This March, YALI Network members have made the commitment to invest in women and girls in Africa, not only to help achieve gender equality, but also to promote economic growth, good governance, and future innovation. Women and girls are often the foundation of a community, and it is essential that they are given the same opportunities as men for that nation to grow. More than 700 YALI Network members pledged to invest in women and girls, and many of these pledges have already been put into action. Below is just a sample of the amazing and creative pledges that were made this month.
1. Leadership development training for 25 Cameroonian women; create Young Women’s Advocacy Network:
Patience Agwenjang from Cameroon pledges to organize a six-month leadership development training course for 25 women and to create the Young Women’s Advocacy Network to support effective policy on gender issues and good governance.
2. Mentor young female victims of human trafficking in Nigeria:
Lawrenta Igoh from Nigeria pledges to mentor girls who have been victims of human trafficking by organizing training sessions on reproductive health and life-building skills to help prepare them to adjust to society and decrease their vulnerability to being re-trafficked.
3. Feature business women in an entrepreneurship magazine:
Mothibedi Sereme from South Africa pledges to help young women through a local entrepreneurship magazine that he publishes by featuring articles and bios on successful female entrepreneurs. He will also host a seminar on leadership and higher education for young women at which inspiring businesswomen will speak to girls about their role in the economy and the importance of education.
4. Empower young women through poetry:
Mercedes Leburu pledges to help empower other young women in South Africa to become confident and lead a liberated lifestyle through writing poetry that will boost their self-esteem.
5. Educate young girls about protected sex and how to grow produce successfully:
Noel Lutomia in Kenya pledges to help young women start small income-generating projects, such as small crop farming, that would earn them independence from men and decrease their vulnerability to sexual predators.
6. Help girls continue their education by providing sanitary napkins:
James Obare Ondongo from Kenya pledges to help increase the chances for girls’ education in two primary schools by distributing sanitary napkins so girls can attend school regularly during their monthly cycles.
7. Organize art workshops to help women network and empower them through their own creativity:
Kunle Adewale from Nigeria pledges to invest in women by holding workshops with a focus on therapeutic art and vocational skills. The art produced at these workshops will be publicly displayed and put up for auction, with the profits going directly back to the women and girls who participate.
8. Hold a conference for young women in business to expand their horizons and share ideas:
Nathacia Oliver from South Africa pledges to initiate the first “Young Women Thrive” business conference, where young female entrepreneurs can gather to network and collaborate on new and exciting business ideas.
9. Tutor female classmates in a course:
Samuel Ndhlovu from Zambia pledges to assist two of his classmates in a course that he is doing well in by tutoring them three days a week.
10. Organize a training workshop for women in small-scale dairy production:
Khalid Ngassa from Tanzania pledges to organize and host a four-day training workshop for women who run small-scale dairy production operations as a part of the Nronga Women’s Dairy Cooperative Society. He will teach them about business efficiency and how to maximize their profits using their available resources.