When we talk about empowerment, it’s a careful chosen word; not an immediate outcome, but a long-term objective. Empowerment, in our view, following definitions set by Dr. Naila Kabeer and other scholars, encompasses a number of issues that include agency, decision-making power, autonomy, and sefl-efficacy.6
Phase 3, which aims to empower girls for economic development, takes into account all those issues. Activities in this phase are aimed to help Goal Champions, who have invested the most in our program, follow their dreams and contribute to their economies.
This phase can take different forms in different places - for example, business planning, entrepreneurship courses, vocational training, English courses, or in some cases, actual job placement in the community through partnerships. In India for example, the implementing organization’s partners have provided initial capital and technical training assistance to start a revolving loan fund for Goal Champions, who can than apply for a loan to achieve a professional goal, such as further education or start-up funds to run a business. The policies and procedures for each fund have been set by the CBOs, with guidance from their partners, to ensure technical aspects are in line with best practices.
Rather than a finite program component, Phase 3 is on-going - the objective is to build institutional capacity within CBOs so they can continue to support the Goal Champions on their future paths.
Goal’s activity guide is focused on four core content areas:7
- communication, building self-confidence, and valuing what it means to ‘be a girl’
- general health, reproductive health, and hygiene
- rights, freedom from violence, and accessing resources and institutions in the community
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- basic financial literacy topics including budgeting, saving, and borrowing