A key figure in the successful implementation of Binti Shupavu is the School Liaison. These are female teachers who volunteer to act as a key point of contact between AfricAid and the school administrations. They also attend events, make sure rooms are available and ready, advocate for the program to other staff members, make sure girls are attending classes, and provide other general support. AfricAid has one Liaison at each Partner School and their support is essential to our success. And as we are discovering, many are vocal advocates for girls’ education more generally.
As we implement Binti Shupavu this first year, here are some of the things we are hearing from our Liaisons at four of the secondary schools where the program has been launched.
“Binti Shupavu should be ongoing because it provides massive support to girls, many of whom have been marginalized at the family level and are perceived as being incapable of providing a positive contribution to family welfare. The program is good because it provides skills like how to be brave and try positive things. This is also helping them in their studies.” (Liaison at TPC Secondary School)
Another Liaison told us that “Binti Shupavu Lessons are the best and the staff is well qualified. It would be great if all of the girls at Karanga Secondary School were in the program.” (Liaison at Karanga Secondary School)
The Liaison at Mbokomu Secondary School told us that “what AfricAid does for these young girls through Binti Shupavu is to fill the gap left by irresponsible parents.” She went on to say that “while it is the parents’ responsibility to encourage their daughters to stay in school and give them the support they need, many don’t do so. We are grateful that AfricAid is here to create awareness on what parents should be doing to support girls’ education.” She noted that “while it is the parents’ responsibility to talk to their daughters about puberty, most don’t do so.” The impact of this lack of knowledge can range from psychological distress and confusion through to early pregnancy. ”AfricAid really does an amazing job through the skills it provides in making sure girls stay in school and are able to fulfill their dreams.” (Liaison at Mbokomu Secondary School)
Finally, “if girls are really going to take seriously what they learn from Binti Shupavu, the skills will help them a lot, especially in facing their daily challenges.” (Liaison at Mkuu Secondary School)
We really can’t overstate how grateful we are to these passionate and motivated female teachers, who are helping us to ensure that Binti Shupavu makes a lasting difference in the lives of vulnerable adolescent girls.