Distribution of Girls Council Booklet through The School Club Zambia UK helps educate vulnerable young women on critical girls’ issues
In the southern part of Zambia in Sinazongwe District, in January 2020, The School Club Zambia launched ‘The girls of Sinzongwe’ project; a girl-led approach to reducing absenteeism in rural Zambian schools.
The aim of the project, funded with a Small Charities Challenge Fund grant, was to reduce teenage pregnancy, early marriages, and gender-based violence. Through Girl Councils, established in six schools, girls were supported in understanding and learning about their sexual and reproductive health rights including menstrual hygiene management. These Girl Council members were also trained to then deliver peer-to-peer training and support to adolescent girls across their schools on a wide-range of sexual health topics.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the closure of schools in Zambia, the project could not continue as planned. To ensure information dissemination continued for these girls, the organisation adapted their programme from running workshops to distributing an infographic booklet, called a Girls Council Booklet. This helped to reach 500 girls with critical information at a time of heightened vulnerability. According to data from the project, pregnancy rates are down, HIV testing is up and family planning services up significantly since the dissemination of the booklet. Over 90% of the girls returned to school when they reopened in September 2020.
Learn more about how UK Aid Direct has supported education projects since 2018 by reading our reflections article.