The Malala Fund Girl Programme gives young women the tools they need to advocate for education and equality in their communities and a platform for the world to hear their voices.
Launched in 2020, Malala Fund’s Girl Programme is a bold approach to youth-led advocacy. The programme is designed to amplify girls' voices, equip them with leadership and advocacy skills and implement a feminist approach to funding. The main pillars of the Girl Programme include the Fellowship and the Feminist Fund. The Feminist Fund aims to deliver funding to underrepresented groups working to fight barriers to girls’ education.
“We are excited to partner with our new cohort of Girl Programme grantees,” says Jean-Ann Ndow, Girl Programme Manager at Malala Fund. "They were selected because of their commitment to letting girls and young women lead, inspiring programmes that equip girls and young women to better understand the world around them and programmes that provide knowledge and skills that enable girls and young women to take action to address the challenges they face.”
Grants from the Feminist Fund support feminist and women-led or youth-led movements, groups and organisations addressing the barriers preventing girls and young women from completing 12 years of education. Fifteen organisations across seven countries — Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Tanzania — are represented.
Oroddho Foundation is a group of young people working to end gender-based violence and address the challenges faced while accessing sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR). They deliver educational programmes to school children ages 15–24 and run a campus ambassadors program where they mentor students on healthy interpersonal relationships via interactive boot camps and workshops.
With their grant, Oroddho will implement a community outreach and intervention programme in Khulna, where there is a concentration of marginalised communities with high rates of violence against women and child marriage. The project seeks to reenrol girls that have dropped out of school due to violence.
Rede Pelas Mulheres Indígenas (Mulheres Indigenas) is a growing network of volunteer women founded by eight Indigenous groups in the Northeast region of Brazil. The network supports Indigenous women and girls suffering violations of their human rights through legal and psychological support, rights and leadership training and methods of combating domestic violence. Mulheres Indigenas also produce podcasts to amplify the voices of Indigenous women, form women’s community groups and have produced resources to support women experiencing rights violations.
With their grant, Mulheres Indigenas will help young women and girls in the Northeast region of Brazil develop leadership and advocacy skills and gain a better understanding of their rights.
Instituto Minas Programam (Minas Programam) challenges gender and racial stereotypes that influence science, technology and computing. Founded by three young Brazilian women, Instituto Minas creates free and exclusive learning spaces for young women, creates and shares female-led content and new references on science and technology and spreads learning materials and thematic content on their blog and social networks.
With their grant, Minas Programam will develop spaces for young people from Black, Indigenous and other marginalised groups to discuss technology, race, gender and technology networks and improve self-esteem, as well as offer free programming courses and content.
Afar Community Initiative Sustainable Development Association (ACISDA) is a youth-led organisation that seeks to improve conditions for the most marginalised and hard-to-reach women and girls in rural Afar. ACISDA’s projects work to increase gender equality and women’s rights, eliminate gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful traditional practices, ensure access to education for all pastoralist children and improve maternal neonatal health.
With their grant, ACISDA will support girls as leaders and advocates for their right to education through digital media and storytelling training, challenge community social norms by raising awareness of the importance of girls’ education and improving girls’ school environments to provide gender-sensitive education.
Roots and Wings is a women-led nonprofit based in Addis Ababa working to improve education for deaf students and young people with disabilities.
With their grant, Roots and Wings will provide sign language classes to school faculty and staff in Addis Ababa, train teachers to deliver inclusive, gender-sensitive education and advocate for expanded learning opportunities for deaf girls and girls with disabilities.
Vikalp Sansthan is a nonprofit organisation working with youth to create a violence-free society rooted in equality, peace, justice and freedom. Vikalp focuses on education for girls, ending child marriage, and stopping violence against women and girls in Rajasthan, India.
With their grant, Vikalp will raise community awareness of the discrimination girls and women face, support survivors of violence and advocate for village- to state-level policy changes. They will also develop girls’ sports teams and training, set up sexual health education workshops and organise field trips and sessions for career development.
North 24 Parganas Sammyao Sramogibi Samity (NSS) is a youth-led organisation working on women’s empowerment and livelihood strengthening. Due to its location at the border between India and Bangladesh, NSS’s operational area is prone to high rates of female trafficking and has a concentration of minority Muslim communities who are vulnerable to child marriage and child labour. Since 2010, NSS has expanded its remit to include anti-trafficking and is an active member of the Partnership for Anti Trafficking, a network formed by ten like-minded NGOs in the area.
With their grant, NSS will address issues of early marriage and gender-based violence to empower girls and garner community support. They will raise awareness of girls’ right to education through community workshops, develop collectives for girls to attend school and establish a community-based tracking system to identify girls who are not attending school regularly or who might be vulnerable to trafficking and abuse.
Centre for Social Equity & Inclusion (CSEI) is an organisation championing socially excluded children’s and youth rights — especially those of the Dalit people — through collaboration with community-led civil society organisations. CSEI have extensive experience in promoting youth leadership and empowerment; including fellowships to enable young people to design education activities in their communities, and a sexual and reproductive health rights programme.
With their grant, CSEI will build girls’ science, English, and mathematics (SEM) skills in India by analysing current SEM teaching modules and working with girls to develop a new curriculum and providing training and capacity-building workshops for parents and girls to develop SEM learning and support skills.
Jami al Hakeem is a women-led nonprofit working to sustainably improve the standard of living for marginalised women and girls in northern Nigeria. It does this through access to education, gender and social justice, sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and infrastructure development.
With their grant, Jami al Hakeem will provide girls with leadership and advocacy skills to speak up for themselves, train female teachers to lead safe spaces in school for girls and strengthen local communities through advocacy, human rights and social protection workshops.
Initiative for Leadership Development and Youth Empowerment (Young Leaders Network – YLN) is a youth-led nonprofit working in Bauchi State, one of the states with the highest number of out-of-school children in Nigeria. YLN works to build and strengthen hubs of vibrant and skilled young people through social inclusion, policy advancement and community engagement. It aims to provide girls with access to basic education, life skills and safe spaces for learning; and works with young women to strengthen their leadership skills, increase citizens’ accountability and encourage political participation.
With their grant, YLN will create clubs and mentorship opportunities to engage girls as advocates for education, train teachers to create safe, gender-sensitive learning environments, raise community awareness of the importance of girls’ education and advocate for government investment in improving schools.
The Inclusion Project (TIP) is a women-led organisation of lawyers committed to using the legal system to promote and protect the human rights of vulnerable persons in Nigeria like women, youth, and people with disabilities. The organisation has been working to educate girls and women in Imo, Kano and Lagos states on their rights to education and to safety from sexual and gender-based violence. It provides pro-bono legal support to girls and women facing abuses against these rights.
With their grant, TIP will seek to improve retention in school by increasing girls' knowledge of their rights and improving community and government protection structures.
Innovate Educate and Inspire Pakistan (IEI) is a youth- and female-led volunteer teaching platform, where young women from across Pakistan teach in remote mountain communities in Gilgit-Baltistan. The work supports public education reform efforts and fosters sustainable peace and development across Pakistan by bringing together youth from urban and rural areas. IEI’s mission is to close the educational gap by bringing quality education and learning innovation that supports creative, inclusive, holistic development to children in remote, low-resource areas of Pakistan.
With their grant, IEI will work to tackle inadequate learning opportunities and create a community ecosystem that supports girls from remote areas in completing their education. They will establish young women-led spaces for mentorship, build teacher capacity in digital and gender-responsive skills and mobilise men and boys in communities to support girls’ education.
Mechanism for Rational Change (MRC) is a women-led nonprofit founded in Balochistan working toward a gender-based, discrimination-free society. MRC is a previous Malala Fund Girl Programme grantee under the COVID-19 Initiative. That project involved the training and facilitation of 100 girls, aged 15 to 35 as “Change Ambassadors” who were mentored and trained to undertake advocacy, data-driven campaigns and community mobilisation on issues of gender equity in STEM education.
With their grant, MRC will develop a detailed fellowship programme with 20 of the original Change Ambassadors to encourage them as young activists advocating for the future of Balochistan. The fellowship will provide in-depth training on advocacy and campaigning, media skills, safeguarding, and leadership development.
Media for Development and Advocacy (MEDEA Tanzania) is a youth-led nonprofit run by storytellers, filmmakers and media experts advocating for girls, women and youth rights. MEDEA uses storytelling, film, art and media to reveal the breadth of challenges facing girls, women and youth, and calls for action to address these barriers.
With their grant, MEDEA will use film to increase understanding of existing child marriage laws and raise awareness of their implication on girls’ education. The organisation will produce films and documentaries about the impact of child marriage, host screenings for local communities and lobby lawmakers to tighten and enforce child marriage laws in Tanzania.
AfyaPlus Organization is a women- and youth-led organisation with full-time volunteer staff. AfyaPlus works in schools across the Iringa Region to prevent and control diseases through awareness-raising and service provision around issues of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and menstrual hygiene management (MHM), and promote gender equality by empowering girls and young women.
With their grant, AfyaPlus will expand its work around MHM to 50 schools in the Iringa Region over three years.