POSTED BY 60milliongirls | Feb, 01, 2021 |

February 2021

60 million steps for 60 million girls

We know that anything long lasting and of deep importance, like ensuring a quality education for girls, doesn’t happen overnight.

60 million girls has been supporting some of the best, most innovative projects created by our partners since 2006 – for 15 years now!

As of today, we have invested $3.7 million in 32 projects in over 20 countries supporting more than 60,000 children. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a community-based, organic evolution started by a small group of women. We went forward step by step: raising funds, finding the best projects, ensuring accountability, learning about what works best in girls’ education – without hiring staff or paying fees. As you know, more than 99% of each donation we receive goes directly to the projects we support.

We’d like to invite you to take some very determined and important steps – to help support our Adolescent Girls’ Education Fund.

The pandemic caused a huge disruption to education around the world in 2020, forcing schools to be closed for months on end in many countries. 60 million girls knows that adolescent girls in developing nations have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19, and many will never return to school.

Our Adolescent Girls’ Education Fund was created this year to help alleviate the most pressing needs in the field. We have pushed back our project evaluation decisions by 6 months to take into account the ever-changing context in the communities where our partners work. Rather than announce our projects this month, we will announce them after a 5-month evaluation process, which will be completed in early June 2021. We’ll have a more accurate assessment of the needs following the prolonged school closures and be able to provide the funding by December 31st this year.

Help us achieve 60 million steps for the girls we support and for your wellbeing!

Let’s make lemonade out of lemons! We invite you to turn the pandemic into a positive opportunity.

Let’s take advantage of the winter to walk, run, ski, snowshoe, skate, toboggan – to get outdoors and break the spell of feeling cooped up and isolated at home. It can be a time to grab your family or a friend to join you outside, at a safe distance! Or, dust off that exercise bike or yoga mat and keep warm and cozy inside.

This is our challenge: Turn this pandemic into an opportunity to keep active safely over the next months. It will have a positive effect on our bodies and our spirits, and prepare us for getting back to all those things we love to do – including supporting girls everywhere!

I’m looking forward to keeping in shape with you and dreaming of things to do in a post-pandemic world – which include finding the most create initiatives to ensure all girls and boys have access to a quality education.

Wanda Bedard

To participate in our Challenge or to learn more, click here.

News from our partners – the impact of the pandemic on our field projects in 2020

Crossroads International: Empowering Girls with New Information Technology in Togo

As a result of the pandemic, all schools were closed in March 2020 and were only re-opened in November 2020. As the normal school year in Togo is from October to June, students lost 5 months of schooling. No distance learning programs were in place. To learn more, click here.

Stephen Lewis Foundation (YHHS): Technology to Enhance Access to Education & Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Zambia

The major challenge YHHS faced was the outbreak of COVID-19 in Zambia. The new pandemic made project implementation difficult, especially for project participants in non-examination classes. They were not able to attend school until September because of a partial lock-down (only the examination classes – grades 7, 9, and 12 – were permitted to return to school in June 2020). To learn more, click here.

Stephen Lewis Foundation (Mavambo Trust): Using Technology to Enhance the (Re-)Introduction of Education amongst Zimbabwe’s Most Vulnerable Girls in Zimbabwe

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the schools being closed for 5 months in 2020. However, Mavambo was able to quickly pivot and respond to the pandemic. Staff shifted to a “new normal” as they were supported with the tools and technology, such as adequate data and airtime, to work from home. To learn more, click here.

How the Mobile Learning Lab can make all the difference during COVID-19

From our partner CAUSE Canada in Sierra Leone

Schools have been shut down in Sierra Leone due to the pandemic and, as in many countries, students have experienced the same impact: no access to classes, material or support.

CAUSE Canada quickly put together a program to help adolescent girls who have been part of the bursary project that 60 million girls helped finance for a number of years. One of the components of this project was the use of the Mobile Learning Lab (MLL). One of its graduates, Betty, recently wrote to CAUSE about the impact of the bursary and access to their pandemic support program. To read Betty’s letter, click here.

TAGS : CAUSE Canada girls' education Stephen Lewis Foundation quality education Mobile Learning Lab (MLL) Crossroads International 60 million steps Challenge Adolescent Girls’ Education Fund Mavambo Trust YHHS

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