Hero Women Rising (HWR) is a non-profit organization based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The organization was founded to address the marginalized status of girls and women in eastern DRC, where girls often do not have equal educational and employment opportunities. As a result, many face cyclical poverty and experience many difficulties meeting their needs. Hero Women Rising’s approach relies on fostering independence, giving girls the tools to develop their own voices and realize they are valuable contributors to their families and communities. They empower women and girls through education and digital literacy programs which aim to show girls their full value and potential. These programs include mentoring, vocational training, and computer skills. HRW also built the Hero Women School, which provides education to 170 girls free of cost. Additionally, they have distributed scholarships, computers, and over 6000 menstrual health products to local girls.
The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund will support HRW’s gender equity educational project. Girls between the ages of 10 and 19 will engage in discussions about gender-based challenges in their homes and communities. The program will include debate facilitations, theater performances, and educational lessons on topics like sexual and reproductive health, early marriage, and girls’ and women’s rights. Each participant will receive educational materials, including books, posters, and modules, providing girls with multiple types of learning resources. Girls will also be trained on delivering these lessons after they complete the curriculum, enabling them to share their knowledge with their families and other girls in their villages. Additionally, program participants will be trained on using menstrual health kits, and they will distribute these kits in their communities to break down stigmas associated with menstruation.
The goal of the project is to raise awareness about gender-based inequalities and inspire discussions about workable solutions at an individual and societal level. Hero Women Rising plans to directly reach 1,000 girls between the ages of 10 and 19, building a generation of young leaders who will use their knowledge to transform their communities.