GIRLS VOICES INITIATIVE/ LET GIRLS LEAD launched in Uganda

Trailblazers Mentoring Foundation (TMF) is thrilled to share with you about the launch of the Let Girls Lead/ Girls Voices Initiative in Uganda (LGL/GVI). The program run from 1st – 4th May 2015 at Silver Springs Hotel involving 35 adolescent girl leaders and 20 chaperons from 20 Civil Society Organizations. From TMF we had Lucy -17 years and Sanyu Kimberly -15 years represent the countless girls we work with.

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Girl leaders from TMF- Sanyu and Lucy

Let Girls Lead is building a global movement of champions to change systems and empower girls to attend school, stay healthy, escape poverty, and overcome violence. Since 2009, Let Girls Lead’s model – endorsed, validated and funded by leading benchmarking organizations – has contributed to better health, education, livelihoods, and rights for more than 7 million girls globally. LGL strives to empower girls and their allies to change the world! alongside their champions the team focused on key sessions covering Advocacy, Human Rights, UN structure, the Girl Declaration and the Post 2015 process. Session facilitators guided on issues to do with social change through laws and policies, gender responsive programming, and protecting girls from violence to ensure that girls’ access quality healthcare, education, and economic opportunity.

Girls identified issues which affect girls, came up with recommendations, shared their life stories and attended sessions on leadership skills to enable them speak out and advocate for change. Key issues raised by the girls included;

• Ending child marriage in Uganda through girl-led advocacy with support of leaders at all levels
• Promote girls’ health and rights through advocating for increase access to free, friendly and  quality SRH information          and services so adolescents can make informed decissions
• Reduce teen pregnancy by improving young people’s access to comprehensive education,
health services and demand for a policy of school re-entry for adolescent mothers
• Empower Ugandan girls to advocate for child friendly spaces free of sexual harassment

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Girl leaders and chaperons during a session

At Trailblazers Mentoring Foundation, we know that girls have the power to transform their lives, families, communities, and the world. We pledge to support our girl leaders and commit to ensuring that every girl goes to school, has access to information and services whenever they need to and learn skills to better herself and her family out of poverty.

The GVI program had girl leaders present the four key issues to the UN Women Country Representative, UNFPA, UNAIDS , UNICEF, FENU, Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Gender and the media calling upon their support as duty bearers/policy makers/ development partners and allies. Positive feedback was registered as the UN Women representative welcomed the recommendations presented by the girls and pledged to work with and engage adolescent girls at different platforms to ensure that their voices are heard.

Together let’s amplify girls voices…