One Girl is a Melbourne-based charity empowering girls through education. They’re on a mission to educate one million girls across Africa – just a fraction of the estimated 62 million girls around the world who are denied an education every year.
They work in Sierra Leone and Uganda, some of the worst places on earth to be born a girl. A girl born in Sierra Leone is more likely to be sexually assaulted than she is to go to high school.
Morris Family Foundation has been supporting One Girl since 2013 for delivering a range of programs aimed at education, training, and sexual and reproductive health.
The foundation is currently providing support for their ‘Girl Tok’ program which was first launched in 2020 in response to COVID-19 which saw nationwide lockdowns and school closures in Sierra Leone.
Girl Tok was designed to keep keeps feeling supported, safe and healthy during the pandemic. Using digital tools and platforms such as mobile phones and WhatsApp, Girl Tok helped girls to stay engaged and connected with their peers whilst not physically in school, as well as preparing them to re-enrol in school post-lockdown, and stay focused on their studies and goals for their futures.
Trained mentors guided the girls through lessons and activities centred around digital literacy, activism, leadership, wellness, body autonomy and consent. As schools reopen in Sierra Leone, Girl Tok will continue on, providing digital lessons to girls on things that aren’t always taught in the classroom, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).
The success of the pilot program in Sierra Leone has since seen Girl Tok supporting girls in Uganda, and there are discussions underway for delivery in other parts of the world.