Girls and women across Guatemala face a stark reality:
· 30% are married before they are 18
· Less than 40% of indigenous women are literate
· Less than 50% of indigenous girls attend secondary school
· Rates of sexual violence and early pregnancy are extraordinarily high
Research proves that education plays a vital role in ending chronic cycles of poverty and in addressing other high-risk situations for girls such as early marriage, adolescent pregnancy and sexual violence. And yet, Guatemala has the lowest rate of investment in education in all of Central America. The need to invest in education, particularly for underserved girls, is imperative and urgent.
Girl Rising is launching a new initiative to promote access to quality education for girls across Guatemala. We will focus on three key strategies: Community Based Programming, Mass Media and Advocacy and Government Engagement. In early 2019, we will begin our work within the Community Based Programming strategy through a pilot for middle school indigenous girls. Key learnings from this pilot, as well as additional research and fundraising efforts, will inform the evolution of the larger initiative. Please check back here for more details soon.
Community Based Programming
Our work in Guatemala will focus on adapting and integrating our proven curriculum used in many other parts of the world into grassroots partners’ programs, providing critical tools to help girls build self-confidence and strengthen life skills and decision-making abilities. We will also work with partners to engage boys, parents, teachers and community leaders. In January of 2019, we will launch a pilot program in partnership with local organizations reaching approximately 200 indigenous girls.
Mass Media Campaign
Girl Rising has successfully launched mass media campaigns, reaching more than 200 million people in 170 countries around the world and galvanizing action to support girls. As part of our mass media campaign in Guatemala, we will develop a film for the Guatemalan audience that tells the story of an indigenous girl and the unique barriers she faces.
This film, along with other GR content, will be screened throughout the country, adapted into indigenous languages and into radio format, and be accompanied by a robust social media campaign. We will work closely with local and international public influencers in this effort.
Advocacy and Government Engagement
The need for investment in secondary, and particularly alternative secondary education for girls, in Guatemala is urgent. We will work with local partners on an advocacy strategy to call on the government to prioritize education spending, with a focus on investment in long term solutions that serve girls.
We are actively fundraising for this initiative. Click here to donate. For more information about our work and future plans in Guatemala, please contact Majo Aldana at email@example.com.