Saturday, January 29, 2022

Girl MOVE Academy distinguished by UNESCO

Ana Valado

An award for both the work and methodology developed for the education of Mozambican girls and women. A transformative movement that brings together young women of different ages and distinct phases of development to gain mutual inspiration, support and transformation.

Amplifying female talent, fostering a new generation of young women leaders and agents of change for sustainable transformation: this is the mission of Girl MOVE, the first Portuguese organisation to be distinguished with the UNESCO Award – for the Education of Girls and Women 2021 in recognition of the value of the work carried out in Mozambique.

The objective of this Leadership Academy encapsulates changing the existing social context through setting out new models of reference and in this way contributing to a more equal society and with more opportunities for women, amplifying their talents, nurturing their gender equality and generating sustainable transformation.

In global terms, across diverse sectors, there are ever more examples of female references taking up positions of leadership. But there remains the need to go still further, to talk more about this theme, to move from theory to practice and implement measures that change the panorama for representation and equity. This is where Girl MOVE plays a preponderant role through its various programs and fostering the entrepreneurship, leadership and mentoring of women, empowering young women in order to produce a new generation of ‘changemakers’ through a mentoring model that perceives each woman as a “sister” for changing the world.

The UNESCO award internationally recognises the Girl MOVE methodology as innovative and efficient which, through the circles of intergenerational mentoring, enables female talent and leadership. A transformative movement that brings together women from all different age groups and in distinctive phases of development to seek mutual inspiration, support and transformation.

“The awarding of the UNESCO Prize is the recognition that we are working on the right approach, creating impact and real transformation in society. Activating talent and leadership in this new generation make us part of a larger mission to transform Mozambique, Africa and humanity into a better and more sustainable place”, declared Alexandra Machado, CEO and co-founder of Girl MOVE.

In Mozambique, around 45% of females marry or get pregnant prior to the age of 18, 31% carry on into secondary schools and only 2% complete university. With this intervention, ongoing since 2014, Girl MOVE has been inverting this reality and has already contributed towards transforming the lives of thousands of girls and young women throughout Mozambique. After having attended the Academy, practically 100% of the young female graduates attending the program are able to get into an impact career within the following three months and 90% of adolescent girls continue into secondary school (vs 30% according to national data).

Working in close collaboration with various Portuguese companies, this academy has already trained thousands of Mozambican girls and women who are today ready to change their reality and quality of life and assume positions in their surrounding contexts. 

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