GIS – 24 July 2017: Some 300 drop-out school girls aged between 13 and 18 will join the ‘Goal’ Programme, a capacity-building intervention which aims at addressing three levels of personal, social and economic empowerment of adolescent girls using sport and life skill education so that they can make informed life choices.
This joint initiative of the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare and Standard Chartered Bank (Mauritius) Ltd was officially launched this morning at the Floreal Women Empowerment Centre.
At the launching ceremony, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, urged young girls to avail of the opportunity provided by the ‘Goal’ project to grow stronger and carve a place for themselves in society. “Life does not end just because you dropped out of school; you have to believe in your potential and ability to succeed,” the Minister told participants.
Speaking on the critical time of adolescence, the Minister stressed the importance of having a life objective as well as adequate information and knowledge so as to make good choices. Adopting the right values, putting in efforts, learning from one’s mistakes and not repeating them along with discipline and determination were the advice given by Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo to participants. “Life is beautiful, your future lies in front of you if you work hard and dedicate yourself to your objective,” she said.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank (Mauritius) Ltd, Mr Mathieu Mandeng, highlighted that the ‘Goal’ programme is geared towards empowering and equipping adolescent girls with the confidence, knowledge and skills they need to be integral economic leaders in their families, communities and societies. Underlining the necessity of investing in girls, Mr Mandeng recalled that educating girls and giving them the tools to shape their own future have an incredible multiplier effect on economic growth, positively affecting GDP growth rates up to 23% per capita.
The ‘Goal’ Programme was launched by Standard Chartered Bank in India in 2006 as a leading education programme that provides financial literacy, life skills and employability training to low-income adolescent girls. It initially targeted 70 participants. To date, it has reached 285 000 girls across 24 countries.
In Mauritius, the Gender Unit of the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare is implementing the programme as it is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 5: "Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls.” The programme, to be run over nine weeks in 15 Women Empowerment Centres, will focus on four modules namely: Be yourself; Be Healthy; Be Empowered and Be Money Savvy.
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