Nike revisits Girl Effect programme
By BiztechAfrica – Feb. 2, 2012, 11:51 a.m.
Nike heads visited Rwanda this week to assess the progress of the Nike Foundation development programme for young girls.
The Girl Effect programme aims to empower adolescent girls and steer them to a better future through education, economics and health advice. Social and mobile technologies play a role in interactions with the girls.
President Paul Kagame received Charlie Denson, President of Nike Brand Inc, and his team this week.
Denson said: “We are working with the Rwandan government on what we call ‘The Girl Effect”, a project aimed at empowering and building the confidence of young girls of Rwanda around education, economics and health. We have been carrying out a pilot project over the last eight months and we are now looking at rolling out in scale all across the country. There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm by girls to take control of their destiny”
The Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho said: “The progress of the pilot project is quite promising. The objective is to empower girls to believe themselves and take control of their lives through family planning and economic entrepreneurship. We focus on girls from the age of 12 because at this age where they start to think and to reflect on themselves. The next step is to customize and include formal curriculum.”
Among the ICT components of the programme are a mobile/web tool called Girl Hub and Ni Nymapinga (the perfect lady), a magazine and a weekly radio show run by young female journalists in training and supported by Nike.
The Nike Foundation believes that when a girl in the developing world realizes her potential, she isn’t the only one who escapes poverty – she brings her family, community, and country with her. The project targets girls aged 12, with the belief that investing in a girl before she is married, pregnant or HIV positive is a solution for poverty.