British embassy in drive to keep Zim girls in school

HARARE - The British Embassy in partnership with Plan International have launched a Leave No Girl Behind (LNGB) programme which is set to benefit over 21 000 girls in marginalised communities around the country.

In a statement, the embassy said the aim of the LNGB initiative is for vulnerable girls to learn important literacy and numeracy skills and also gain vital life expertise to help them grow into confident young women.

The initiative, which is targeting over 21 780 girls, will ensure that young girls, including those living with disabilities, will not unnecessarily drop out of school.

“The LNGB programme will enable the most marginalised girls to continue their schooling and transition to secondary education. The programme will target 21 780 hard-to-reach girls aged between 10 and 19 years old, up to 6 percent of whom are living with disabilities,” read part of the statement.

The embassy noted that most girls in developing countries encounter different forms of marginalisation such that they end up vulnerable to multiple forms of abuse.

The statement added that the LNGB will empower girls and young women and equip them with necessary life survival skills.

“It will also address the socio-cultural barriers that adolescent girls and young women are facing and build their confidence and skills, healthier voices,” the statement revealed.

“In countries, including Zimbabwe, girls experience multiple forms of marginalisation. They may have a disability, be survivors of violence, child labour, sexual exploitation or trafficking.

“They may have been subjected to early or enforced marriage, be affected by conflict or be displaced.”

The British embassy added that Plan International will support this initiative till 2024.

Head of Programmes for Plan International Zimbabwe Tsungai Mahumucha said his organisation will provide pathways for girls to enhance their life chances.

“Plan Zimbabwe will offer learning activities and transition pathways for adolescent girls, who will participate in accelerated learning programmes, learn life skills as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights knowledge.

“Girls will also gain valuable vocational skills training and take up employment or self-employment opportunities.

“Plan International aims to empower the hardest to reach girls by providing them with education so that they can lead, decide and thrive.

“LNGB provides the girls with a number of pathways to enhance their life chances, going beyond literacy and numeracy to support various transition options,” Mahumucha said.

This initiative was launched in the UK in 2012 as a 12-year commitment to reach the most marginalised girls in the world and is reportedly the largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education.

In Zimbabwe, The Campaign for Female Education (Camfed International) and World Vision are already implementing such projects reaching over 224 000 girls.


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