We have some interventions that are run on the basis of clubs for girls and women, provide a second chance for adolescent mothers and facilitate remedial classes for girls. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), non-formal education and HIV/AIDS programmes are also implemented by FAWE.
FAWE supports mentoring and counselling for girls through Girls’ Clubs. These school-based clubs provide an interactive forum for girls to build their confidence, share information on subjects such as HIV/AIDS, and receive academic support.
Activities in these clubs include development of life skills, sessions on adolescent reproductive health, empowerment activities, guidance and counselling, and theatre.
HIV/AIDS has a negative impact on girls’ enrolment and participation in school. More girls than boys are affected by the epidemic given the high incidence of sexual assault and early marriage. Furthermore, when parents are infected or die from HIV/AIDS, girls often act as family care-givers.
We introduced an HIV/AIDS programme in 1996 to protect girls against infection and equip them with the knowledge and skills to cope with infection. The programme gives girls the knowledge and confidence to avoid high-risk behaviour and enables them to prevent other problems such as teenage pregnancy, abortion, abortion-related health complications and early childbearing responsibilities. Girls participating in the programme also learn counselling skills.
These club activities have had positive results for girls’ schooling, including lower attrition rates, lower pregnancy rates among schoolgirls, enhanced academic performance and a reduction in violence against girls in school.
Girls’ Clubs are active in Benin, Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.
Mothers’ Clubs play an important role in encouraging increased access, retention and performance of girls in school.
These groups track girls not attending school and link them to schools through guidance and counselling. They also facilitate study groups, tutoring lessons and mentoring programmes for girls, thus contributing to their retention and performance.
Mothers’ Clubs conduct literacy classes and skills training for women. Members are trained in small business management and income-generating activities and given seed money to initiate micro-enterprises. Income from these micro businesses allows the women to bear the cost of educating their children.
The skills and confidence gained through the Mothers’ Clubs enable women to effectively participate in parent’s associations and community initiatives and to become community leaders.
Mothers’ Clubs are active in The Gambia, Liberia, Malawi and Zambia.
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
In order to address the challenges related to girls’ education in post-conflict situations, we have initiated an intervention to empower girls through technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Burundi, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The project seeks not only to train out-of-school girls, including in careers traditionally reserved for males, but to equip teachers with gender-responsive pedagogy skills and to influence the integration of gender issues into TVET policies and plans in each of the countries.
FAWE also creates opportunities for out-of-school girls and unemployed women through TVET in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda. This training allows them to establish income-generating activities and improve their life chances.
Opportunities for adolescent mothers
Teenage pregnancy is a major cause of girls dropping out of school. FAWE’s advocacy has resulted in the adoption of a re-entry policy to enable schoolgirls who become pregnant to resume their studies after giving birth, overcome the challenges associated with teenage pregnancy and improve their life chances through effective education.
FAWE also supports teenage mothers in Malawi and Namibia through sensitisation and training in life skills, experiential learning, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and reproductive health. Such training has motivated teenage mothers to continue with their education despite having children.
First adopted in Botswana (a non-FAWE country) in 1994, the re-entry policy championed by FAWE has also been adopted in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania (Zanzibar), Uganda and Zambia.
Remedial learning classes
In order to enhance girls’ academic performance, we organise remedial learning classes through which girls are tutored to tackle challenging subjects and are assisted in preparing for school-leaving exams.
Remedial learning classes are conducted in Gabon, Namibia, Senegal, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Our non-formal education programmes open doors to learning to women and girls who could otherwise not access formal education due to age, work schedules, financial difficulties, transportation, social constraints, illness or family responsibilities.
Women beneficiaries in particular are equipped with literacy and other skills, tools and resources to support their children’s learning and to practice gender equality among their children. These women have become increasingly involved in door-to-door information campaigns, encouraging other parents to enrol their daughters in school, and advocating for girls’ rights to education.
Non-formal education activities are conducted in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Kenya and Liberia.