STRENGTHEN & AMPLIFY LOCAL VOICES
Hilin Mu Program: safe spaces for adolescent girls
We provide safe space clubs to girls at risk for early marriage as well as mobilize families and influencers to change norms around girls education and early marriage. The core components of the Hilin Mu (“Our Space” in Hausa) program were designed to address parents’ and daughters’ concerns about poor educational outcomes and other issues, and are based on the successful model of the Centre for Girls Education. We focus on engaging community, training girls in literacy and life skills, and enhancing capacity of female teachers.
Safe Spaces are mentored groups proven to delay marriage by keeping girls in school. Teenage girls connect with peers, gain critical life skills and bridge gaps in academic learning—especially reading and writing.
The program aims to:
Quadruple rural girls' secondary school completion rates
Enhance rural girls' aspirations, agency, and voice
Increase the age of marriage by at least 2 years
The center of excellence in women's health and empowerment is born
We know that expertise and passion are built by meaningful, practical experience in the field and through close contact with inspirational leaders. In the Sahel region, local champions with this expertise and passion are needed to support family planning efforts that will have a critical impact on women’s health, empowerment, and the region’s development. To this end, a new partnership was announced that marks an important step forward. With the support of the OASIS Initiative, the University Abdou Moumouni, Niger and University of California, Berkeley signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2017 allowing them to join forces to support the launch of a Center of Excellence in women’s health and empowerment.
This multidisciplinary center, based in Niamey, Niger, will become a hub for research and collaboration on population and family planning in the Sahel region. The activities and partnerships of the Center will help inspire interest in family planning and support experts who are passionate advocates for national investments in this field and who can conceive of and implement successful programs. The Center’s research will also help deepen the understanding of what works in Niger to delay marriage and childbearing and generate demand for family planning. Read more about this partnership and the Center for Excellence here.
Sahel Leadership Program
The Sahel is facing a series of humanitarian threats: global warming, extreme poverty, the low status of women and the rapid growth of the population. The solution to these problems must be primarily endogenous to the region. The Sahel is home to many emerging leaders, but they have limited access to funding opportunities and professional development. Due to the divisions between disciplines, professionals working in complementary areas rarely have the opportunity to develop integrated solutions. Strengthening collaboration and interdisciplinary communication will improve the sustainability and impact of their work in the field of development. Learn more about the program here.
See photo highlights from the 2018 SLP Intensive Training here, and watch the French video below. Also, check out a video segment broadcasted on Télé Sahel, Niger's national TV station from last year's edition.
Women in Development Research Internship
For the next generation of West African researchers and young professionals, obtaining a graduate level internship is a critically important yet terribly difficult hurdle to surmount in order to earn a Masters degree. The OASIS Initiative’s Women in Development internship program provides scholarships to Masters 2 students at University Abdou Moumouni (UAM) in Niger and assists them in securing a 3-month placement at local, national and international institutions. The students also benefit from a week-long research methods course, facilitated by OASIS for UAM students, before their begin their placement where they learn qualitative and quantitative methods that they can directly apply to their thesis research. To date, OASIS has funded 22 graduate students studying topics related to family planning, reproductive health, women’s empowerment, and food security. These research internships are launching young leaders into the next phase of their career by allowing them to collect data for their thesis, gain valuable professional skills, and expand their work experience so that they can lead development change in the Sahel. Learn more about the 2017 fellows here.