Let Girls Learn is a U.S. government initiative launched by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama that helps adolescent girls attain a quality education. Educating girls is essential to healthy and thriving communities. However, globally, millions of girls are not in school and barriers to adolescent girls’ education continue to persist. All girls should have the opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to break the cycle of poverty, raise healthier families, and help build their communities.
This interagency initiative builds on decades of USAID efforts to lift girls out of poverty, and empower them to reach their full potential. Through our ongoing education, global health and economic empowerment programs, USAID is reaching girls in every corner of the world. We champion a “whole-of-girl” approach, strengthening our focus on the adolescent girl and taking into account the myriad of challenges girls face in seeking an education.
Let Girls Learn aligns with USAID’s implementation of the U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls.
Our WorkUSAID’s Let Girls Learn Program aims to help adolescent girls by working towards three goals.
Goal One: Increase Access to Quality Education
Through our ongoing education work, we invest in programs that teach girls to read and write, provide safe access to schools for both students and teachers, and ensure those living in areas affected by crisis and conflict have access to an education. We also help girls to access education alternatives, workforce training and employment opportunities.MORE... View Slideshow
Goal Two: Reduce Barriers
We focus on the wide range of vulnerabilities adolescent girls face in seeking an education, including early pregnancy, malnutrition, menstrual hygiene, and preventing and responding to HIV. Girls also face economic barriers, including school fees and the cost of materials to attend school. We work to mitigate gender-based violence, and child, early, and forced marriage.View Slideshow
Goal Three: Empower Adolescent Girls
Building on our efforts to empower and uplift women and girls around the world, USAID works to increase girls’ rights, leadership skills and opportunities through broader skills in finance, digital literacy, science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics. We also work to change attitudes and behaviors regarding the value of girls’ lives by encouraging positive gender roles, engaging men and boys, and working within communities.View Slideshow
Let Girls Learn Challenge Fund
In July 2015, President Barack Obama announced the Let Girls Learn Challenge Fund, a unique opportunity for USAID to work with a vast array of external partners to co-create innovative programs to ensure that adolescent girls enroll in and succeed in school. The Challenge Fund brings together unlike minds from different sectors such as health and education to address the many needs of girls in order to help them stay in school and feel empowered in all aspects of their lives.
In October 2016, the White House announced the apparent Challenge Fund awardees for Malawi and Tanzania.
Since the launch of Let Girls Learn, through both new and attributed funds, USAID has invested over $600 million dollars on Let Girls Learn programs in 13 countries across Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
We have rethought “business as usual,” and have sought to bring girls to the center of our programming efforts across sectors—health, education, economic empowerment and more. To better serve the needs of adolescent girls we are collecting age- and sex-disaggregated data, using the data to better inform future programming and decision-making. From Malawi to Nepal, adolescent girls are a powerful force for change and can help break the cycle of poverty in communities around world.
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Last updated: January 19, 2017