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“Supporting grassroots girl-led organisations is one of the best development investments that can be made.”
Stars Foundation‘s Chief Executive, Ms Muna Wehbe

Last week saw 20 locally-led organisations receive a With and For Girls Award for their work in improving the lives of girls. Winning organisations came from seventeen countries and work on a variety of thematic issues, but all have demonstrated strengths in engaging girls in governance, programme design and decision-making to ensure that their work really is girl-led.

Depending on the size of their organisation, winners receive either $US15,000 or US$50,000 of unrestricted funding, as well as tailored capacity building support. As part of their award package, winners also spent a week together in London for networking, learning, sharing and celebrating. The week’s activities included an awards ceremony, sessions on capacity building and time together for collaboration.

This year, girl leadership has been a with-and-for-girlstheme that really stood out amongst our cohort of winners. We have seen girls on boards of trustees, girls in senior management roles, and girls as founders, building organisations in direct response to their own experiences. This topic was further explored during the panel discussion hosted by Kerry Smith, Head of Girl Rights and Youth at Plan International UK.

The week concluded with a day of capacity building training. It was interesting to hear first-hand from the winners about the challenges facing their organisations and the role funders have in helping to address them.

Together the awardees identified financial sustainability, strategy development, human resource management, networking, PR and communications, as key areas of focus. One of the sessions looked at the necessity of girl leadership and was run by 2015 Award winner Integrate Bristol.

To see more about what people are saying about the week see this storify.

Between them, the 2016 With and For Girls Award recipient organisations have reached more than 30,690 people in 17 countries. The 20 organisations were chosen out of a long list of 161 organisations nominated by 61 referral partners, and 44 shortlisted organisations from across 34 countries.

The With and For Girls Collective is a group of seven organisations – EMpower, Mama Cash, Nike Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Plan UK, Stars Foundation, The Global Fund for Children – with a track record of supporting civil society organisations working to improve the lives of girls and their communities. Together, we champion the collective action of girls. We believe that when girls organise, they and their organisations can play a leading role in transforming societies and building gender equality.

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