The Resilient Girls Education Fund
According to The Guardian the AP News and The New York Times, Uganda had the longest lock-down in the World. Ugandan girls have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent school shut-downs. Adolescent girls in poor and rural Uganda exist at the intersection of a few marginalized identities; the barriers they face to returning to school are complex and interlinked, and like poverty, are cyclical. The loss of income of the parent or guardian, illness and sadly death of guardians, meant that more girls were left in precarious economic situations.
These economic barriers placed increased pressure on girls to engage in transactional sex to cover their basic needs (e.g. food, clothing and menstrual hygiene products) often resulting in unwanted pregnancy. This was worsened by the two year lock-down.
The Resilient Girls’ Education Fund supports girls who got pregnant and gave birth during the lock-down to not only return to school but ensure that they receive the resources they need to thrive. Girls to Lead Africa knows that girls who complete education generally have better development outcomes in future income, health, motherhood and civic participation. Classrooms are often the initial spaces where girls can learn to lead others, hone their communication skills, develop problem-solving capabilities, and be mentored by caring adults. Through this approach, GTLA provides Tuition Scholarships and scholastic materials to girls.