Advancing girls’ rights through collective power

By Global Fund for Children | December 13, 2018 | The Americas | Education, Freedom from Violence & Exploitation, Gender Equity, Youth Empowerment

With support from Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, our new Empowering Adolescent Girls project leverages a network of up to 20 grassroots organizations to promote gender equality and advance girls’ rights and opportunities in Central America.

The Project

Our four-year, $2 million initiative aims to strengthen grassroots organizations across Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua that meet the needs of adolescent girls and create opportunities for them to thrive.

The Need

We created this initiative in response to a scarcity of programming in the region as girls confront numerous challenges, including:

•  Gender- and sexual-based violence

•  Lack of access to education

•  Adolescent pregnancy

•  Lack of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and information

Though these challenges persist across the region, the risks and opportunities for girls are highly contextual, requiring place- and culture-specific programs that address the girls’ unique needs.

In other words: despite their geographic proximity, an indigenous girl facing early motherhood in rural Guatemala has different needs and opportunities than a girl in urban Honduras who is threatened by gangs, or an adolescent girl in Nicaragua who faces domestic violence. Community-based organizations are best positioned to tackle these challenges at their roots.

© Celeste Mayora / Coincidir
Our Approach

This initiative is grounded in our Theory of Change that effective and resilient grassroots organizations, linked with each other to foster shared learning and collective action, and informed by the experiences and voices of girls, are integral to drive transformative change in gender relations and to enhance the power of girls.

To promote gender equality and advance girls’ rights and opportunities, our approach strengthens the local capacity of grassroots organizations to act as vehicles for social change, while simultaneously empowering girls as leaders and agents of their own destinies.

Learn more about the project in this two-page summary.

Our Partners

After an extensive landscape analysis and mapping, as well as a rigorous vetting process, GFC is committed to supporting up to 20 grassroots organizations over four years. Eleven of these partners have already been selected; the remainder of the cohort will be announced in spring 2019.

Despite spanning eight different locations, across both rural and urban settings, our partners have the following things in common:

•  They keep girls and adolescent women at the heart of their programs.

•  They are led by enthusiastic and dedicated professionals.

•  In the words of one partner, Un Mundo, they “strive to accomplish a lot with little.” (“Hacemos mucho con poco.”)

While all the partners focus their work on girls, adolescents, and young women, many take a holistic approach by also involving adolescent boys and young men in their programmatic activities.

These activities include workshops, trainings, public-awareness raising, research, and advocacy. Through these programs, girls learn to protect their sexual and reproductive rights, build their leadership capacities, and combat gender inequality, early or forced marriage, and gender-based violence.

© Un Mundo

Some of the partners are all about challenging stereotypes. From selecting indigenous Guatemalan women to lead the organization (Women’s Justice Initiative), appointing adolescent girls to their Board of Directors (Coincidir), and using a feminist, youth-centered, and culturally appropriate approach (Asociación AMA and Asociación Generando), these organizations are contributing to empower and raise the voices of the most vulnerable groups in their communities.

Most importantly, all of the first cohort partners are eager to receive more connections and support so that they can improve their capacity, increase the scope of their work, and build a critical mass of empowered adolescent girls that can be agents of change in their communities.

Learn more about these outstanding organizations by clicking on the links below!


Asociación AMA
Asociación Generando
GOJoven Guatemala
Organización Sololateca por los Derechos de las Mujeres Jóvenes Indígenas
Women’s Justice Initiative


GOJoven Honduras
Redes Juveniles de la MANORCHO
Un Mundo
Unidad de Desarrollo Integral de la Mujer y la Familia

Header Photo: © Notalia Roca, Fondo de Mujeres del Sur, courtesy Asociación AMA

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Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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