There are many reasons why girls across the world are missing out on their right to education. Sadly, for many girls, the threat of violence and fear of not being safe in school is a real barrier to their learning.
We are committed to tackling all of the barriers that keep girls from learning, and so when we were designing our girls’ education project in Malawi we knew we’d have to face concerns about violence and safeguarding head on. We embedded girls’ safety into the project design.
We provide specialist training to teachers, community leaders and parents to help people understand the issues and concerns. Together, we strengthen child protection protocols and work with girls to help them understand their rights and how to report any issues. We’ve done everything we can to shift attitudes and make schools, and the journey there, safer for girls.
As we enter the last year of the project, we’re delighted to see that our efforts have been paying off.
93% of girls felt safe at our community-based classes, which is encouraging given that only 74% of girls felt safe at primary school prior to joining the TEAM programme. 97% of girls said they would report abuse if they experienced it and 94% of girls believed that they would be supported if they did so. Meanwhile, the level of community support for child protection also increased, suggesting that the project’s wider interventions to keep girls safe and support their wellbeing are having an impact. In fact, results showed that improving child protection is where community members have most clearly felt the project’s impact.
We’re using the data from this evaluation to continue to make improvements to our work. To read more about the results from the project so far, check out our report.