• Mon Jun 20 2016
  • UN body to support adolescent refugee girls in Uganda

Monday’s announcement expands this partnership to Uganda
Vision Reporter
Journalist @ New vision
Monday’s announcement expands this partnership to Uganda

The United Nations Foundation's Girl Up campaign on Monday announced that it is expanding its support of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to include programming aimed at educating refugee girls in Uganda.

The move makes Uganda the sixth focus country where Girl Up supports UN initiatives aimed at advancing the lives of adolescent girls. The other countries are Guatemala, Ethiopia, India, Liberia, and Malawi.

"As the world comes together today to honour the millions of refugees who have fled their homes in search of a better and safer future, I am excited to announce that Girl Up is expanding our partnership with UNHCR to support its work ensuring refugee girls in Uganda receive a quality education," said Melissa Hillebrenner Kilby, Director of Girl Up. 

"Access to education is a basic human right, and all girls should have the chance to go to school. Girl Up is supporting UNHCR's work in Uganda to help ensure refugee girls have the same chance at an education as their male counterparts.

With our partners at the UN - and our community of passionate girl advocates - we are aiming to break the cycle of generational poverty for some of the most vulnerable girls in Uganda" she added.

Since 2010, Girl Up has supported UNHCR's work in Ethiopia to create safe schools and provide an education for displaced Somali girls.

Monday's announcement expands this partnership to Uganda that is home to more than 400,000 displaced people, 27% of whom are girls under the age of 18.

These girls come from a number of countries, with many coming from the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and South Sudan.

Lack of quality teachers, poor infrastructure, inadequate safe-learning environments, and insufficient awareness about the importance of education have led to severely low school enrolment rates for adolescent refugee girls across Uganda.

Girl Up, aided by funding provided by the Caterpillar Foundation, will support UNHCR programming that targets the enrolment and retention of refugee girls in school.

Program highlights include: infrastructure improvements, payment of school fees and the provision of uniforms for enrolling students, the employment and training of additional teachers, and expanding access to textbooks and reading materials.

Girls who complete primary and secondary education are likely to earn more income, have fewer unwanted pregnancies, and break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.

In fact, an extra year of primary school boosts girls' eventual wages by an estimated 10-20%, while an extra year of secondary school boosts them by 15-25%.

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