Skills & Independence
Our Girl’s Empowerment Program (GEP) utilizes an activity-based curriculum that uses soccer language and analogies to promote healthy, responsible behaviors among Ugandan youth. It focuses on reproductive health, life skills, HIV prevention, and unplanned pregnancy & STD prevention, in addition to financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
About the Girl's Empowerment Program (GEP)
Rukundo International (RI) has established a partnership with the District Education Office to have our GEP curriculum built into the school’s curriculum, once per week, for all P6 (sixth grade) students in our seven government-run partner schools. Since the launch of this program in 2016, our organization has mentored more than 1,000 girls.
RI trains GEP coaches to use the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize students. Coaches urge participants to share what they have learned in their peer groups, families, and communities to help stop the spread of HIV. Financial literacy training and a student-led entrepreneurial activity are also incorporated into the curriculum so that the girls can begin to learn good financial practices early. Each school group receives a small micro-loan, and the girls are involved in choosing their own entrepreneurship activities. Additionally, the girls are trained to make their own reusable sanitary pads. This program is currently impacting hundreds of girls in seven rural Ugandan primary schools in Kabale.
We are grateful to The Women’s Microfinance Initiative, who has provided the funding for this program, since its inception.
Impact of the GEP
Before joining the GEP, Lesta, a 13 year-old student, said she didn’t have any knowledge about savings, profit making, or business planning. After learning new skills, she started a project of growing cabbages. She sold her cabbages and used a little of the money to buy personal needs, but she used most of the profits to start another business: “I bought a sow which produced four piglets. With this money I will be able to buy a sheep.”
According to Lesta, “My favorite thing about GEP is learning how to make reusable sanitary pads. GEP has changed my life in many ways. Now I can buy scholastic materials and make my own pads. I will always remember my lessons from GEP”.
Reports estimate that approximately half of adolescent girls in rural Uganda miss up to 24 days of school each year due to a lack of sanitary products for their periods. This amounts to almost 11% of the total learning days. You can help us change this statistic by donating to our GEP program. We also need additional resources to provide supplemental training opportunities to our coaches.