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  • $23,446
  • Funded
  • Niger

Association for the Protection and Accompaniment of the Girl Child (APAJF)

Association for the Protection and Accompaniment of the Girl Child (APAJF)

Association for the Protection and Accompaniment of the Girl Child (APAJF) is a grassroots organization based in Dosso, Niger. The organization’s mission is to support local girls through education, training, advocacy, and empowerment. Since its founding in 2018, APAJF has worked to increase girls’ access to quality education by providing scholarships for school fees and supplies. The organization has also supported local schools by paying for tables and benches, enabling girls to learn in a safe, comfortable environment. 

Niger faces many developmental challenges, coming in second to last on the Human Development Index rankings in 2021. The effects of climate change, such as droughts and desertification, have limited income-generating activities, leaving families with little resources. The Dosso region, where APAJF operates, has been strongly affected by these issues. As a result, many families cannot afford to send their girls to school, and early and forced marriages are a significant problem. 76 percent of girls in Niger are married before the age of 18, and 28 percent are married by age 15. In comparison, 6 percent of boys are married before age 18, reflecting deep gendered inequalities. APAJF aims to alleviate these problems by supporting girls’ education and economic empowerment and by engaging in advocacy activities to challenge social attitudes which marginalize girls.  

The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund will support APAJF’s girls empowerment project, which focuses on economic support, school enrollment and retention, and sexual and reproductive health education. Over the course of two years, APAJF will implement strategies to create safe spaces for girls to learn, increase their knowledge of sexual and reproductive health, and offer opportunities for economic empowerment. The project’s activities will include work to obtain birth certificates to enroll girls in school, scholarship dispersion, and discussion seminars to break the silence on “taboo” topics like reproductive rights and early marriage. APAJF will also use funding support towards the construction of a Safe Space Center, the first of its kind in Dosso. The Center will be equipped with amenities to train girls on leadership and income-generating activities. 

APAJF hopes to support an estimated 500 girls with this project. The organization will teach girls the importance of staying in school and offer support to enable them to do so. Furthermore, APAJF’s Safe Space Center will allow girls to comfortably engage in difficult conversations, affecting social change as girls begin to share what they learn with their peers and family. 

For more information about APAJF, please visit the organization’s social media pages: 

See more projects: Africa, West Africa, Child Marriage, Education, Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights