“Sending girls to school is important because if a girl stays at home she will become a mother, she will become pregnant and have a lot of kids. Sending her to school will reduce poverty and increase her contribution to her community.”
- One Girl Scholar
Girls In School is One Girl’s flagship program (formerly known as Scholarships), it’s how we started and how you probably know us best. Girls In School has one pretty awesome purpose – to support young girls in Sierra Leone to both access and complete their high school education.
Because only 16% of girls in Sierra Leone complete high school, and they are much more likely to be married by the age of 18 than to graduate from school. And that’s just ONE country! More than 132 million girls GLOBALLY are denied an education, simply because they were born a girl. So that’s where we come in – to smash/break/destroy all the barriers stopping girls from accessing one of their very own rights – an education.
FYI – we have stacks more info on the why, just head to the Our Impact page, Why Girls, Climate Change, and maybe even our Mission for tonnes more tidbits on why educating girls is so incredibly important!
This is how the Girls In School Program works
Working across 23 schools in two different districts in Sierra Leone, the Girls In School works with young girls to support them through their high school education. Covering everything from school fees to lunch money, Girls In School is designed to support young girls every step of the way, helping them to aim high, work hard and reach their goals!
When a girl joins the Girls In School program, she will:
- Be supported in a tried and tested partner school where One Girl has a specialised trained focal teacher to provide ongoing guidance to the scholars
- Attend extra tuition weekly to ensure that she is ready for exams and has homework support
- Be mentored through monthly sessions where she will learn with her peers about relevant topics to ensure she excels in her studies, has knowledge on sexual health and menstrual hygiene
- Attend special girl-led events and initiatives for growth in leadership and other soft skills
- Receive a monthly stipend to support basic needs for hygiene, snacks, water and transport
- Receive her school uniform, text books, school supplies and solar-powered lamp to help her study at home in the evenings
- Receive monthly sanitary pads and education on menstrual hygiene to reduce stigma
- Receive support and leadership from One Girl's women’s committees, learning and growing within a safe, supportive and female-led environment
“I had lost hope in my destiny, because I had no one to support me in school. But with the help of OG, I have now got hope. I hope to be the First Lady of Sierra Leone. Dream big!”
- One Girl Scholar, Freetown
Who can join Girls In School?
Girls, of course! The program is for secondary school-aged girls and young women in Sierra Leone, who are experiencing challenges in completing secondary school. Whether that be because of extreme poverty, knock-on effects from the Ebola outbreak or another crisis that has left them without the sufficient support to go to school– we help create opportunities for girls to choose a different path for themselves.
We work closely with schools and communities to ensure all girls entering the Girls In School program are well prepared, motivated and committed to their studies, with a hunger for learning and a desire to be their absolute best selves!
Aisha*, One Girl Scholar, Sierra Leone.
One Girl Scholars, King Fahad School East Freetown, Sierra Leone.
This is what we've achieved so far!
541 girls have received support to attend and stay in school. That’s a massive 541 girls who may never have finished school, who now have access to so many more opportunities, as well as invaluable knowledge around sexual health and reproductive rights, health and family planning.
25 teachers are currently trained and working as One Girl focal teachers across 25 schools. These teachers become ambassadors for girls' rights in their schools and are equipped with knowledge on child safeguarding, study support, mentorship and menstrual hygiene and more!
339,990 sanitary pads have been distributed to girls and women through One Girl programs, including our Girls In School program! With access to information, resources and products, girls (and boys!) are learning how to safely and hygienically approach menstruation, school attendance increases and harmful period taboos are tackled!
You're invited along for the ride!
You can help double/quadruple/times these numbers by a million, with a kind and generous donation to One Girl. With your support, we can help as many girls as possible receive a quality education, helping them to change their lives, their communities, their countries and THE WORLD. Sounds like a stretch, but it really isn’t. Every single person matters and every single person can make a difference. And for these girls, it starts here.
So jump on in, and donate today!
*name has been changed to protect her identity.