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Girls with tools

Invest in girls’ economic empowerment in male dominated careers as an essential to achieve gender equality and learning key skills.

Photo of Jamila Mayanja
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

For years women have been breaking down the gender barriers when it comes to their careers. But there are some fields where it is still largely a man's world, and Girls with Tools program we prove that adding a feminine touch can be serious business. Lots of young ladies are faced with poor solving skills and have been taught the mentality of “after or out of school, find a rich man and get married” In a society where men are considered top priority in getting access to hands on and entrepreneurial skills and girls benefit little on nothing.
Through the Girls with Tools project host hands – on courses for girls trained in vocational areas not considered traditional for women like machinery welding, automotive mechanics, and driving skills for trucks. They get additional Workshop trainings that include entrepreneurship, life skills, gender equality issues, coexistence and financial Literacy. We are partnering with local workshops and garages so that we are able to give these girls internships, on job training to give them experience and inspirations to start up their own businesses in the sectors.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are girls ages 15 to 35, from central Uganda. Who are out of school and have no hope of going back to school. 80% of these girls are survivors of Gender Based Violence directly or indirectly. 20% are young mothers and young women who want to change their lifestyles from sex work, drug use and theft.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Our idea is unique because solves the issue of social inequity that results in tension and violence across class, race and cultural lines. It proves in all state that girls and boys, women and man are equal and what a man can do a woman can also do if given the equal chances. Our idea socially and economically empowers vulnerable girls and young women through models of skills development in order to increase their employability and their earning potential while enabling them to learn and develop key skills that can positively transform their lives, communities and the entire country. Our Organization is not working alone to successfully implement this idea, we have identified amazing partners companies, organizations and working with the communities at large to have this program a success.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Smart Girls Uganda is a 2015 registered non-profit making, girl centered, development organization that empowers and mentors girls in health, education, and equity by enabling girls and women to transform their own lives and their communities. We aim at inspiring girls to speak out, be decision makers, create visionary change and realize full potential. http://www.smartgirlsfoundation.org.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

In Uganda, young women and girls live in a male-dominated society that dictates women’s subordination and economic reliance on men for survival so that it is even harder for them to escape the cycle of extreme poverty.
From our experience working with girls and women we have noticed that educated and empowered girls receive better wages, raise healthier and better-educated children, are less likely to experience domestic violence, and contribute to the development of their communities.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

In Uganda peace in families has been influenced by extreme poverty hence leading to Gender Based Violence. The unfortunate reality is that women and girls suffer dis-proportionally from the burden of extreme poverty: 70% of the world’s extreme poor are women and girls. In Uganda, young women and girls live in a male-dominated society that dictates women’s subordination and economic reliance on men for survival so that it is even harder for them to escape the cycle of extreme poverty and when that man fails to get resources to take care of the women and girls they resort to violence. We have studied that to have peace an prosperity in a family, have women speak up and fight for their right and have men respect their rights, they should so be economically empowered show the community that what a man can do economically a woman can also do.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We are targeting communities of Kawempe Ttula, Bwaise and Matugga where we have piloted the program, we have also worked with these communities on the good men project(Empowered Men raising empowered girls) . Our partners are Kyeyunga Technical School and Uganda Muslim Women civilization Initiative who we are piloting the project with for the 1st 50 girls. YALI Uganda whose fellows are holding the other training. DFCU Bank is going to provide financial literacy for the girls, Kyeyunga Enterprises engaging girls in internships. We will also have Zimba Women to train the girls in ICT. U.S mission Kampala that has supported the pilot and brings us motivational speakers to inspire the girls.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The communities i have identifies are slum areas that indeed has a surplus of young mothers, young sex workers, young women out of school that are willing to learn to turn there lives around. The community has the kind of market and class that would be market to the girls incase they start their own work. The communities has leaders that are willing to work with us t bring peace and prosperity in the area and fight GBV.

Geographic Focus

It targets wakiso district (community) central division in Uganda.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

its needs 35 months.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

If Yes, how has project idea changed, grown, or evolved since last year? (2,000 characters)

The idea has evolved from giving the girls the training for 6 months to 15 months for them to be fully skilled with both practical and soft skills. We have also decided to have the girls doing mechanics to also take up some driving lessons. Then the ones driving to get simple mechanical practical skills. For sustainability we also charging a few girls that can afford the program so that 50% of the payment caters for the girls that cant absolutely afford the program.

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Photo of Natalie White
Team

Great project! I think the self-esteem the young women will build alone is a valuable outcome for this project. Do you have a road map for helping you graduates find jobs or internships to continue their skills growth?

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