Empowering Women and Girls Through Mentorship and Training
Rockflower Commitment: Fund project to improve livelihoods of girls and women through mentor programing and training.
Location: Bamenda, Cameroon
Rockflower is partnering with the African Youth Alliance to implement a 12 month project to support the training of highly marginalized young women who have no skills (either because they have never attended school, or have already dropped out without gaining a basic education) to gain basic literacy and social entrepreneurship skills with an objective to gain employment and improve the quality of their lives.
The women will be organized into 3 groups of Sisters Making A Difference (MAD Sisters). Over a 12 month period, the groups will meet three times a month. The Sisters Making A Difference (MAD Sisters) groups are safe discussion spaces where young women are empowered to challenge the unjust policies affecting their lives and improve their skills through peer mentoring and leadership while also learning new skills (soap, body lotion and arts/crafts production) for use and income generation.
60 young women aged between 19-40 years, from the disadvantaged quarters of Bamenda will be the direct beneficiaries of this project. These young women have no occupation, no skills and no formal training. Each of these women lives in a home with about 10-15 people. Indirectly the project will benefit and impact the lives of at least 1.500 beneficiaries, 60% women who benefit from the sensitization campaign and innovative service delivery.
The African Youth Alliance has been working with disadvantaged young women in Bamenda since 2015. The African Youth Alliance forms MAD Sisters groups to empower women and ensure they receive some skills and knowledge to transform their future.
After carrying out a community survey the project was developed with the contribution of the women’s groups who identified the problem and took part in the preparation of the proposal by contributing ideas necessary to improve their skills and their income.
Problems that the project will attempt to solve and the proposed solutions:
This project has a strong focus on accelerating young women’ learning outcomes so that marginalized young women who have been left behind can catch up and acquire relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for life and work.
The project activities aim to:
- Empower young women to tackle harmful social and gender norms that contribute to girls being out of school through peer mentoring and a 12 months training on women's rights, gender-based violence and leadership
- Conduct a thorough evaluation of interventions to understand what works, and how future policies and programs can be better designed to include and support marginalized young women
- A systematic approach to addressing the causes and impact of school dropout and non-enrolment during adolescence, including tackling community attitudes and harmful social and gender norms such as child marriage, early pregnancy, forced domestic work, or violence.
The outputs of the project:
- Improvement of income for 60 young women and their families
- 60 young women gain social entrepreneurship, literacy, numeracy and other skills relevant for life and work
- Empowerment of 60 young women and tackling of harmful social and gender norms that contribute to girls being out of school by the creation of three groups where they will benefit from peer mentoring and a 12 months training on women's rights, gender-based violence and leadership.
After its completion, the women beneficiaries will continue to manage and supervise the project. 60 disadvantaged women, organized into three groups will carry out this project. It will be implemented by the women themselves. The groups are well organized and have an executive branch where they manage all their activities. The volunteers of the African Youth Alliance will only supervise the women’s activities. We will also train and work with three community volunteers on this project, each volunteer representing a group. These volunteers are designated by the women’s group and will help us to mobilize the women for trainings, assist the groups to keep the records of sales/income from their activities.
ABOUT AFRICAN YOUTH ALLIANCE
The African Youth Alliance works to improve the living situation for women and young girls in Cameroon. Through creating clubs in villages where young girls and women can meet, the organization open up spaces for these groups to discuss, gain some basic education and receive peer mentoring. These clubs help bridge an existing inter-generational gap.
Our female-led organization has so far created a network of ten clubs. We have reached out to over 650 women and girls. The organization was created in 2001 and has been supporting highly marginalized young women to gain basic literacy and social entrepreneurship skills, get help with employment as well as support to improve the quality of their family lives. Women who openly identify with feminism in Cameroon are often marginalized and victims of psychological or physical violence. Women are encouraged through the organization to come together and join the MAD (Making A Difference) Sister Clubs where they meet at least twice a month to freely talk about issues affecting them in their communities. We also support the women in those clubs in learning new skills that can help them generate income to support themselves and their families.
Our organization is female-led, volunteer-run. We have a core team of 5 volunteers, all women, supporting the community mobilizations, administrative work and undertaking some of the trainings with the women and girls we work with.
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