2018 was an incredibly busy year at Project Girls 4 Girls and we are so proud of the progress we’ve made and excited for what’s to come in 2019.
2018 was a year of growth. We learned that the demand for mentoring is high and the passion among women to take on public leadership is even higher. We are grateful for the successes we’ve encountered thus far and are honored to be a part of so many women’s journeys to becoming exceptional leaders in their communities. We have you to thank for your continued support.
What we did in 2018
We officially launched and sustained Girls for Girls programs in Iceland, Kenya, Niger, Uganda, and laid the groundwork for pilot launches in the United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Here are some highlights for these programs:
Towards the end of 2018, Iceland’s program had grown from five mentees to six mentorship circles with 10 mentors. G4G in Iceland is now entering its third round of the program and has 49 mentees and 14 mentors. The team is incredibly excited by the impact the mentorship circles are having on the community — so many of the current participants are friends of former participants — and are anticipating what this fast-paced growth will lead to.
Join G4G in Iceland’s Facebook group and learn more about the program in this recent news article!
In Kenya, G4G partnered with Salaama Gachie Community School to launch five mentorship circles for 45 girls. Despite hardships in their communities, the participants are looking for a way to fulfill their dreams and aspirations inspired by the lessons learned throughout the program.
G4G launched in Niger and partnered with the African Development University to launch five mentorship circles for 30 students. Participants discussed the challenges they’ve faced with societal, religious, and cultural norms that perpetuate injustices against women. Despite these barriers, the women are eager to begin their journeys toward securing their careers and mentoring younger girls around the community.
After a successful pilot, G4G was officially launched in Uganda on April 28, 2018, at Mary Reparatrix Girls School. Since then, G4G has facilitated 10 mentorship circles with 117 mentees at Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga Girls School with 25 mentors participating. The mentees there loved the program so much they’ve established their own circles called “Heart and Soul” for younger girls in the school. G4G also partnered with UMEME, the largest distributor of electricity in Uganda to develop mentorship circles for young women working in the male-dominated industry.
We continue to train professional women from various sectors as G4G mentors. In Uganda, mentorship training was held for 20 senior female lawyers and for 35 women from various sectors including engineering, medical, business, extractives. Circles have started for Young Female Lawyers; Young Women with HIV; Young Female Engineers; and will soon expand to rural areas (Bunyoro); artisanal miners (in partnership with Africa Energy and Mining Management Initiative- AEMI) and disadvantaged girls (in partnership with Concern for the Girl Child).
G4G launched in Zimbabwe and Zambia, garnering massive interest and support from mentors and mentees in the community. With over 100 potential mentors, Zambia held its first mentor training this year and sessions started drawing girls from three universities (University of Zambia, Zambia Center Accounting Studies and University of Lusaka, Zambia).
Join G4G in Zambia’s Facebook group and learn more about mentorship circles in the continent in our recent blog post!
There are also ongoing discussions with potential partners in various countries including Sudan, Tanzania and South Africa and plans to extend G4G to those regions in 2019.
What’s ahead in 2019
Right now we are launching our first Girls for Girls pilot in the United States in partnership with the United State of Women! We are proud to be holding the pilot at the University of Maryland, College Park, where the G4G leadership team includes three talented students and an amazing Terp alum.
The inaugural UMD team includes Catherine Scott, sophomore Public Policy major, and Serena Saunders, junior Public Policy major. Joining the G4G team to assist are intern, Morgan Johnson, Master in Public Policy student and advisor, Amanda Pleasant. Mentorship sessions will begin on campus in February and we are thrilled to engage with dozens of college women to develop the courage, vision, and skills needed to take on public leadership.
Stay updated on all things G4G in the United States by joining our G4G in U.S. Facebook group!
If you know others who might be interested in being a mentor or supporting G4G in another way, please invite them to join the G4G community on Facebook, Instagram, and our email list to be among the first to hear about opportunities to get involved.