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Girls' Impact Fund

Founded by the Women's Network

The Girls' Impact Fund

Save the Children believes in a world where every girl has the power to determine her own future.

Founded by our Women's Network, the Girls’ Impact Fund paves the way for a new approach to how we support girls, channelling specific funding and activities designed for, and with, girls.

The Girls’ Impact Fund will prioritise approaches that are led by girls, and which help them to become more empowered. We’ll listen to girls about their lived experiences and the challenges they face, and work with them to make sure their needs come first.

As part of the initiative, we’ll ensure resources are held by girls and local organisations – supporting our efforts towards a locally-led approach and more equitable partnerships. We’ll also use funding to make sure girls’ empowerment and gender equality are further embedded into our existing and new programmes, support advocacy led by girls to push for the change they want to see, and build the capacity and resource required to do this work.

Tenneh writing on the board at school. Photo credit: Tom Maguire / Save the Children

“If I was a teacher, I would encourage pupils to come to school.” Tenneh*, aged 13, at her school in Sierra Leone. *Name changed

Investing in girl leaders

As we look toward 2022 and beyond, the Girls’ Impact Fund will play a critical role in building and investing in girls’ leadership through girl-led networks. These networks support girls to advocate for their own rights and bring their lived experience to government and community decision-making, forming the beginning of the next generation of women leaders.

The world is waking up to the need to invest in local women’s organisations and to support girls’ participation in decision-making, but too few are providing funding to match their rhetoric. Girls’ networks are ready and waiting to commit their time, expertise, and energy to working towards gender equality, so we will help to provide much-needed seed-funding and technical support.

With the Girls’ Impact Fund, we can provide the investment that grassroots girl activists need to grow their organisations, support one another, and make their voices heard.

 

Maryam, Save the Children Girl Champion for Nigeria

“Never be afraid to speak up for what you stand for.

You are already a role model for a lot of girls because of your advocacy and I encourage you to do more. We want to see a world where the rights of girls are being protected and you are very important for that fight to be effective.” 

Maryam, Save the Children Girl Champion

OUR ALLOCATIONS:

Working hand in hand with Care and Plan International on a gender analysis across South Sudan, we’ll partner with two local women’s rights organisations to explore the impacts of ongoing inequalities on girls’ lives and opportunities. This evidence will inform a deeper understanding of the barriers that stand in the way of girls’ realising their rights to health, education and safety and identify practical, transformative solutions. 

Through the research we will collect data and stories from girls and their families and help build a valuable evidence-base for our work and that of our partners at the local and global levels.

We’ll share our findings from the analysis with a range of decision-makers, including education partners, other donors, the United Nations and South Sudanese Ministries. This will allow us, and key national and international powerholders, to accelerate progress for gender equality in South Sudan and beyond.

The Girls’ Impact Fund is supporting the second cycle of the programme “Girls as Drivers of Change” in Uganda. Uganda hosts the third-largest refugee population in the world, and the largest in Africa. In 2022, women and children comprised over 80% of the refugee population, and 10% of girls between 15-19 and 20% of women between 20-24 years have experienced sexual assault, whilst 49% of girls are married by 18. 

Girls as Drivers of Change is broken down into three stages:

  1. The first element of the programme supports the implementation of a curriculum where girls learn how to express their ideas, organise themselves and understand the causes of gender inequality and discrimination, and how they can play a role in changing these attitudes.
  2. In the second element, the girls utilize all the learning and critical thinking skills from the curriculum and apply this in ‘Solutions Labs’ to design bold and ambitious—yet practical and achievable— solutions to address a selected gender inequality issue affecting young girls in their community.
  3. Finally, the girls are then given direct funding to implement their initiatives to end the identified gender issues in their community. This gives girls ownership over their ambitious ideas and supports them to be drivers of change, and can include, but isn’t limited to, community action, advocacy and campaigns and social entrepreneurship. 

We have used money from the Girls’ Impact Fund to fund the programme’s third element, supporting girls to implement their solutions to barriers they face in their lives. This is a critical element of the programme and allows us to provide funding directly to girls – a key pillar of the Girls’ Impact Fund and our girl-led and feminist approach to girls’ empowerment. 

The Girls' Impact Fund provided support for the data analysis highlighted in Save the Children’s report The Global Girlhood Report 2022: Girls on the Frontline, which takes stock of progress and challenges toward ending child marriage over the last ten years. The report includes new data analysis on the intersections of conflict and child marriage and highlights the voices of girls who have been displaced and experienced child marriage.

The report identifies nearly 90 million adolescent girls – almost 1 in 5 – are living within 50km of conflict. These girls face higher risk factors for child marriage, including increasing poverty and food shortages, and exposure to other forms of gender-based violence. Our analysis shows that, globally, girls affected by conflict are 20% more likely to marry as children than girls living outside of conflict zones. Girls experience gender-based violence in all conflicts, but gender-based violence and child protection are the least-funded protection priorities in humanitarian crises.

Girls cannot wait for proof in every new conflict – we have the evidence now to plan and fund prevention, mitigation and response services for gender-based violence in every humanitarian response. Girls deserve a future full of possibility.

FIND OUT MORE

To donate to the Girls' Impact Fund, or for more details on the Girls' Impact Fund or Women's Network, please contact us below:

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