The Population Council and partners are building the capacity of partners on-the-ground to support displaced adolescent girls and young women in times of crisis.
Girls and young women who are living in development contexts can be difficult to reach—especially the youngest girls. Reaching them before important junctures—like child marriage—can change the trajectory of their lives. Often girls and young women who are living under the pressures of expanding and often interlinked emergencies—conflict, climate change, geologic, and health—are even more difficult to reach due to increased displacement, scarcity, and stress. These factors make it difficult for girls to live safe, healthy lives where they are empowered to determine their own futures. Without support, girls and young women are more likely to be married off before the age of 18 for economic benefit and protection. Young married women in all settings, but especially in conflict and emergency zones, are socially constrained while carrying increasingly heavy economic and other burdens.
In Lebanon, the Population Council and partners are using a framework established by the Girls in Emergencies (GiE) Collaborative, an activity under the Adolescent Girls’ Programming Community of Practice, to address the challenges that these young women and girls face. The framework was developed by the Population Council, Women’s Refugee Commission, Mercy Corps, and other organizations to address the needs of girls who are living in emergency situations. The project’s activities will build upon previous work and reach girls who are not typically targeted by humanitarian initiatives.
The aim is to adopt an Intentional Design, “safe spaces” approach for the girls to receive services and information that will help stabilize their futures. Learning tools will be used to build the capacity of nongovernmental organizations who seek to expand their coverage, and train and support Syrian women who can advance the work and support the girls.
This project will build capacity for nongovernmental organizations to provide critical support to displaced girls in times of crisis. There is an opportunity to use the tools and resources developed from this work to serve and support millions of girls. Lessons from this project will function as a blueprint for serving adolescent girls and young women refugees in the Syrian diaspora and also in other critical emergency zones. The hope is create a young female cadre to guide programs and become sources of health, social, and economic empowerment—not only for themselves but for the community that surrounds them.