This International Day of the Girl Child, we explore how two grant holders are empowering girls

Categories: Cause days, Project impact, Small Charities
11 October 2021

Girls make sanitary pads as part of one of Faith In Water's interventions
Credit: Faith In Water

In celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child (11 October 2021), we explore how Small Charities Challenge Fund grant holders Faith in Water and The Turing Trust are making a difference in Sub-Saharan Africa.

What are Faith in Water and The Turing Trust trying to do?

Working with its implementing partners (A Rocha Uganda, Hear Uganda and Energising Solutions), Faith in Water specialise in working with faith communities and is providing training in Christian and Muslim schools and communities to help break the silence on menstruation and remove stigma and shame.

Whilst in Malawi, The Turing Trust is working to provide digital skills to 9,000 marginalised girls in 40 rural schools by taking a three-fold approach; creating IT labs in schools, supplying IT maintenance services, and providing training for teachers.

What kind of impact have they had?

Between January 2020 and June 2021, Faith in Water’s Dignity for Girls2 programme provided 453 girls and 269 boys in six primary schools with education on puberty and menstruation. Reusable sanitary pads, knickers and soap have also been distributed which will enable girls to attend school with dignity and reduce school absenteeism due to difficulties managing their periods. Find out more about the wider impact Faith In Water’s activities has on girls on YouTube

Over the last five years, The Turing Trust has seen positive long term educational results such as improved exam results, increased female participation in IT and increased numbers of students from partners schools reaching universities. Watch a video on YouTube of project participant Elness telling her story on the transformative power of IT skills for Malawian girls.

What’s next?

To achieve long-term sustainability, Faith In Water believe the most effective solutions are simple, low cost, community led and community owned. In their Dignity for Girls2 programme more than 9,000 people have been reached through awareness raising activities. This has included training pupils how to make reusable sanitary pads – an activity enjoyed as much by the boys as the girls – and providing school clubs with traditional games – like Snakes and Ladders – interwoven with menstrual health messaging.

The Turing Trust, with support from the Scottish government, is committed to bringing equal digital opportunities to students and young people across Malawi.