Africa is rising. From North to South, the continent has shown unprecedented growth in health, infrastructure, agriculture, banking, and telecommunication, to mention a few industries. While these are great milestones, the Institute for Securities Studies reports that the Eastern African poverty rate, at 33.8%, is the lowest poverty rate compared to Central, Southern and Western Africa. Clearly, Sub-Saharan Africa still has a long way to go.
As the continent warms up to the possibilities of a better tomorrow, many organisations have stepped into the scene to help the less privileged in our communities. Girl Power Talk is one such player. Based in India, the company’s main goal is to make the world a better place by empowering women, men, and nonbinary individuals with merit-based opportunities to grow and achieve their full potential.
Girl Power Talk drives change through inclusion, diversity, gender equality, and education. To bring their goals to life, they’ve established their non-governmental branch, Girl Power USA—a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation, through which they drive social impact initiatives and partner with several other non-governmental organisations in Africa to stir change in key areas of interest.
Creating positive impact through education for a better tomorrow
Education is at the core of Girl Power USA’s initiatives. The organisation provides training in technology, business, and finance, among several other areas, to help young people from underprivileged backgrounds reach their potential.
To empower and create a better tomorrow for young Africans, Girl Power USA partnered with Tollen Community Center in Kenya, E-Enable in Nigeria, and Vantage Foundation in Uganda. Girl Power USA is tying all the loose ends to establish well-rounded individuals through mentorship, education, scholarship, and provision of basic needs for students to be able to fulfil their potential.
The leaders of tomorrow are prepared today
When Marion Nekesa, a Senior Writer at Content & Media at Girl Power USA, mentioned in passing that she attended an event at Tollen Community Center with her friends to support the children there, she never thought that Sameer Somal, Girl Power Talk’s co-founder, would take a keen interest in the children’s wellbeing as he did. The organisation went all out to support the children’s home.
Tollen Children’s Home is located in Dagoretti, Kenya. It’s the home to over 150 children, aged 2 to 17 years old. Some of the children are orphaned, while others are abandoned. Still, some come from cases of negligence.
So, how exactly is Girl Power USA transforming lives in this orphanage? Girl Power USA’s Young Leaders in Kenya organise regular interactive sessions with the children to educate and mentor them. The lessons range from financial literacy to computer skills and everything in between. They also hold discussions on hygiene, purpose, leadership, and career paths.
In August 2022, the Girl Power USA African team had a one-month-long program to interact with the children. The event involved teaching and mentorship sessions, culminating in a fun day for the kids, where they showcased their talent, danced to music and competed in fun games.
Learning can’t take place with empty stomachs. As such, Girl Power USA provides the resources Tollen Children’s Home needs to cater to the children’s basic needs every month. The donations included a 10,000-liter water tank to solve the water shortage problem in the home once and for all.
In a nutshell, Girl Power USA is committed to levelling the playing field, thus ensuring the orphanage produces well-rounded individuals who can compete equally in the world despite their disadvantaged backgrounds.
Mentorship and career guidance for holistic development
Girl Power USA is raising Young Leaders in the pearl of Africa through Vantage Foundation, a community-based organisation that aims to empower young men and women in rural Uganda. The two organisations are positively transforming the lives of young people through skill-enhancement programs and mentorship sessions.
The organisations do this by teaching young people life skills, including creative thinking, interpersonal, and critical thinking skills. In our fast-paced world, we are expected to think on our feet and come up with solutions. The work environment is constantly seeking problem-solvers. And the need for interpersonal skills can’t be emphasised enough, whether in schools, places of work, or social gatherings.
Vantage Foundation and Girl Power USA focus on making young people job-ready. They can either create their own jobs or step into the employment space with the confidence of wildflowers, as they have the soft skills needed to thrive in the professional world.
In the African setup and many other communities around the world, menstruation is a taboo subject. It’s spoken about in hushed tones, yet girls need guidance on this critical aspect of female biology. And so, SaveGirl Uganda, a project by Vantage Foundation, not only conducts campaigns to provide menstrual supplies and supportive items but also educates youth on menstrual health.
We know how counselling can be expensive but with SaveGirl Uganda, young people get counselling services for various issues at no cost and are equipped to handle life challenges better.
Career guidance is another important area the organisations focus on. In August, in partnership with Girl Power USA, Vantage Foundation organised its first conference to educate young people on financial literacy and career education. The topics were inspired by the fact that young people need all the guidance they can get to forge a career path. Financial education is also crucial in making sound financial choices. Helping individuals improve their financial well-being translates to empowering the whole community. The topics were more than timely, given the current economic situation.
Vantage Foundation and Girl Power USA are committed to empowering young girls and boys to better face and overcome their life challenges.
Entrepreneurship: Making a difference where it matters the most
Like wine, friendships get better with age, which is the case with Enabled to Enable and Girl Power USA. After years of friendship, the two organisations partnered to accomplish a shared goal. They collaborate in content creation and fundraising for the different Enabled to Enable projects.
Enabled to Enable, also known as E-Enable, is a non-governmental organisation that cares for and supports women and girls with disabilities and other vulnerable populations through training programs, support services, and advocacy in Nigeria.
The organisation focuses on quality education, good health and well-being, decent work, and economic growth. There are several projects geared towards ensuring these goals come to fruition. The projects cut across home-based care for children with disabilities, access to antenatal health services, and donation of assistive mobility devices. E-Enable focuses on economic empowerment, mental health, and capacity building for women and girls with disabilities.
Economic empowerment tops the list of what women empowerment entails. Women with disabilities face a double disadvantage (based on gender and disability) in accessing professional opportunities. That is why it is essential to provide them with well-developed skills to find employment. In a bid to make this a reality, the E-Enable economic empowerment project seeks to equip young girls with skills through vocational and life skills training to make them eligible for the job market.
Additionally, the organisation organises capacity building for families with blind or visually impaired family members. It also provides support in terms of braille training. E-Enable seeks to break the silence on mental health when it comes to persons with disability. It provides training to debunk myths surrounding disability and break societal barriers that have kept persons with disabilities in shackles concerning what they can and can't do. Its goal is to provide the right training and support that can open an ocean of possibilities for this group.
Since Girl Power Talk offers several services, including digital marketing, it has created a professional, user-friendly website for E-Enable, connecting it to the world beyond its geographical location.
Girl Power USA also organised an online lunch networking session to interact with E-Enable and get to know the team at a personal level. While the idea may seem simple, it's all about making everyone feel seen and valued. The lunch session was a great success.
E-Enable has a clothing line, which Girl Power USA is supporting in a big way through social media marketing. We all know the power of social media. And so, with marketing strategies from an organisation that offers the same services to companies worldwide, E-Enable is, without a doubt, reaching more potential customers than ever.
Lastly, Girl Power USA has taken the lead and is currently sponsoring one E-Enable student from primary school and another from secondary school. The sponsorship covers their full fee for six months straight.
Teamwork always wins!
As they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. And that's precisely what Girl Power USA is doing in Africa. Slowly but surely, this non-profit organisation is partnering with like-minded organisations and people to achieve a common goal; empowering young people, no matter their background, to achieve a purpose-driven life.
In all its partnerships, young people, especially women, are at the core of their projects and are well represented both as the leaders and beneficiaries of the projects. Girl Power USA understands that to close the gender gap, it has to be deliberate in its partnership and project execution. Women must be given the support they need to reach their full potential. Hence, the organisation is pouring its blood, sweat, and tears into making a difference where it matters the most.
Victoria Cesar, a Senior Writer at Girl Power USA, says, "As it is, there are many social problems around the world. Girl Power USA opens the doors of possibility. It's all-inclusive and focuses on positive ways to bring change."
Fighting with the right tool
Education has always been a tool for change, no matter the part of the world. It's this same tool that Girl Power USA is leveraging in collaboration with like-minded organisations to ensure transformation for underserved groups.
Its projects are majorly geared towards women's and girls' empowerment for a good reason. Simran Singh, a Senior Writer at Girl Power USA, summarises it this way: “Since time immemorial, there has been a bias against different groups of people. Therefore, Girl Power USA provides extra opportunities so that these groups can level up and show the world what they can do given a chance.”