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Malala Fund’s Education Champion Network welcomes a new cohort and expands into Tanzania and Bangladesh

Photos courtesy of Patrícia Monteiro and Malin Fezehai
Photos courtesy of Patrícia Monteiro and Malin Fezehai

Since launching in 2017, Malala Fund’s Education Champion Network has supported 81 partner organisations working across Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania and Turkey.

Malala Fund is excited to welcome advocates from 24 new partner organisations into the Education Champion Network and announce our programmatic expansion into Bangladesh and Tanzania.

Malala Fund’s Education Champion Network invests in education activists who are creating solutions to barriers to girls’ secondary education in their communities. Their projects vary by location and need. Some Education Champions work to develop technology to help girls learn or advocate for education financing. Others host community meetings to inspire more parents to send daughters to school. Malala Fund knows tapping into the collective power of local activists is key to securing the systemic change needed to help all girls learn. Malala Fund brings Education Champions and their organisations together to form national chapters and strategic policy agendas. Malala Fund provides partners with project funding and tailored learning opportunities.

"The latest cohort of partners and Education Champions are ambitious, innovative and dedicated. Malala Fund is proud to support their projects and learn from their expertise," says Gaya Butler,  Director, Advocates Programme at Malala Fund. "We are also excited to welcome partners from two new countries, Bangladesh and Tanzania, where social, economic and institutional barriers halt millions of girls’ access to secondary education. Malala Fund looks forward to challenging the status quo with these partners and help drive progress together."

In addition to the new organisations joining the network, Malala Fund is proud to welcome three new Education Champions from existing partner organisations: Emmanuella Nwahiri, programme assistant at Centre LSD; Toyin Chukwudozie, executive director at Education as a Vaccine; and Nabiya Maniar, marketing and communications manager at Durbeen.

Since launching in 2017, the Education Champion Network has supported 81 partner organisations working across Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania and Turkey.

Meet the newest cohort of Education Champions:


Manzoor Ahmed, Education Watch Initiative Team Leader, Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE)

CAMPE is a national alliance of more than 900 education NGOs, scholars and advocates concerned with the right to education and gender equality. With their grant, Manzoor will work to influence both schools and regional and national decision makers to provide students with a more gender-responsive, climate-resilient and digitally-oriented secondary education.

Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Director, Friendship

Girls from marginalised, remote, climate-impacted communities in northern Bangladesh often experience barriers to education. With their grant, Runa will work to minimise the digital divide, build climate resilience and support and train young climate advocates.

Murshed Alam Sarker, Co-founder and Executive Director, People’s Oriented Program Implementation (POPI)

POPI envisions a nation where every citizen leads a life with dignity and equity. With their grant, Murshed will work to mobilise community support for girls’ education, create gender-sensitive and climate-resilient school environments in haor areas of Bangladesh.


Givânia Maria da Silva, Founding Member, Coordenação Nacional de Articulação das Comunidades Negras Rurais Quilombolas (CONAQ)

CONAQ is the national social movement representing quilombola communities’ rights. With their grant, Givânia will conduct research on the high dropout rates of quilombola girls. Givânia will also train quilombola students and educators to advocate for girls’ right to a quality, contextualised education.

Aparecida Suelaine Carneiro, Executive Coordinator, Education and Research Department, Geledés Instituto da Mulher Negra

Geledés Instituto da Mulher Negra works to protect, guarantee and expand women and Black peoples’ right to education. With their grant, Suelaine will raise awareness about the racial and gendered inequalities keeping Black girls from learning and advocate for more equitable, intersectional education policies.

Andressa Pellanda, National Campaign for the Right to Education, Campanha Nacional pelo Direito à Educação (Campanha)

Campanha is a diverse network of Brazilian civil society working for the right to education. With their grant, Andressa advocates for policies that would increase education financing and ensure more girls can enrol in school and access quality education free from gender-based discrimination.

Cleo Manhas, Policy Adviser, Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (INESC)‍

INESC analyses the federal budget of Brazil and equips citizens with the tools and financial understanding they need to advocate for themselves. With their grant, Cleo tracks federal and state education budget allocations for the pandemic response to help hold leaders to account and inform future strategies on advocating for girls’ education during a health crisis.


Assefa Getaneh Jembere, Co-founder and Executive Director, Center of Concern (CoC)

In Sidama, a regional state in southeastern Ethiopia, early marriage, teen pregnancy and gender-based violence at school often keep girls from learning. With their grant, Assefa will work to improve girls’ retention rates by creating safe environments in eight schools in Sidama.

Dehab Mustefa Mohammed, National General Secretary, Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Ethiopia

YWCA in Ethiopia develops women's leadership skills to advance gender equality, socio-economic empowerment and the well-being of young women. With their grant, Dehab will conduct research in 15 schools on the prevalence of school-related gender-based violence. She will also train and work alongside young women to advocate for gender responsive education and safer schools.


Purnima Gupta, Programme Director, Nirantar Trust

Nirantar Trust is a pioneering feminist resource center committed to empowering the female educational experience by developing contextual learning materials through an intersectional gender perspective. With their grant, Purnima will seek to strengthen the quality of education in Bihar by pushing for the inclusion of a gender, intersectional and equity lens in school curriculums.

Ritupon Gogoi, Executive Director, Foundation for Social Transformation (FST)

FST is an Indigenous and feminist organisation working to ensure marginalised communities have agency and play an active role in social transformation. With their grant, Ritupon will work to reduce the barriers keeping marginalised girls in Assam from accessing secondary school by overseeing leadership training for 20 young women, hosting community engagement workshops and building relationships with district leaders.

Naval Kishor Gupta, Interim Country Director, Restless Development India

Restless Development India supports young people and their communities with a focus on securing brighter futures for young women and girls. With their grant, Naval works with schools in Bihar to implement a gender-responsive curriculum and support youth-led initiatives that work to hold leaders accountable to their commitment to girls.

Mousumi Kundu, Deputy Director, Breakthrough Trust

Breakthrough Trust aims to eliminate gender-based violence and discrimination. With their grant, Mousumi works to improve girls’ re-enrolment rates by training girls to identify and address different forms of gender based discrimination, building girls’ agency, self esteem, leadership and negotiation skills so that they can advocate for their rights.

Annie Namala, Director, Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion (CSEI)

CSEI works to deepen democracy and development by pushing for the social, economic and cultural rights of marginalised communities. With their grant, Annie works with community-led organisations to find solutions to increase marginalised girls’ access to education and resilience.


Gideon Olanrewaju, Founder and Chief Executive Director, Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi)

AREAi uses advocacy and education technology solutions to help more marginalised children in Nigeria access a quality education. With their grant, Gideon will lead a school-to-community intervention that aims to improve quality education and increase girls’ attendance and retention rates in 30 schools across Oyo state.

Oluwasola Fagorusi, Founder and Executive Director, Onelife Initiative for Human Development (Onelife)

Onelife provides safe spaces, skills, resources and connections to better help young people make informed decisions on issues that affect their lives. With their grant, Oluwasola will gather research on the state of girls’ education in Oyo and Akwa Ibom states to raise awareness about the barriers keeping girls from learning and to inform evidence-based advocacy campaigns.


Dr. Hasna Tanios, Head of Education and Human Development, Rene Moawad Foundation (RMF)

RMF promotes social, economic and rural development in Lebanon and the MENA region. It also helps build a responsible civil society that promotes democratic values, justice and gender equity. With their grant, Hansa and RMF will focus on reducing poverty and improving girls’ access to inclusive quality education and life skills programmes in Bab Al Tebbaneh, a low-income region in Lebanon.

Assem Chraif, Vice-General Manager, The Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training (LOST)

LOST works at the grassroots level to strengthen the education system, raise awareness about education and increase school enrolment through girl-led community initiatives and alongside local partners. With their grant, Assem will combat patriarchal norms, promote girls’ leadership and participation and improve girls’ secondary school access and retention rates among low-income communities in Baalbek-Hermel.


Anbreen Ajaib, Executive Director, Bedari

Bedari works for the equal rights of all in Pakistan through education, capacity building and advocacy. With their grant, Anbreen will offer girls’ leadership, instruct teachers on how to deliver gender-sensitive education and advocate for gender responsive education policies and budgets.

Ehtisham Adil, Research Fellow, Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS)

I-SAPS is a policy research and training organisation that engages state, market and civil society stakeholders in dialogues for sustainable development. With their grant, Ehtisham will seek to improve learning outcomes for girls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by helping the education department strengthen their regulatory framework and leverage potential partnerships.

Muhammad Azhar, Programme Manager, Society for the Advancement of Education (SAHE)

SAHE uses research and advocacy to work toward responsive, relevant, quality education for all children in Pakistan. With this grant, Muhammad will evaluate how effective the national conditional cash transfer incentive programme is at increasing the percentage of girls transitioning to secondary school, and then work to improve the system.


Rose Kalage, Programme Officer, Research and Innovation and Policy Analysis, HakiElimu

HakiElimu advocates for equal access to quality, basic education in Tanzania. With their grant, Rose will train the organisation’s community members to gather evidence on girls’ education. This will support calls for policy change and help challenge the social norms keeping girls from school.

Grace Scorey, Project Coordinator and Maasai Pastoralist Woman, Pastoral Women's Council (PWC)

PWC works to empower women and girls in remote areas of northern Tanzania. With their grant, Grace will work to increase enrolment, retention and completion rates of girls in five secondary schools by challenging social norms and pushing for a safer, more inclusive, quality education.

Nasra Kibukila, Policy and Advocacy Officer, Tanzania Education Network/Mtandao wa Elimu Tanzania (TEN/MeT)

TEN/MeT is a network of 140 active education sector NGOs from across Tanzania advocating for equitable access to quality education. With their grant, Nasra will advocate for gender responsive budgeting and work to improve perception on the importance of girls’ education.


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Malala Fund is working for a world where every girl can learn and lead.

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