemakers for Education and run by both a current Fellow and an Alum, the fellowship program provides girls with individualized mentorship to empower them as community leaders. Participants left the event inspired to do more and be more, and with the knowledge that they have support in their journeys going forward.
“Behind Every Great Woman There is a Brave Girl” by the TIE Initiative:
For IWD, the Teens-In-Entrepreneurship (TIE) initiative tackled economic and health inequities experienced by girls in the Ave-Afiadenyigba community. Female students lack funds for school bags, pens, and menstrual products, and the local Basic School lacks hand soap, causing health risks for students. TIE organized a workshop for 30 students to learn how to bake donuts, which they can sell to earn money for school supplies and menstrual products. In addition, they trained 8 female teachers and 10 students on soapmaking, and provided 10 school bags to disadvantaged girls in the upper primary level.