Thousands of YALI Network members are standing up for the rights of women and girls by pledging with #Africa4Her to be bold for change — supporting girls’ education, encouraging more women entrepreneurs, and speaking out against gender-based violence.
Eric Agyemang of Ghana is an #Africa4Her advocate who supports women’s and girls’ rights. He is a co-founder of the Cheerful Hearts Foundation, which provides professional training to youth at risk for teenage pregnancy and child trafficking for labor.
Since the 2016 #Africa4Her campaign, Eric has continued his work with the Cheerful Hearts Foundation. This women’s empowerment program has two areas of focus. The foundation trains 72 girls between the ages of 11 and 16 each year in the Nyanyano, Ghana, fishing community on entrepreneurship and leadership. The entrepreneurial skills training includes sewing, bead making, creative arts, music and dance. It is a 12-week program that ends with a graduation and presentation of certificates. The girls are able to showcase the work they have accomplished to the community.
The foundation also works on addressing teenage pregnancies and reduci
ng child trafficking in the Senya, Ghana, fishing community. They have trained 80 community volunteers to educate women on the risks of child trafficking and provide family planning services.
Kosiruoluwa Kolawole of Nigeria hosted two #YALILearns events to fulfill his 2016 #Africa4Her pledge. He focused on the importance of educating his community on women and girls’ empowerment, girls’ education, gender-based violence and discrimination.
Since the 2016 #Africa4Her campaign, Kosiruoluwa has been hard at work continuing to advocate for the rights of women and girls. He has organized many events focused on women’s empowerment through Lagos State University. He also has hosted youth conferences, teaching hospital conferences, lecture nights, online articles, church celebrations and sign language conferences. As a YALI Network member, Kosiruoluwa has broadened his knowledge and awareness about global issues, including the importance of empowering women and girls.
Mirabel Ngong of Cameroon promoted women’s entrepreneurship by providing 21 young women with a two-day training course as part of her 2016 #Africa4Her pledge. The training courses provided skills in commercial gardening, event planning and cake making.
Since this training, Mirabel has continued her work on promoting girls’ education in Cameroon. She has carried out public outreach activities in secondary schools by giving motivational talks and facilitating STEM exhibitions to engage girls and encourage them to go into STEM fields.
Mirabel encourages others Network members to empower women and girls. She says that “through my work to strengthen women and girls with life skills for better livelihoods, I have learned that to make the continent better, it begins with our individual efforts to bring the change we seek in our communities.”
“Through the work we do, the community is inspired to believe in the importance of educating a girl child and in the positive impact women can bestow on society,” Mirabel says.