This week, our team was thrilled to welcome four students from the IHP Social Entrepreneurship Program. The International Honors Program (IHP) focuses on Social Entrepreneurship: Technology, Innovation, Design and Social Change and is run by the School for International Training (SIT), based in Vermont.
Girl Up Initiative Uganda was identified by the IHP Social Entrepreneurship Program as an NGO suited for the students to learn about how organizations are addressing educational challenges in Uganda. Four students, three young women and one young man, visited our office and projects for two days to study our social model and understand how it directly impacts the lives of participants. They will write an in-depth case study assignment that will be shared with the GUIU team to allow us to continually improve our sustainability, scalability, and social impact.
On the first day, the students visited our office where they met with our staff members to learn about our approach to education for girls, young women, and youth. They also visited Mazuri Designs to learn about the social entrepreneurship section of GUIU and purchase one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories. Our team then accompanied them to St. James Bbiina Primary School where they met with 100 adolescent girls who are part of the Adolescent Girls Program and the Big Sisters Mentorship Program. Each student held small focus group discussions with the girls to explore the impact of the program in terms of knowledge, leadership skills, confidence, and self-esteem.
The second day we took the students to witness community education on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in action. Tusitukirewamu, one of the youth drama groups that we work with under the Ni-Yetu Youth Program, led a forum theatre performance in a busy area in the Acholi quarter. Drumming was used as a mechanism to attract youth to the performance to see what was happening. It even worked to attract volunteers who were working in a school nearby. After the performance, the group leader facilitated a post-performance discussion to answer any questions the audience had, provide more information, and dispel any myths that remained. To close off the day, the four students joined us to a peer-to-peer outreach session led by the peer educators. There they were able to experience the value of informal educational spaces and what types of information are shared in these spaces.
All of us at Girl Up Initiative Uganda were pleased to welcome the four students from the IHP Social Entrepreneurship Program to study our different approaches to education. We look forward to more opportunities to share our model and learn from one another!
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