Project Girl Foundation will target areas in rural Nigeria where there are the highest number of out-of-school children and the gender gap of illiterate females compared to their male peers is high. We will source a central location in poverty-stricken areas where there is a need for schools or there may already be schools, but the infrastructure is in disarray and classes are overcrowded coupled with a high number of out-of-school girls. Project Girl Foundation will source land to build schools on by trustworthy contractors or acquire deserted buildings, which could be renovated into an appropriate building for schools.
The schools will be set up with appropriate resources to help support the implementation of an effective education, such as a well-resourced library, computers, suitable desks and chairs in the classroom, clean water and appropriate female sanitation facilities.
FUNCTIONAL LITERACY PROGRAMMES
We want ‘our women’ to support ‘our girls’, which will not only empower them but also their families. Girls and women alike should read together, learn together and work together. This is why we are implementing functional literacy programmes for members of the local community, paying particular emphasis on women and their children. After-all, an old African proverb says, “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Project Girl Foundation will establish a team of operational staff who will build connections with local communities in the areas we want to work in. Fully-qualified and effectively trained teachers will work in the community to build their trust and conduct an initial assessment of the type of functional literacy programmes they need and split those in need into groups either by age, profession and type of literacy programmes needed. Teachers will implement these programmes in the local community, either in their homes, mobile classrooms, public spaces or community centres.
LEARNING A TRADE
As part of the subjects that students will study in our schools, they will take part in a vocational course, where they will be able to choose between sewing, farming and hair and beauty. Whatever the choice, Project Girl Foundation will partner with professionals in the field to provide training to our students.
Once students have learnt their chosen skills, they will go into the community to sell their product or to provide their service. For example, they will go to the market to sell the clothes, bags, shoes they have made or the fruits and vegetables they have grown. Alternatively, they will have a stall where they will attract customers to braid their hair, paint their nails or any other hair and beauty services that the customers may want.
This is all part of a work experience programme, where they learn about how to become self-reliant and provide for their families. In addition, students will also learn skills needed to run a successful business such as budgeting, book-keeping, creating profit and loss accounts etc.
SEXUAL HEALTH AND FAMILY PLANNING
Project Girl Foundation will partner with health professionals and charities to provide sexual health, family planning and sex education to our students. They will be taught how to keep themselves free of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as checking themselves for early symptoms of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as educating themselves on topics such as sexual behaviour, relationships and personal skills. Students will also have access to free condoms and receive advice and guidance to other forms of contraception, as well as having a counsellor or mentor to talk to about any concerns that they may have. Teachers in our schools will also undertake an intensive programme to teach sex education effectively in schools and be a constant support to their students.
CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Project Girl Foundation will partner with schools, teachers and teacher training colleges and universities in the UK and Nigeria, in order to provide advice, support and expertise to each other. Project Girl Foundation will implement a programme for partnered UK and Nigerian teacher training colleges and universities where trainee teachers will complete a placement at our schools so that the teachers can learn from each other. In the same way, Project Girl Foundation will implement a programme where fully-qualified teachers can complete a secondment in our schools so that the school and its teachers will gain fresh knowledge of teaching methods, strategies and assessment to implement in our schools and in turn, their own schools.
Project Girl Foundation will also ensure that its teachers receive the most up-to-date continuous professional development training by partnering with fully-qualified teachers and teacher trainers to write and implement training programmes during INSET days at our school. Our teachers will be regularly observed and monitored in their teaching, learning and assessment. All improvement areas identified will be followed up with training by colleagues, management or a relevant training course.