Democratic Republic of the Congo
After decades of conflict and political instability, 7.3 million children are out of school in the DRC. Three out of four girls will start school, but only half will complete primary school, a rate much lower than that for boys. The situation is worse in rural areas. More than 50% of women in the DRC have suffered physical or sexual violence and far too many continue to face oppression and deeply embedded discrimination. This translates into exaggerated symptoms of extreme poverty for women and economically dis-empowers half of Congo’s potential labor force.
Here, Girl Rising’s media is a powerful convening tool, equipping local partners and stakeholders with high quality media tools that address prevailing gender and social issues in and outside of the classroom.
The Girl Rising film, dubbed in French, Lingala, Swahili and Tshiluba, reached an estimated 11 million households through multiple TV broadcasts, and thousands of people through independent screenings. Local influencers recorded special introductions and a new call to action, encouraging families to send their girls to school.
Our content also reaches an estimated 4 million households through a local-language radio magazine, providing high-quality, relatable content that encourages communities to keep girls’ education as part of the mainstream conversation.
Community Based Programming
Through an innovative community partnership, Girl Rising travels into rural media-dark areas where movie nights and community programming provide a form of entertainment that few in the villages have experienced. These programs spark dialogue about education and gender – focused especially on maternal and child health and gender based violence.
Following each movie night, digital memory cards are provided to each community. This enables community members to watch and share the content again and again - in areas where television is a rare luxury, but cell phones are commonplace.
Advocacy and Influencer Engagement
We also look to build capacity and mobilize community influencers, such as teachers and journalists, to spread the message that educating girls isn’t just the right thing to do - it’s the smart thing to do.
Our work in the DRC was made possible by USAID through ENGAGE (Empowering Next Generations to Advance Girls’ Education), a public-private partnership designed to close gender gaps and improve girls' lives.