Girls in rural Ghana want to earn an education but struggle to stay in school once they hit puberty. Predatory men offer girls paltry sums of money so they can afford school or sanitary supplies, and expect favors in return. Our Teen Girls Club teaches girls about women’s health, ensures girls have access to menstrual supplies, helps them advocate for themselves and their education, and trains them in income-generating activities so they can stay in school and break the cycle of poverty for good
Girls in rural Ghana want to stay in school, but it’s not easy once puberty strikes. It’s a struggle to afford school supplies, let alone sanitary supplies. Without supplies, they miss a few days of school each month. Their grades suffer. Men in the village offer them money but then expect sexual favors. No one has ever taught the girls about sex or pregnancy, so they comply. Before long, they’re pregnant, kicked out of school; teenage mothers unable to provide for themselves, let alone a baby.
Women in 3 villages where we run women’s micro-credit programs asked us to start Teen Girls Clubs to teach their daughters about reproductive health, work to delay premature sexual activity, help them advocate for themselves and avoid disease transmission when they do become sexually active. We offer after school study support and teach the girls marketable skills and handicrafts so they’ll be able to stay in school, earn their own spending money, and be less vulnerable to predatory men.
Helping girls stay in school past puberty creates healthier, more financially stable families. Girls who stay in school past 7th grade are less likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth, and more likely to have healthier and better educated children. Plus, every additional year of secondary education she completes will increase her individual earning power by 15 – 25%. The impact of keeping girls in school today will truly transform future generations.
Self-Help International (SHI) devotes its efforts to alleviating world hunger and poverty by providing opportunities to rural citizens that ultimately lead to self-reliance. Since its inception, Self-Help has served as a vessel; training, education, and opportunities are provided to rural citizens and whole communities in developing countries so that they can have better lives.
MISSION STATEMENT: To alleviate hunger by helping people help themselves.
SELF-HELP’S INITIATIVE Educate: We educate the people of the United States to understand the problems of life in developing countries particularly the awareness of the perpetual struggle by millions to produce and distribute food to battle persistent chronic hunger and poverty; we help tell their story
Train: We train people in developing countries in the use of Quality Protein Maize (QPM). This increases crop yields and improves nutrition. We assist local farm families with planting,
Improve: We improve infant and pre-school children’s diets by administering an improved porridge feeding program. Made from QPM and pinches of barley malt, this combination has been proven to alleviate malnutrition, thwart sickness, and keep children in school so they can continue their education.
Empower: We provide micro-credit loans for women to start small scale businesses. This availability of credit empowers women and increases their income – because they do not have access to traditional financing.
Cooperate: We cooperate with other organizations and agencies in the introduction of appropriate farming practices or advancement in the battle against poverty and malnutrition.