Leave No Girl Behind International (LNGB) is a non-profit girls’ empowerment organisation founded in 2013 and based in South Africa, dedicated to empowering girls and young women around the world to find, respect and embrace their own voices, talents and unique potential. The organisation was founded by activists and child advocates, Haseena Patel and Shameema Patel.
The organisation works to reach girls before they become statistics. The focus of Leave No Girl Behind International is to prevent teen pregnancy, HIV, self-harm and abuse in all its forms, child trafficking, child marriage, female genital mutilation and other human rights violations, through education, empowerment and awareness.
- There are still 31 million girls of primary school age out of school. Of these 17 million are expected never to enter school.1
- If all women had a secondary education, child deaths would be cut in half, saving 3 million lives.2
- If all girls had a secondary education, there would be two-thirds fewer child marriages3
- Seven in ten girls in America believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.4
- 75% of girls in America with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking, or drinking when feeling badly about themselves (Compared to 25% of girls with high self-esteem)5
Millions of girls worldwide, both in developing and developed countries, lack the resources to explore their strengths and capabilities, and develop their potential. Often, the adults in their lives also lack the resources to help them.
Our mission is to provide the environment, opportunity and tools for every girl who uses Leave No Girl Behind resources and programs, to find her voice, expand her world, explore her abilities and talents, contribute to her community and develop the skills needed to be independent, goal oriented and financially stable as an adult.
We do this by:
1. Raising awareness about the need for girls’ empowerment
Despite the high statistics worldwide that speak to the need for empowerment and change, lack of awareness on the part of the adults in girls’ lives results in girls often not getting the help and the resources they need to begin the journey to knowing and living their true potential.
Leave No Girl Behind is part of changing this by sharing this vital information on a large scale, and providing resources, direction and solutions through our programs.
2. Education and empowerment
When children learn about their strengths and abilities, their individuality, the art of communication, cultural diversity, being part of a global community and giving of themselves to others, they are able to interact with others at a higher level and create more opportunities for themselves. They also stop accepting gender stereotyping as a barrier to their success.
Through the LNGB teachings, based on our six principles, children are able to increase their self-esteem, learn new skills, break through their perceived limitations, interact with others more confidently, build better relationships, explore new opportunities and make a difference in their communities.
When children have access to credible information together with a healthy self-esteem and a healthy value system, they make better choices and have a long-term perspective.
Even when children have a low self-esteem, an adult supporting them makes a difference to their decision making process. According to a national report in America commissioned by the Dove Self-esteem Fund, 93% of girls with low self-esteem want their parents to change their behaviour towards them in at least one way – this includes:
- Wishing to be understood better
- Being listened to more
- Spending more time with them6
LNGB teachings and programs help children to build a healthy self-esteem and the foundation of a healthy value system. By providing parents, caregivers, teachers, coaches, mentors and youth leaders with resources, we ensure that they are well equipped to educate, empower and support the children in their lives. In this way we are able to help prevent teen pregnancy, HIV, self-harm and abuse in all its forms, child trafficking, child marriage, female genital mutilation and other human rights violations.
We believe that prevention is far better than a child being in a situation where they are forced to make a choice between two adult decisions that they are not mature enough or equipped to make.
What makes Leave No Girl Behind programs unique?:
- We empower children through programs and workshops that can be done in person, online, via Skype and even email.
- We have created empowerment programs that we are able to deliver in both urban cities and remote areas where internet and telecommunication is limited at best; in essence we are capable of reaching children around the planet.
- Our programs can be tailored to any specific group of children anywhere on the planet!
- Our programs can be tailored to any age group of children.
- Our programs can be tailored to any age group of children and to all genders.
Our teachings are based on the six principles of Leave No Girl Behind International.
1, 2, 3 2012 EFA Global Monitoring Report; UNESCO Institute for Statistics database
4, 5, 6 Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, commissioned in June 2008 by the Dove® SelfEsteem Fund