Educate, Empower, Lead

Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is widespread in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. The majority of the victims is girls. Factors such as poverty, lack of education, but also the poor social position of girls increase their vulnerability.

The Malala Fund, founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and Free a Girl, have joined forces to fight this. The 3-year program Educate, Empower, Lead (2017-2020), funded by the Dutch Postal Code Lottery, provides education for girls who are liberated and girls who are at risk of ending up in a situation of sexual exploitation. With this program girls in India, Bangladesh and Nepal will learn to use their voice and stand up for their rights.

BACKGROUND

Also founded by Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist, student, and the youngest Nobel laureate ever, the Malala Fund is committed to a world where all girls can learn and lead without fear. At the age of eleven, Malala Yousafzai started to speak out for girls’ education. When she was 15, she was shot by the Taliban because she believed that the girls in her community had the right to go to school. Malala recovered, continued her campaign and is now leading a global movement to gain support for education for girls. Read more at malala.org.

Educate, Empower, Lead builds on the successful Stand #withMalala campaign, which was conducted in 2016 by the partners of Free a Girl and Malala Fund in India.

APPROACH

Educate, Empower Lead aims to empower girls who are at risk of, or victim of, commercial sexual exploitation in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

This will be achieved through:

  • Strengthen the self-confidence and leadership qualities of the girls and make them aware of the importance of education.
  • Working on increasing access to education and to offer the girls support and coaching.
  • Involving governments and other key figures in the community to receive support for education for girls – and especially the girls at risk of, or victim of, commercial sexual exploitation.

The Educate, Empower Lead program runs from 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2020.