Gender equality and female empowerment are essential if we are to achieve a better future for all. When women and girls are empowered, the possibilities - for communities, for nations, for the world - are endless. If we fail to address girls' differential needs and aspirations, a generation will be lost. With it goes our hope for sustainable development, inclusivity, prosperity, peace, and security.
The Play and Learn Foundation (PAL) works with children and young people from under-served communities. We see first-hand how toxic masculinity affects these children, especially the girls. Addressing this is central to achieving PAL's larger vision: the creation of a world where all African youth are supported so that they may become the leaders of their generation. We believe that this vision requires all people to be able to speak their truth and recognize their individual power and purpose, regardless of gender or background.
How is PAL playing its part?
The Yaa Asantewaa Girl Empowerment Project
To fight the plight of toxic masculinity and empower the young women we serve, PAL created the Yaa Asantewaa Girl Empowerment Project (YAGEP).
PAL YAGEP was started with a mission to enhance and empower the girl child by encouraging her to develop social and emotional confidence, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. The program includes various girl empowerment projects initiatives, workshops, and programs targeting the girls who need it most. PAL YAGEP reinforces our commitment and belief in the importance of specific community outreach efforts.
The project began its first iteration in October 2019. In partnership with various stakeholders, PAL YAGEP engaged 15 girls from Okponglo, La Bawaleshie, and other surrounding communities to participate in a six-month program focused on the most salient issues facing women today: gender and sex, health, gender violence, peer-to-peer empowerment, Women in Technology, experiential learning, and career development. Additionally, a 'Big Sister' program was employed to help create a supportive network for the girls throughout the program and beyond.
The Yaa Asantewaa Project's lectures, activities, and workshops will focus on several topics that are especially relevant today:
Unlearning toxic masculinity
Breaking the glass ceiling society has boxed young women into
Empowering young women to own and believe in their unique personality traits
Improving critical thinking and problem-solving skills
In the big picture, PAL YAGEP seeks to do the following:
Help girls improve their self-esteem
Provide platforms for girls in under-served communities to have a voice
Reduce the vulnerability of adolescent girls in under-served communities
Empower girls from under-served communities with economic resources and education
How will it work?
The project occurs on an annual basis. Every year, 15 girls from our surrounding communities have the opportunity to participate. The experience lasts for six months, from October to April. Each month has two sessions. The first Saturday of the month will be a workshop while the second Saturday will focus on programs that will help each girl build her skills and explore new topics. Come April, the cohort of girls receives a recap of the entire project, and their achievements are celebrated by a graduation ceremony.
Success so far
2019-2020 Yaa Asantewaa Girl Empowerment Program
October 2019 saw the very first installation of PAL YAGEP. Our cohort of beneficiaries benefited from interactions with speakers, presenters, and mentors who know and understand them. Such interactions encouraged the girls to embrace their individuality and realize their power as young women, regardless of what society makes of them. Although the 2019-2020 PAL YAGEP installation was disrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are incredibly proud of all that they accomplish and look forward to what they will do in the future. We plan to do even better with our next installation of the project!
2019-2020 YAGEP Events
To support, learn more, or advise, contact:
+233 55 737 6713
The Play & Learn Foundation works to empower Ghanaian youth through a combination of academics, athletics, mentorship, and community contribution to develop the skills needed to become leaders in their local and global communities.