Girl-Child Education Program

, 2010

Henrissa Bassey, MPH Candidate

Girls of the Safe Space Youth Club, located in Guga. They are holding their answer cards from one of the health education games testing their knowledge of hygiene, numeracy, and general health.

As a Bixby fellow, I collaborated with the northern Nigeria Girl-Child Education program. Through the provision of educational opportunities, the Girl-Child Education Program aims to delay the age of marriage and onset of child-bearing amongst low-income and rural communities in Zaria, Nigeria. I worked on various aspects of this program including the following: collecting data from numerous schools attended by the adolescent girls from each community, pre-testing evaluation tools, creating a sustainable database to streamline data collection, entry, and analysis; revising the curriculum of their Safe Space Girls Club; organizing and co-leading a workshop to train supervisors in interactive teaching methods; and writing ethnographic field notes.

While collecting data for the program evaluation, I traveled extensively to nine different communities, visiting the primary and secondary schools located in each respective community, and meeting with various principals, headmasters, and teachers. Moreover, I connected with the Safe Space Girls Club’s supervisors and mentors; observing sessions, establishing relationships with the adolescent girls in each group, and being constantly inspired by the intelligence and innovation of this program.