This program aims to eradicate factors that contribute to making young girls run to the street or finding themselves in harmful situations. Adolescent girls are empowered through clubs where they can receive education, training, support and a network of friends and mentors. They learn about various issues, such as HIV/AIDS, health education, human rights, self-esteem and entrepreneurship skills. While adolescent girls are the primary focus, AGE also works with adolescent boys, disabled adolescents, and adults, as will be explained below.
Currently AGE is overseeing three projects: Power to Girls, SASA! and A Working Future. The first two work towards the same goal of raising awareness and support for vulnerable girls and women in the community. SASA! is a methodology/project from Uganda that AGH is adapting. It works with the whole community, though particularly adults, on the topics of HIV/AIDS, violence against women, and balancing power. The four stages of this project go from awareness to action. As the name suggests, Power to Girls is aimed at empowering girls, helping them to have meaningful and successful lives. Within this project, girls clubs are formed to build up their self-respect, knowledge and abilities. The clubs can be in secondary schools with girls in Form One to Three, or out of school with young mothers between the age of 14 and 19. In these clubs, the girls receive education and training from various outside educators and trained mentors from among themselves. They learn about their human rights and what to do if they get mistreated or abused. They are also trained on issues like friendship and leadership, and entrepreneurship and record keeping.
Our newest project is A Working Future, which helps young people to get the knowledge, skills and connections they need to reach their work goals. Since many feel job opportunities for young, willing members in the community are few and far between, this project helps them to get meaningful work and reach their full potential in life. Young adults aged 15 to 24 are targeted, with the majority being girls and at least 5% disabled. First, the young adults are taught about savings, loans, budgeting, human rights, health, and ways to make their dreams come true. Then, they are broken up into groups according to a common interest in a particular job and trained on how to do that job. They are linked together through small group banking and loans. A Working Future is currently in the Ilemela and Nyamagana districts, Mwanza.