Girls Leadership, Empowerment, Action Program
Ghanaian girls and women face many barriers to academic and community participation. Some are cultural: such as obligations at home, family expectations, and psychological barriers. Other barriers to their education fall outside normal indicators: such as statutory rape and teenage pregnancy.
Girls LEAP creates a safe space to discuss community issues that directly affect women, express themselves and receive leadership development training to strengthen girls' voices, presence and priorities within their community. Our goal is to empower girls to explore their ideas on leadership, partner with younger girls to be good role models and mentors, and utilize their leadership skills by working together to solve community issues.
How Girls LEAP works:
Girls LEAP is broken into three 10-week modules that seek to build on the knowledge, skills, and relationships to help girls become leaders in their communities. Students meet weekly, elect officials and move through three key stages: Empowerment, Leadership and Action.
Term 2 is when mentorship takes place, as well as when students begin to think about their community action project.
In Term 3 students finish planning their service project, turning their plans into action to help their communities.
In Term 1 the focus is on building our girls self esteem and helping them see themselves as role models and leaders.
Term 1 is focused on building a cohort mentality within the Girls LEAP chapter, establishing ideas around safe space and discussing important topics related to body image, self-esteem, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and leadership skills. Weekly meetings include team-building exercises, brainstorming activities, relationship-centered approaches and assigned readings.
Term 2, the SHS girls adapt the curriculum they have just explored for a partner JHS girls group. They lead a weekly meeting that includes small group mentoring, discussions and explanations about important concepts and teambuilding exercises that help the JHS students connect with each other and the SHS mentors.
Term 3 is focused on putting words, thoughts and ideas into action: the SHS girls brainstorm, vote on, design and deliver a service project that assists their community. The SHS girls are responsible for outreach, fundraising, marketing, planning and executing the service project, giving them not only real-time opportunities to showcase their leadership skills, but also a tangible project that they have completed.
For the first term, the lessons that the girls take part in focus on building personal competencies, as well as introducing issues faced by women and girls globally. The lessons contain activities and discussions designed to help girls feel confident in approaching difficult issues. This helps them develop practical solutions for dealing with issues and helping those around them. An adapted version of these lessons is then delivered by the girls to their younger mentees in the second stage of the program.
Self Esteem and Goal Setting
Importance of Educating Girls
While every service project is different, all of our Girls LEAP chapters go through a set of steps to help them not only enact a successful project, but also to build the knowledge and skills that will help them repeat their success in the future. The Girls LEAP curriculum contains all the information and guidance to help our Program Associates navigate this process, from brainstorming, to fundraising all the way to reflection and planning for the future.
Girls LEAP is for Anyone!
All of our programs are designed to be lead by anyone in any situation, regardless of training or resources. We actively work with individuals and organisations who want to run similar programs, either in a school or another setting (e.g. community group, women's group, vocational setting etc.). For these groups we provide training and support throughout their program. We encourage any interested parties in Ghana or internationally to get in touch to learn more!
To see the impact Girls LEAP is having across Ghana, check out our social media
Photos from 2017/18