In a humanitarian crisis, whether it’s war, famine or natural disaster, lives are turned upside down. Families are uprooted, separated or destroyed. Access to education deteriorates. Safety and security dissolve. In the midst of this chaos, displaced adolescent girls are often the most overlooked, neglected and vulnerable. When girls ages 10-16 lose their homes, families or schools, they are more exposed to:
For girls to be safe and to have a chance at the future they deserve, they need security and education, health care, social supports and adult mentors. And they need opportunities to develop the confidence, critical thinking and support networks needed to make good decisions for their lives.
The Women's Refugee Commission illuminates and addresses the critical needs of adolescent girls in crisis settings to ensure that they stay safe and make positive changes in their lives. We are working with girls in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda—and the groups that support them—to identify and promote ways that they can protect themselves, access healthcare, complete school, build leadership skills and be seen as valued members of their families and communities.
We learn from the girls themselves what works and what doesn’t and then we partner with local organizations to design unique projects to meet these needs. As a result of our work, girls will learn how to live safer lives and, with support of adults, build brighter futures.
Our work aims to enable displaced girls develop the skills they need to protect themselves. We partner with local groups who provide safe spaces and help displaced adolescent girls build skills through workshops, peer support networks and mentorship. We also engage and educate families and community leaders about the importance of protecting and empowering adolescent girls.