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FAWE and DANIDA partner to empower out-of-school girls in conflict-affected states

DANIDA Chief Advisor Ms Toni Michelsen (l) and FAWE Executive Director Dr Codou Diaw at the signing of the grant agreement in Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 July 2009

AWE has signed an agreement with the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) to economically empower out-of-school girls in three conflict-affected states (CAFS) in Africa.

Through a grant secured through its Women in Africa Fund, DANIDA will provide funding of 4.98 million Danish Kroner (USD 952,000) to FAWE over three years to give girls in Burundi, Liberia and Sierra Leone the opportunity to acquire technical, vocational and entrepreneurship skills in order to increase their prospects for employment.

It is estimated that out of the 77 million children not in school, 39 million live in CAFS. They have either missed out on schooling during the years of conflict, or have never had the opportunity to enrol in school at all. Consequently, many of the girls targeted by the FAWE-DANIDA project are idle at home and are economically disempowered. Others resort to commercial sex, drugs and other unsustainable risky activities to earn a living.

The project will support girls in Burundi, Liberia and Sierra Leone primarily through the provision of vocational, technical and entrepreneurship training in the three countries. This training will equip beneficiaries to contribute to the rebuilding of their country in meaningful ways and will provide them with skills and knowledge that will enable them to either find employment or set up income-generating activities in the formal or informal sectors.

Additionally, the project will provide some scholarships for continuing education, establish strategic alliances among key stakeholders, establish graduates’ associations, and conduct policy advocacy and community mobilisation activities in the three countries.

During the three-year period, the project is expected to reach 600 out-of-school girls, 100 teachers, 30 education officers and 1,800 parents and community members in the three countries. At least 70 percent of the 600 girls will be supported to enter the labour market as interns, employees or recipients of credit. They will also receive marketing support from well-established entrepreneurs. The remaining 30 percent will be supported to continue to higher levels of education, either diploma or degree level.

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