AVSI promotes girls’ education in northern Côte d’Ivoire

As part of the “Building an Education Village” project supported by Fondazione San Zeno AVSI has created discussion groups for more than three hundred girls, safe spaces for discussion that contribute to the well-being of the participants and their academic performance.

Countries Ivory Coast
Date 03.06.2024

In Côte d'Ivoire, the literacy rate for the female population aged 15 and over is just 42.5 percent (that of men is still low, but 10 percentage points higher 53.9 percent). In fact, many girls do not attend or drop out of school because of forced marriages, early pregnancies, but also because they are forced to work in the fields or take care of household chores.

Safe spaces for more than 300 Ivorian girls and young women

Gruppo di discussione per bambine e ragazze
A discussion group at Samesso, northwest Côte d'Ivoire

AVSI, thanks to the support of Fondazione San Zeno, has responded to these challenges through the "Building a Village for Education" project involving 6,000 pupils from 50 schools in the Denguélé district (northern Côte d'Ivoire) .

In Odienné (capital of the Kabadougnoi region) and Minignan (capital of the Folon region) AVSI has established 33 discussion groups for girls and young women aged 10 to 18. During the meetings, with the presence of an AVSI facilitator, girls can express themselves freely and share difficulties and possible solutions-a safe space to address crucial issues that affect their access to education and well-being such as their rights and sex education.
The girls showed increased self-esteem, motivation, and awareness. One significant example is that of a girl who, despite an early pregnancy and family rejection, resumed her studies thanks to the group's support, showing strong determination.

To date, 386 girls have participated in the discussion groups,. More than 100 menstrual hygiene kits have been distributed.

GIRLS PARTICIPATING IN A DISCUSSION GROUP WITH THEIR OWN DIGNITY KIT (MENSTRUAL HYGIENE KIT)
GIRLS PARTICIPATING IN A DISCUSSION GROUP WITH THEIR OWN DIGNITY KIT (MENSTRUAL HYGIENE KIT)

“These spaces encourage girls to become aware of their rights and find ways to overcome obstacles to education,” said Victorine Diakité, AVSI's Education Project Manager in Côte d'Ivoire-these initiatives are crucial to creating an inclusive and equitable educational environment where every girl has the opportunity to realize her potential.”