In the context of Sierra Leone, a country that has seen the impact of war and its impact on the most vulnerable being women and girls, the presence of the work of GESL is very critical. Sierra Leone is still recovering from the effects of war and in its post-conflict state, the country remains one of the world’s poorest. Young girls tend to be the most impacted by the frustrations, societal demands, and deficiencies that a country and a people in poverty experience. The latest UNICEF statistics show females falling significantly behind males in literacy rates (52.1% to 70.5%). In addition, child marriage is extremely prevalent (17.7% married by 15 and 43.7% by 18 years, and worrying statistics for FGM, domestic abuse, little knowledge of HIV or sexual health issues are prevalent among the younger population. Access to knowledge and support seems to be the biggest deprivation young girls are experiencing in Sierra Leone. Therefore, a program such as GESL is critical to the education of girls in the country.
Our program has proven positive statistical results of having a positive impact on girls remaining in school, adapting positive behaviors, gaining positive peer networks, and educating families to nurture the education of young girls. Furthermore, our program ensures that there are no barriers facing girls to continue with their education in the event of any crisis. We provide emergency grant assistance for their educational needs upon any emergency. In 2014 when the Ebola outbreak was rampant in Sierra Leone, GESL was forced to close temporarily to adhere to the health and safety regulations by the Sierra Leonean government. Though a very hard time for our girls, we still maintained contact with them and provided distance learning programs in the meantime. To date, we have impacted over 400+ girls in the last 8 years with through our programs.
5 Reasons Girls Love GESL's Programming