Strong Girls Make Strong Women: A Practical Handbook to Creating and Leading a Girls’ Club was developed in partnership with WomenStrong founding members in Ghana, Kenya, India, and Haiti, based on their experiences running Girls’ Clubs for over 10,000 girls and boys. The Handbook incorporates best practices promoted by renowned youth development and life skills education specialists worldwide.
This Handbook includes both a Girls’ Clubs Start-Up Guide for designing, planning, and implementing a Girls’ Club, and a modular Girls’ Clubs Curriculum that WomenStrong has developed out of its own Consortium Members’ experience, as well as from the knowledge of other experts on girls’ education and empowerment.
This Handbook is written for Girls’ Club Facilitators, whether they are teachers or community members, but it can also be useful for education or gender program officers or administrators working in individual schools, government education departments or ministries, nongovernmental or community-based organizations, parents, and others who share WomenStrong’s passion for helping strong, educated girls to build their confidence and fulfill their potential. Designed to be easily consumable for busy Facilitators without the time to sort through hundreds of curricula, the Handbook includes chapters on topics crucial to adolescent girls’ successful development.
It is intended to serve as a quick reference guide and curriculum for Facilitators who want to create a customized Club that teaches what their girls most need. The Handbook draws on many existing curricula and reworks specific learning materials to be customizable for most contexts, so that they can address the needs of local girls and boys. By citing the practices of WomenStrong’s four Consortium Members, users of this Handbook can see different ways in which this Girls’ Club model and curriculum might usefully be adapted to suit their own contexts.
The Handbook’s Start-Up Guide offers a broad overview of how to set up a Girls’ Club, enriched by experiences from WomenStrong’s four Consortium Members. The Start-Up Guide’s first section provides background information most relevant for Girls’ Club Program Administrators about Club formation and then provides more general information useful for Program Administrators and Facilitators alike. The Start-Up Guide does not attempt to dictate the best way to set up a Club; rather, it raises questions and issues to consider when forming a Club. The different innovations devised by WomenStrong Consortium Members to address the challenges their girls face serve as guiding examples of ways in which a Girls’ Club might function and might be adapted to the local context.
While throughout this document the term “Girls’ Clubs” is used, many Girls’ Clubs also include or engage boys in some way. Most of the topics in this Handbook are applicable to boys and to Boys’ Clubs. How these materials are taught, though, may need to be modified, depending on the gender composition of your Club. Throughout this Handbook, Club participants are frequently referred to as “girls,” but again, these lessons can readily be applied to address the needs and interests of boys.