who we are
The Centre for Girl-Child Education (CGE) works to advance adolescent girls' education, health, and empowerment in Northern Nigeria through innovative programming, advocacy, research, and strategic partnerships.
CGE’s core strategies evolved over 10 years of careful ethnographic study and community-based research with girls, their parents, community members, religious leaders, and other key stakeholders. After much participatory work with the community, CGE chose to focus on two areas where it believed would have the strongest impact in transforming adolescent girls' lives—health and education.
CGE is currently pioneering the use of intensive mentor-led “safe space” girls groups for adolescent girls to acquire the basic academic competencies (including literacy and numeracy) and critical life skills they would need to succeed in school and beyond. The life-skills training in particular help the girls develop the knowledge (reproductive health, gender, rights) and behavioral (communication, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership) skills needed to enhance their voice and agency. Through peer group solidarity and effective mentoring, a safe environment is fostered in which girls can reflect on their lives and the kind of life to which they aspire, and then using the life skills they have acquired, to negotiate for their self-defined strategic life choices related to education, marriage, and livelihood. In short, the groups help enhance participants’ potential for living the lives they want.
CGE is also conducts operations research in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley on the effectiveness of educational strategies—both formal and informal—in improving adolescent girls' lives, and more specifically, maternal and child health outcomes in the region.