In Africa, our work benefits vulnerable girls and young women in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and several other countries. Our programmes specifically target those who are most affected by – or at risk of – child marriage, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy and FGM. In addition, other beneficiaries of our work include adult men and women (including parents), young men and boys, and community leaders; we operate through schools and local communities in order to reach them.
Over the last decade, we reached over 33,000 community members through our work in Uganda,Tanzania, Somaliland, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Ghana.
Our programmes take a holistic approach which aim to enable empowerment of women and girls through education on their rights and services available for them; enabling them to become advocates and shape their own futures. Through our partnerships work young women and girls are then able to access support services and information and their voices are heard on a national and international level. FORWARD and our partners ensure the voices of UNHEARD African women and girls are amplified on a national and international level, through our work with governments, global partnerships, media and other international NGO’s. We provide networking and economic opportunities for women and girls so they are involved at every level in shaping their own futures.
We are particularly proud to have supported the establishment of numerous girl and women-led organisations, providing financial and technical support to enable them to serve girls in their communities. The majority of FORWARD’s programmes in Africa are shaped on the Participatory Ethnographic Evaluation and Research (PEER) we do in each area. This participatory research is one where the girls and young women are trained to be the researchers, amplifying the voices of girls on the issues which affect them, equipping them with new skills and confidence and providing valuable research to inform the development of approaches to gender-based violence and inequalities. You can find the collection of our research in our Resources section.
How we support our partners
Each partnership differs based on the need of the local organisation but FORWARD’s support can include:
- Capacity Building: providing advice, training and technical support to increase capacity in areas of organisation, programme and financial management.
- Financial Support: providing small grants and funding for designated projects
- Advocacy and Campaigning: providing guidance on mobilising community awareness-raising activities and campaigns to influence national policy level. On an international scale FORWARD supports these campaigns by advocating for women’s and girls’ rights globally.
- Research: leading on community-based research on the prevalence and social factors around FGM, child marriage and obstetric fistula to inform initiatives to address these issues.
- Network and Alliance Building: Facilitating the sharing of experiences and good practice between local partners, young women in Africa and other organisations at local, national and regional levels. We also facilitate links between local partners and diaspora women in the UK.
- Monitoring and Evaluation: providing training to enable partners to monitor and evaluate their organisation and programmes to strive for improvement and demonstrate their successes.