Flexibility Needed When Planning During a Pandemic
In any given year, 60 million girls has three sets of projects on the go at once. These include 1) project proposals that we are evaluating, two or three of which we will choose to receive funding the following year; 2) projects we’ve chosen but have not yet received funding; and 3) projects that have received funding and which partners are implementing.
Clearly, during the pandemic we’ve upped our flexibility quotient so that we can support partners during this difficult time. In our previous blog, we discussed how we adjusted our project selection process. In this blog, we look at how partners awaiting funding are dealing with changes to schools in the communities they serve.
All of our projects are explained in detail on our website, but given school closures and the extra support some communities and individuals needed during this time, some of our projects will look a little different.
Here’s an update:
1. In Ghana, we are working with CAMFED to improve school attendance, and the quality of education while supporting young, female “edupreneurs.”
This project will invest in Mobile Learning Labs (MLL) and train 20 young women to be “edupreneurs” in 10 schools with children age 4 to 15. When COVID hit, CAMFED took steps to ensure that children already in these schools had the support they needed. They introduced a life skills program, along with local language radio programs on health and safety measures and information on how to prevent sexual and gender-based violence. Teacher mentors can now use WhatsApp to check in on girls stuck at home and they have initiated a back-to-school campaign to make sure that everyone is ready when schools re-open.
2. Our project in Liberia with CODE is an extension of a project we funded in 2018/19.
To be implemented in 25 schools, this project will focus on accelerated learning for 375 teenage girls over-age for their grade, providing snacks and female hygiene products to help retention rates. However, CODE recently updated the budget to account for “at-home learning kits” so that the girls will have access to learning materials even during school closures.
3. We have partnered with Change for Children in Nicaragua’s rural Bosawas region to address the quality of education.
This project will provide MLLs to 3 communities, mirroring a similar project funded by the Government of Canada. Together, our funding means that all indigenous communities in this region of Nicaragua will have access to quality learning materials and teachers will be trained in more impactful pedagogical methodologies. Unlike other countries, Nicaragua never shut down its schools but Change for Children implemented important health measures like hand-washing stations and conducted training over Zoom rather than in person.
While COVID has certainly upended all our lives, we’ve adjusted and projects planned for next year will go ahead with just a few modifications, depending on the circumstances.
Thanks so much to all of our supporters, for your enormous support throughout this pandemic. We value your insights and are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Please send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to know what you think about our projects.
Keep an eye on this space for more information on how we are adapting during the pandemic.