Program Components

Girls Space Empowerment uses empowerment approaches and human right framework to support girls’ education and development, address issues facing girls, and empower girls through a wide range of services and activities including Keep Girls in School Initiatives, life skills, technology & media literacy, leadership skills training, mentoring, counselling & psychosocial support, skills training, economic opportunities, civic engagement, community services, social & recreational activities, and special event. It also engages in social action and advocacy to address teenage pregnancy, child marriage, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), female genital mutilation, and gender inequality.

Keep Girls in School Initiative

Girls Space Empowerment helps keep girls in school and successfully finish their secondary school education by addressing the barriers to girls’ education, encourage and inspire girls to focus on their study, and provide the support they need to achieve their education. Girls Space strives to help empower girls, improve academic performance, prevent teenage pregnancy and child marriage, reduce sexual and gender-based violence, and reduce girls` school dropout rates.

Despite progress in girls` enrollment in primary schools due in part to the free quality education, there is a growing concern of high rates of girl`s school dropout throughout the country. Girls may drop out of school due to cost of education, loss of parent, lack of parental care, lack of support and encouragement, sex for grade, menstruation, teenage pregnancy, child marriage, sexual and gender-based violence.Girls Space Empowerment operate a school-based chapter that offers weekly sessions and activities in primary and secondary schools, including homework and tutorial assistance, study strategies, reading, spelling, debate, public speaking, exam preparation, career planning, life skills, girls` talk, leadership skills training, technology and media literacy, workshops on various topics, social and recreational activities, and other empowering activities. We also offer extended learning opportunities such as after school program to help girls facing greater academic challenges. Girls Space provide need-based support and scholarships to cover cost of education for girls facing challenges.

Promote girls` access to education

Girls Space strives to improve girls ‘access to quality education by address issues that denied girls access to education and creating opportunities for girls.

There are still many girls in Sierra Leone who have never attended school or failed to continue their education. According to UNICEF, about 46% of adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 do not know how to read and write, while 72% of boys and young men are literate. More girls are still denied access to education than boys due to poverty, cultural norms about gender roles and sexuality, gender inequality, child marriage, and loss of parents or caregivers and more. Poverty is one of the most important factors for determining whether a girl can stay in school and complete her education or drop out of school or never go to school. Poor household families often lack the resources to pay for their children`s schooling including associated costs such as uniforms, shoes, school supplies, transportation, extra class fees, and other needed expenses. With limited resource, they would focus on putting food on their tables and providing other basic needs such as housing, clothing, and caring for their families rather than paying for their children` education, especially for daughters because of negative cultural norm and attitudes towards girls’ education. In some culture or poor households, families invest in boys’ education rather than girls because boys may be seen as future breadwinners. As such, they send boys to school while keeping girls at home to prepare them for their roles as wife and mother, and to help with household chores, care for their siblings and other family members, or engage in petty trading to support the family.  Girls in some other countries, especially developing countries experience similar barriers to access education. Intercommunity has joined the global social movements supporting girls’ access to education. The Girls Space Empowerment engages in activities that promotes girls` right to education and provide educational support such as advocacy, raising awareness, scholarships, sponsorship, school supplies and other support.


Intercommunity offers annual scholarships to girls who have displayed exceptional initiatives, academic performance, and needs. The scholarships are also generously sponsored by our individual and corporate partners and aims to assist girls in pursuant of their educational and career goals.


Girls Space gives awards to recognize dedicated girls leads, girls` ambassadors and other young female leaders and girls who are making a difference in the lives of other girls and young women and promoting the Girls Space and Intercommunity. The awards embody our desire to inspire girls to help make a difference in their communities and promote girls’ rights.

Girls` Education Sopnsorship Initiative

Support for girls to attend school and further their education is one of the most evident needs in the community, and the request we hear most often from parents, family, and the girls.

While primary and secondary schools are free, the associated costs of schooling such as uniform, school supplies, shoes, transportation, sanitary menstrual sanitary pads, extra class fees and other barriers often make it impossible for poor families to send their daughters to school or cause girls to drop out of school. Parents or guardians facing financial difficulty have to choose between putting food on the table and educating their daughters. The Girls` education sponsorship initiative help to address the inequality in access to education by covering cost of schooling to ensure that girls have access to the support they need to attend school.  The initiative is generously sponsored by individuals and corporate partners.

Girls Talk Empowering

Girls’ talk empowering is an initiative that help empower and inspire girls to thrive, amplify girls` voices, increase girls` resilience and ability to navigate the challenges that impact their lives, and mobilize girls to become change agents in their communities, county, and around the world.

Girls and young women still face significant barriers to thrive and are often discourage from pursuing their aspiration. The inequality and disadvantages that girls and young women experience often stem from lack of sense of self-worth, lack of decision-making power, limited ability to use their voices for their own rights, and lack of control over their own lives and futures, which are rooted in cultural and social norms and unequal gender power relations. Empowering girls and guaranteeing girls` rights are critical to their education, development, gender equality and access to opportunities to reach their full potential. We believe that an empowered girl or young woman can improve her life, have a positive impact on her family and contribute to the development of their communities, country, and the world. At Girls Space Empowerment, we bring girls together to engage in activities and conversation on topics of their choice or participate in interactive workshops, projects, events, and virtual activities (online platform). These encourage girls to speak out, share experiences, thoughts, and feelings, build self-esteem and confidence, learn new skills, raise aspiration, bond with other girls, and gain a sense of empowerment.  Girls talk empowering can cover a wide range of areas such as body image, beauty, shopping habit, bullying, gossiping, healthy relationship, sexuality, gender stereotyping, self-esteem, mentorship, leadership, global citizenship and more, while having fun with activities and events.

Girls Space Talk Show

The Girls Space Talk Show provides opportunity for girls and other people such inspiring leaders, role model, mentors, well-known personality, and other guests to share perspectives, experiences, debate, and discussions about issues facing girls, opportunities for girls and young women and more. The Girls Space talk show can be on radio, TV or virtual (online).

Life Skills

Girls Space provides opportunity for girls to participate in life skills activities that are tailored to their needs, situations, and age range. It helps girls to develop valuable skills and become better equipped to make informed decision, discover their strength, handle daily challenges, advocate for themselves and on behalf of others, develop strong relationships with family and peers, explore opportunities, become an agent of change, and succeed in life. At Girls Space, girls can learn and practice life skills through workshops, classes, webinar, hands-on skills training, and extracurricular activities. Life skills covers a broad range of areas including trust building, safety, self-awareness, self-esteem, problem-solving, communication, teamwork, social responsibility, managing anger and aggression, self-care, and hand-on skills such as, cooking class, tie & dye, crocheting, needle work, knitting, bids, balloon, hand embroidery and more.

Technology and Media Literacy

In Sierra Leone, many girls and young women have limited or no skills and access to digital technology and they struggle to afford digital devices such as computer and access internet.

Girls Space provides opportunities for girls to learn and gain skills in technology and media literacy, which will help to mitigate gender digital divide or technology gap for girls. At Girls Space Tech sessions and training, girls will learn how to access and use technology and devices such as computer and tablet, and navigate the internet to aid learning, explore online resources, personal and career development, networking with people and more. Access to technology can also help create awareness about STEAM and inspire girls to pursue career opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  In addition, girls will learn and increase their awareness about the media and its effect on girls and women.

Online Girls Space Platform

Girls Space Planform is an online platform that provides a safe place for girls and young women to chat, connect, learn, get advice, support, share knowledge, and talk about a wide range of issues. It also offers workshop, webinar, training, debate, educational activities, and other opportunities.

Leadership Skills Training

The leadership skill training is designed to help girls develop leadership skills and create leadership opportunities that lead girls to become mentors and leaders in the program, schools, communities, groups, and organizations.

Many girls face obstacles that deter them from pursuing leadership such as lack of confidence, and problem-solving skills, fear of public speaking and being disliked, or bossy, and cultural barriers. We believe that every girl has the capacity to become a leader and make positive difference in their communities, country, and world. Girls Space offers leadership skills training that focus on concrete skill development competencies including self-esteem, confidence building, goal setting, effective or assertive communication, problem, conflict resolution, public speaking, networking, and advocacy. The girls will practice leadership skills through presentation, public speaking, debates, leading projects and events, coaching, mentoring, facilitating weekly sessions and meetings and other activities. These will help to equip and inspire girls to take on leadership role and become confident leaders.

Leadership Opportunities

We provide leadership opportunities for girls to take on leadership roles such as project leads, girls leads, girls ambassadors, mentors, and serve on committees, chapter leadership team, girls` council or become chapter leaders in the communities. This helps to provides role models for other girls, change makers, and leaders in schools, communities, etc.

Mentorship and Facilitation

Mentorship is key for girls’ empowerment and development and our mentors are critical to the success of the program. Girls Space mentorship aims to provide a strong support and guidance to help empower girls to thrive. We connect girls with trained and experienced adult mentors and older adolescent mentors, who provide guidance, advice, support, facilitate sessions, help girls acquire life skills, and advocate for the girls.

Many girls in Sierra Leone do not have access to mentors and there are limited mentoring activities in schools and the communities. Girls that do not have mentors may lose interest and lack confidence, ambition, and motivation to pursue education, skills, and career development. Girls that have the chance to learn from mentors or positive female role models or be exposed to them are better prepared to handle the challenges they face and will develop the ability to work hard to pursue brighter future. We recruit and train adults and older adolescent girls to become mentors and facilitators. We provide training in mentoring skills, facilitating skills and program content. We also connect or expose the girls to positive role models and leaders.

Students or Peer Mentors and Facilitators

We train older adolescent girls in the program, girls who have graduate from the program (alumnae), young women in post-secondary institutions and those from the communities to facilitate sessions, provide social support, become mentors, or lead a Girls Space Chapter in their communities. The students or peer mentors develop leadership and life skills necessary to support younger girls. This helps to create a cycle of support and leadership for the girls. Mentoring help girls improve academic performance, acquire life skills, overcome negative peer pressure, avoid risky sexual behavior, and address other problems facing girls. The mentors also benefit from the program such as become empowered, role models, leaders, and advocates for the girls in schools and the communities. The mentors and mentees meet face to face mentoring, group mentoring and phone or internet (E-Mentoring).

Counselling and Psychosocial Support

We provide counselling services and psychosocial support for girls who have experienced or are facing challenges relating to life transitions, family problem, rape, abuse, sexual harassment, gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy, child marriage, stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, and other mental health issues that affect their psychosocial wellbeing.

Our professional social workers and counsellors provide support, connection them to community resources and help them to understand their issues, improve coping skills, build resilience, reduce distress and suffering, and improve their well-being. There are limited counselling and psychosocial support services in Sierra Leone. Girls and women are often disproportionally affected by sexual and gender-based violence, rape, kidnaping and other forms of abuse, which are underreported due to fear, stigma, and discrimination. Girls who are facing significant challenges and lack support may drop out of school and face uncertain future. Counselling and psychosocial support can give girls hope and a strong foundation to thrive.

Skill Training and Economic Opportunities

Girls Space strives to increase access to skills development and economic opportunities for vulnerable girls and young women. The structural, cultural, gender-based barriers, and limited access to job and skills training opportunities often prevent or discourage girls and young women from seeking skills training and job opportunities that would help them reach their economic potential. For example, the lack of money for basic needs such as personal items and sanitary products may lead girls and young women to become reliant on older men to help them finance their basic needs or exchange sex for money. In addition, some girls often miss schools because they do not have sanitary supplies and money to buy them. In addition, some girls or young women who have dropped out of school or completed secondary school or did not attend school lack skilled trade, livelihood skills or employable skills.

Girls Space help girls and young women to build skills that will prepare them for economic participation. We also provide and supports skills training that help girls and young women learn skills trade at vocational skills training centre or apprenticeship program. This can help girls and young women especially those who have never been to school or have dropped out of school for many years to learn the skills or career they need to gain employment or become self-employed and self-reliance to improve their livelihoods and support their families and others or pursue further careers. Girls Space can also support girls and young women who wish to engage in income generating activities including small business, especially during holidays to earn money to support themselves while pursuing their education. We provide micro-credit or connect young women to micro-credit agency for loan to start up a business. Access to skill training and finance with changes in cultural and gender norms can improve the ability of young women to access further training, be employed, start a business, become self-employed to improve their income generation and quality of life.

Social and Recreational Activities

These provide opportunities for girls to participate in activities that help improve their social skills, physical and mental status well-being, and equip them with essential life-skills that can help them navigate and succeed in life. The activities include games, arts & crafts, exercise, gym, music, sport, and more. Girls Space offers day camp that provides opportunity for girls to have fun and exciting experience. The camp offers exciting new learning experiences, skill building, confidence building, a sense of community and friendships. The camp activities include leadership activities, art & crafts, project, hiking, music & dance, sport, fitness, and a variety of challenging and stimulating activities. A safety system will be in place to ensure the safety of the girls.

Special Events & Fundraising

Girls Space often organize special events and fundraising including talent show, dramas, parties, community events, celebration & observation such as: African Child`s Day, International children`s days, International Day of the Girl`s Child, International Youth Day, International Day of Education, and more.

Civic Engagement & Community Services

Girls Space provides opportunities for girls to make a difference in their communities and in the lives of community members. It helps girls to develop knowledge, skills, values, and motivation them to use their skills and voices to make a difference. It is essential for girls to become empowered and giving back to help build thriving or impoverished communities. The girls could engage in community projects, volunteering, community garden, tree planting, community events, and other community engagement activities.

Social Activons & Advocacy

Girls Space engages in social actions and advocacy that focuses on the needs of girls and issues facing them to drive policies and practices that create positive change, ensure equality and opportunities for girls and young women. We collaborate with governments, local authorities, and organizations to ensure that they work toward change, invest in girl`s education and development, and play a pivotal role in enabling all children and girls to achieve their full potential. We work with communities and local leaders to raise awareness on the importance of girls’ education, gender equality, child protection and social justice.  We offer workshops and engage in lobby, campaign, sensitization, networking, and other initiatives to promote girls and children`s rights and development. Girls Space also support and empower girls to advocate for themselves and work for changes in norms, cultural practice, and attitudes of people and society that hinder girls’ empowerment, access to education, and development through social action projects, campaign, sensitization, walks, events, and more. Some of our social actions activities include:


Girls` Social action project

A social action projects aims to help girls to identify issues they care about, learn about it, plan, and implement actions to create positive change or address the issues and evaluate the impact. The project enables girls to develop important skills including critical thinking, teamwork, problem solving, conflict resolution, and empathy. It also helps to amplify girls` voices, increase their understanding of curriculum content, enhance their sense of social responsibility, improve people`s quality of lives, and contribute to the development of schools, communities, and society. The social action projects are implemented in school, community, institutions, etc. Examples of social action projects include:

  • Organize a school-wide event to raise awareness about keeping girls in school initiatives
  • Cake sale in school to raise fund for Girls Summit.
  • Cook meals for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Develop educational workshops in the community about Anti-sexual and gender-based violence.

Teenage Pregnancy Prevention

Girls Space aims to prevent or reduce teenage pregnancy by raising awareness of the negative impact of teenage pregnancy, addressing the causes of teenage pregnancy, and promoting sexual and reductive rights.

Adolescence is a critical age for girls and what transpires during girls` teenage years often shapes the direction of their lives and future. Teenage pregnancy affects many girls and young women in Sierra Leone due to lack of education and knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, disempowerment, peer pressure, rape or sexual abuse, poverty, and child marriage. Many girls do not have the knowledge or access to the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about sexual activity and sexual health. Girls who have limited or no knowledge are more likely to be vulnerable to risky sexual behaviour and unplanned pregnancy than girls who are well informed. According to Statistics Sierra Leone, 28% of adolescent girls of age between 15–19 year have a child or are pregnant. 22% of adolescent girls had sex with a man, who is at least ten years older than them. The percent of adolescent girls who did not go to school and have started childbearing is 46% as compared to 22% of adolescent girls with secondary school education. Girls who become pregnant while in school often drop out of school and may not return to school and may also have limited access to skills training. The pregnant girls may face significant stigma, isolation, and discrimination from their families and the communities, making them more vulnerable to poverty. Some of the girls may turn to risky behaviour such as prostitution to make ends meet. Girls Space provides workshops on sex-education, engages parents and family members, and conducts community sensitization to raise awareness about the causes and negative impacts of teenage pregnancy, addresses cultural norms to change behaviour, promotes girls` access to reproductive healthcare and provides support to pregnant teenagers and teenage mothers.

Reduce child marriage

Girls Space helps to address child marriage by supporting girls’ education, empowering girls, educating parents and family members, stakeholders, and other community members about the negative impacts of child marriage and promote girls’ rights through sensitization, workshops, campaign, networking, and advocacy.

Child marriage poses greater challenges to girls` access to education, development, empowerment, and healthy living. According to UNICEL Child Marriage data, 13% of girls in Sierra Leone married by age 15 years and 39% by age 18 years. The rates of child marriage in the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Provinces are over 40% and about 20% in the Western Province according to Statistics Sierra Leone. Girls often drop out of school when married because they find it very difficult to stay focused. Girls who are married are more likely to have children at a younger age when they are not physically and mentally ready, which put their lives and their children’s lives at risk and affect their education, development, and ability to earn their living. Child marriage is a violation of girl`s rights and have negative impact on the girls, families, communities, and the country.

Prevent or Reduce Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Girls Space strives to help prevent and address sexual and gender-based violence by supporting survivors, raising awareness, addressing the root causes of sexual and gender-based violence and advocating for policies that promote girls` rights.

Sierra Leone still has high rate of sexual and gender-based violence against girls and women than boy or men. Girls and women often face rape, sexual harassment, assault and violence from fellow male students, adult males, and even teachers, despite government`s efforts to prevent sexual abuse and gender-based violence. Some schools are far from children’s homes, which often forced children to walk long distances to school. This exposes girls and other children at a higher risk of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) including kidnapping, rape, sexual harassment, and violence on their way to and from school.  Some of the challenges in preventing or ending SGBV include social norms, cultural practices, and the culture of silence. For example, some cultural or traditional behaviours may a amount to Sexual and gender-based violence such as child marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM). Some people including victims do not report cases of rape, assault harassment or violence because they may be expose to discrimination, shame, and stigma in their communities. In addition, there are usually delay in trials and justice and in some case, perpetrators are not convicted due to bribery. Sexual and gender-based violence may cause teenage pregnancy, school dropout, child exploitation, social and economic disempowerment, health issues, and other challenges. Girls Space supports survivors or victims with counselling and psychosocial support and helps reduce or prevent rape, sexual abuse, harassment, violence, and other forms of SGBV by raising awareness, advocacy and working with the government, organizations, community leaders and community members including boys, men, girls, and women to change cultural norms and practices, attitude, and behaviour that perpetrate sexual and gender-based violence.


Promote Gender Equality

Girls Space provides and support initiatives that promote gender equality. The program increases girls and young women`s knowledge of their rights and build their confidence and ability to speak out about issues that affect them and advocate for their rights. We work with males, females, leaders, key stakeholders, community members and organizations as partners to raise awareness about discrimination and violation of girls and women`s rights based on gender as well as advocate for girls` rights and gender equality.

Gender inequality continues to be obstacles to girls’ access to education, aspiration, empowerment, development, and opportunities. It contributes to violence against girls and and women, discrimination, child labour, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, and forced or early marriages, Gender inequality does not affect only girls and women but negatively impact the well-being of families, broader community, and economic growth of the entire country. The pervasive poverty and persistent negative social norms, beliefs and cultural practices are believed to be some of the issues that contribute to gender inequality. Girls Space strives to promote girls’ education and girls` rights to aid their empowerment and break the cycles of poverty. When adolescent girls and young women are empowered and have access to quality education and skills, they are more likely to thrive, avoid teenage pregnancy and early marriage, and be productive members of their families and the communities. 

Collaboration and Partnership

We strive to develop and maintain collaborative relationships and partnerships with parents, guardians, families, schools, communities, government, organizations, and other stakeholders to support the Girls Space Empowerment Program and its participants.

School Engagement

Girls Space Empowerment works closely with school administrators including the principal and head teachers, local government, district education office or City Council if operating in a government or City Council school to establish a Girls Space chapter in a school. Girls Space staff meet with school administrators and explain the program`s mission and program content, areas of support and to learn from them the challenges girls face in their school. The school can support Girls Space with the provision of a safe classroom, hall, supplies, teachers that we can train as facilitators and mentors, recruitment of girls and other resources. We conduct workshops, meeting, training, disseminate information and organize activities in the school. Girls Space can support the work and initiative of the school administrators. We always strive to maintain a good working relationship with the school administrators to help sustain the program and keep girls in school and successfully complete their education.


Parent/Guardian Engagement and Support

We acknowledge and values the importance of parents/guardians and family involvement in the Girls Space Empowerment Program. We engage with families and guardians to provide information about the program and raise awareness about the important of girls` education, skills developments, protection, and human rights through meetings, house visit, workshops, and sensitizations. We seek consent from parents/guardians for their daughter`s participate in the program. We also hold 1-1 meetings with parents and guardians to discuss their daughters` progress, keep them on track and help address any issues or question they may have. Parent/guardian engagement will help to ensure that girls attend the program, use their knowledge and skills at home, and get the support they need from their parents or guardians.

Community Engagement and Support

Community support is vital to the success of Girls Space Program. Girls Space works with key community stakeholders to set up the Girls Space Chapter in a community. The program staff first meet with key stakeholders including chiefs, leaders, elders, and relevant community members to get their support, explain the Girls Space` mission and program content, and to learn from them the challenges girls face in their communities. They can support Girls Space with providing guidance, community space such as community centre, barray, or church space, recruitment of participants and community members as volunteers, and program support such as in-kind donation. We conduct community outreach, workshops, sensitization, community meeting, training, disseminating information, house visit and other activities to raise awareness abouts the issues facing girls, help change the social norm, and create supportive environment and protection for the girl. The continuous engagement and outreach with key stakeholders and the community will improve the effectiveness of the program and its positive impact on the girls and the community.

Organizations, Advocate, Local government, Politicians and other Stakeholder

Support from organizations, advocates, local government, ministries, politicians, law enforcement officers, etc., for the Girls Space Empowerment is vital to its success. We hold meetings to inform them about the purpose and content of the Girls Space program to get their support. They might help with supplies, human resources, funding, donation, or other resources. The program may also support their work and initiatives. Girls Space also strives to work in partnership with organizations, ministries, or agencies in areas such as referral, information sharing and other activities that address issues facing girls, support their empowerment and create opportunities that help girls achieve their goals. 


  1. Statistics Sierra Leone and ICF International (2014) Sierra Leone
  2. Demographic and Health Survey 2013.