club 2 club

 

Girls in Swaziland have a problem.

1 in 3 are sexually abused before they turn 18. We've got an idea that works, and we need your help.

Girls' Empowerment Clubs are the idea that works.

Knowing that violence and sexual assualt are crimes; knowing that HIV is contracted through sex; knowing they have a right to defend themselves and having a safe space to express their experiences with their peers and a trusted adult empowers girls to take control over their lives as children and as women. 

Your club is the action that helps.

Gather your network together and launch your own club.
What kind of club? Well, that’s up to you.
A book, film or restaurant club. A social club. A volunteer club.
Use your imagination, and those of your friends and family, and decide together what to do. What you like most.

This is your right.

Why support the clubs?

The results of the Girls’ Empowerment Clubs are dramatic. In schools where clubs were active, teachers have reported that teen pregnancy has dropped by half. Girls are demonstrating greater knowledge about how to prevent gender-based violence and HIV infection. Academic performance of club members has markedly improved.

Over the next five years, we want to empower more than 4,000 girls at risk of sexual violence and HIV infection. We want to equip them to protect themselves from sexual abuse and assert their rights. That means creating an additional 100 girls’ clubs across Swaziland. We believe we need to achieve a critical mass of educated girls, able to assert their rights, in order to reach a tipping point where norms and behaviours will change.

Together in 2008, Crossroads International and Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) created five clubs for girls. Today there are are 25 clubs holding weekly meetings for 1000 girls – although demand for the clubs far exceeds capacity. Through these school-based clubs, girls discover a safe space to share their experience of abuse.

Trained teacher-volunteers provide girls with knowledge about their rights, information on HIV transmission, discussions around gender-based and sexual violence, as well as support and referral services. All this helps to equip participants with the skills to develop into confident young female leaders.

Overall support and coordination for the clubs has been provided by SWAGAA with the help of qualified Crossroads volunteers who helped develop materials such as club manuals and monitoring and assessment tools. In 2011, Crossroads undertook a full program evaluation to set the stage for growth over the next five years. The Swaziland Girls’ Empowerment Clubs address root problems hindering progress for girls and women. They are part of an integrated program that provides support to victims of violence, sensitizes community leaders to issues of gender-based violence, and advocates for women’s rights through legislation and services for victims. As part of this holistic approach, Crossroads also helped SWAGAA launch a male involvement program with the goal of engaging men and boys to begin to change entrenched social norms and behaviours that are harmful to girls – such as the persistent belief that sleeping with a virgin will cure AIDS.

           

What can you do? 

2Club

Gather your network together and launch your own club.

What kind of club? Well, that’s up to you. A book, film or restaurant club. A social club. A volunteer club. Use your imagination, and those of your friends and family, and decide together what to do. What you like most. 

All we are asking for is a commitment that your club will raise $10,000 to launch new girls clubs in 2013. We will report back on the progress of the clubs and send you photographs. That’s CLUB2CLUB.

 

  1. 2Give

Your gift can make a difference right now.  $5,000 would support the participation of 20 girls, $2500 would support the participation of 10 girls. You can do the math. As a member of our club community we will make sure you will get regular updates on the progress of the girls clubs in Swaziland. Make a gift.

 

  1. 2Lead

We need volunteer champions to help us realize our goal of 100 clubs by 2015.  If you can help raise funds and get the word out to new networks, join the Advisory Board. Our first meeting will be at the end of November so please indicate your interest by emailing christine@cintl.org.

 

Get started now

Builid your ClubKit

  • Club2Club Backgrounder
  • A primer on event planning
  • A postcard you can disseminate to friends and family to urge them to join our campaign (coming soon)
  • With advance notice we may also be able to provide a speaker for your event - contact Christine Campbell 

     

How can my club support Girls clubs in Swaziland?

Your club is supporting girls in Swaziland in two ways. 

First your outreach and fundraising is creating awareness of great adversity still facing girls and women globally and generating public support to advance women’s rights.

Second, you are changing the lives of girls who need our support now.  You are making it possible for them to participate — this means that girls who have experienced abuse can get help to escape the abusive situation and access services such as health services, counselling and support.  It means all club members will have the opportunity to learn about their bodies, about HIV and to develop communication and leadership skills.  They will have access to a trusted adult and opportunities to meet with women leaders in their communities.

 

How do Girls Clubs help?

Girls and young women are equipped with knowledge and skills to protect themselves from gender-based violence and HIV infection. Girls develop skills and confidence in asserting and advocating for their rights and for positive social change in their communities.

Crossroads has prioritized the Girls’ Empowerment Program as a key violence prevention strategy but it has the potential to be much more. In addition to scaling up the Girls Empowerment Program to reach more than 4,000 girls in the next five years, Crossroads is supporting SWAGAA in its organization-wide strategy to promote and protect the rights of girls and women. The goal is not only to provide girls and women with skills to defend their rights, but also, to change attitudes among boys, and to hold duty bearers* accountable. As part of this strategy, SWAGAA is working with other civil society organizations and national authorities so that the clubs will be recognized nationally as an important preventative measure for gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS.

SWAGAA believes that once they can demonstrate the impact of the program on a national scale it may be possible to see the program integrated into the national education agenda.

 

How will my donations be used?

Your gift will support everything that is needed to launch a club and ensure its continued success.

This includes:  

  • Community Research and Sensitization with village chiefs and other community leaders

  • Outreach and recruitment of girls and volunteer mentors and facilitators

  • Training and mentoring for teachers and other club leaders

  • Establishment of clubs, site visits, exchanges, public events

  • Purchase of equipment such as computers and development and production of materials

  • Project implementation, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and reporting  

 

What If I cannot raise $10,000 in one year?

Every gift counts.  If you are only able to raise funds for part of a club, we will pool your gifts with others to enable a club to be formed.

 

Crossroads International gratefully acknowledges the support of: