Girl-Centered Program Design: A Toolkit to Develop, Strengthen & Expand Adolescent Girls Programs
As girls approach adolescence, they face the start of a narrow bridge. As they move through adolescence they must cross this bridge, emerging at the end as adult young women. However, the bridge through adolescence is a risky one for girls. They are significantly more vulnerable than their male counterparts and are more likely to fall off the bridge. Adolescent girls face poorer health outcomes, are more likely to become infected with HIV, more socially isolated, less likely to make the transition to secondary school or to complete it, and have fewer income-generating opportunities.
Logic might have it, then, that a lot of effort in these arenas is being made to reach these adolescent girls, to help them build social, health and economic assets and to provide them with the support and protection they need so that they do not drop out of school, get pregnant before they want to, or become infected with HIV or an STI. However, unfortunately, that is not the case. Typically, what is available are general youth programs that are meant to include adolescent girls, but in reality do not. Experience has shown that to reach adolescent girls, especially vulnerable adolescent girls, programs must be designed with them as the target audience. This toolkit will help you do that