Umoja students have lost one or both parents and benefit from extra encouragement and mentoring. The Girls Empowerment Team of Umoja Project (GET UP) and Boys Empowerment Team of Umoja Project (BET UP) focus on goal setting, career planning and healthy relationship.
Since GET UP began in 2011, Umoja girls have experienced better school performance and lower pregnancy rates. They are among the top performers in their schools. We expect similar academic success from the boys who participate in BET UP starting in 2018.
Our adolescent girls face enormous obstacles to completing school and securing stable employment.
- Societal norms discourage girls from believing that they have rights and privileges equal to the boys.
- Family responsibilities affect girls’ ability to attend school regularly and to use their evenings for study.
- Sexual exploitation often leads to pregnancy and dropping out of school.
The Girls Empowerment Team of the Umoja Project (GET UP) addresses girls’ needs through programs focusing on health education, positive relationships, life skills and girls’ rights. Community women are trained to serve as mentors, and professional women provide vocational guidance.
GET UP meetings provide a regular opportunity for the 500 middle school girls and 100 older students to focus on their own needs and personal goals, as well as offer support to one another. The Umoja Project also provides sanitary towels for 500 girls each year at a cost of $10 per girl per year. These basic provisions are critical for a girl to attend school regularly and perform well.
With effective support, girls learn to GET UP instead of giving up!