CARE Canada President Gillian Barth and MP Anita Vandenbeld Announce Funding for START4GIRLS Program

CARE Canada announces $9.4M program supported by Global Affairs Canada aimed at supporting girls and young women in Zimbabwe

OTTAWA, July 24, 2019 – Today, with the support of the Government of Canada, CARE Canada, the Coady Institute, and collaborating partners announced a new initiative to strengthen the agency and capacities of adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe – as well as the broader education system that supports them.

The project, supported by Global Affairs Canada, is called Supporting Transition, Retention and Training for Girls (START4GIRLS) and will work with girls and adolescent women, their communities, and religious and traditional leaders to promote return to school or entrance into vocational skills training for girls who have dropped out, especially married girls and teenage mothers.

“Canada is at the forefront of the global effort to empower women and girls around the world,” said CARE Canada President Gillian Barth.

“We know, through our years of work on the ground during times of peace and of crisis, that the empowerment of women and girls makes entire families, communities, and countries more resilient and more likely to thrive. And we know that we need to do this together – alongside our local partners and alongside the people who we serve – to end inequality,” added Barth.

"Canada is committed to advancing gender equality and to ensuring that girls, adolescent girls, and women have access to quality education – especially in conflict, fragile, and crisis situations,” said Anita Vandenbeld, Member of Parliament for Ottawa West—Nepean.

"The [START4GIRLS] initiative includes a resilient schools framework to bring together the school community system in targeted districts to define their own characteristics and plan systems for building resilient schools relevant to the Zimbabwean context that are risk aware, safe, and innovative."

START4GIRLS will work at individual, household, school and community levels, underpinned by efforts to strengthen the national education systems’ capacity to develop and implement more gender-responsive, resilient, risk-aware and safe girl- and disability-friendly learning materials, practices, and environments for long-term impact and sustainability in Zimbabwe’s education and vocational training sectors.

Photo: Fatima Said

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