A few weeks ago Akilah co-chaired a meeting of the 4GN, or For Girls Network. The group met on our campus to resume and develop discussions from their last meeting in March. Akilah’s Director of Student Affairs Julian Nyagahima represented Akilah at the meeting.
Over the past decade, Rwanda has taken great steps in promoting gender equality through advocacy efforts in government and civil society. Although Rwanda’s wide-reaching network of gender-related organizations have been successful in promoting and empowering women, issues related to young girls are often overlooked.
4GN was established on the heels of the recent Girl Learning Summit in September 2013 as part of a movement to connect charities that have the common aim of helping young girls in Rwanda. 4GN connects 23 institutions, including Akilah, Peace Corps, and Speak Out Girls. The new network has been instrumental in helping like-minded organizations collaborate on key advocacy goals and utilize existing government coordination platforms to promote their agenda through interaction, sharing, and networking.
The meeting commenced with a fun interactive game to emphasize the importance of team bonding. Then, each representative of the 23 organizations present introduced herself and the cause she represented. Soon, discussions turned to the pressing issue of planning for the International Day of the Girl, scheduled for 11 October 2014. Julian, the co-chair of the meeting, led team brainstorming on developing a work plan for the International Day of the Girl and other upcoming events. Partners then formed thematic groups and discussed how each organization could contribute to each event.
As meeting drew to a close, the representative of Girl Hub asked the group how the categories represented by the various organizations present, such as education, advocacy, and media, could interlink with each other. The connection point was the common aim: to help young girls in Rwanda break through the barriers that hold so many of them back. 4GN is a fantastic partner for Akilah, supporting and pushing one another to go further in advocating for girls in Rwanda.