Our Approach

Our Approach graphic

Partnership with the UN

Since 2010, Girl Up has partnered with the United Nations to fund programs that give girls an equal chance for education, health, social and economic opportunities, and a life free from violence. Because of the demonstrated success of Girl Up-supported joint UN programs that offer comprehensive services for girls, we have more recently expanded our investments in UNFPA and UNHCR to support their ongoing work to empower girls.

To date, Girl Up has supported 34,095 girls through:

Joint UN Programs that comprehensively support girls

Girl Up has invested in joint UN programs in Liberia, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Malawi since our launch in 2010. These comprehensive programs focus on education, health, safety, leadership and being counted. They combine the efforts of multiple UN agencies including UNICEF, UN Women, UNESCO and WHO to work to address as many possible barriers for girls.

UNHCR’s efforts to educate refugee girls

In Ethiopia and Uganda, Girl Up partners with UNHCR to ensure girls in refugee camps have equal access to quality education from primary school through secondary school, focusing on access to materials, improved school facilities, quality teachers and integrated learning opportunities like girls clubs.

UNFPA’s efforts to prevent child marriage and teenage pregnancy

In India and Guatemala, Girl Up partners with UNFPA to prevent child marriage and provide girls with skills and assets needed to improve their lives and end their families cycle of poverty. Peer educators lead girls clubs, providing a safe space for girls to learn about nutrition, money management and negotiating for their rights.

As we increase our impact over the coming years, Girl Up is committed to doing our part to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, we will work in partnership with the UN to make progress towards Goals 4 and 5 by 2030.

Comprehensive Support

When looking at how we could make the greatest impact for girls in developing countries, we identified the following five areas as critical areas for support.

  • Education: help girls go to school and stay in school
  • Health: ensure access to health and nutrition information
  • Safety: prevent and protect from all gender-based violence
  • Leadership: ensure access to skills-building workshops and opportunities
  • Documentation: ensure all girls count by receiving birth documentation and data on girls

In 2010, the UN identified these as the five key priorities to accelerate efforts to advance the rights of adolescent girls. Supporting and strengthening the work of the UN is central to Girl Up’s mission, so their priorities for comprehensively supporting girls became our priorities.

Girls as Advocates

What began as a campaign for American girls, Girl Up has quickly become a borderless movement, with nearly half a million supporters and advocates from the U.S. and around the world. Our unique leadership training and skill development has created a generation of current and future girl leaders; leaders who have helped Girl Up raise millions of dollars for United Nations programs, lobbied members of Congress to stop child marriage and ensure that girls are registered at birth, and have showed their schools, friends and communities the true power of girls.

Girl Up’s model to create leaders is rooted in a transformative experience that builds girls’ confidence and is focused on action. Our members are empowered to generate real, tangible change. They understand that their involvement is meaningful and that their voices are powerful. Our methodology aims to:

  • Expose girls to new issues and topics that broaden their worldview, helping them think critically about global issues and understand the UN’s impact.
  • Train and support young leaders with the ability to mobile their peers, build organizational capacity, community effectively and work towards a goal—specifically fundraising, advocacy, awareness and service
  • Connect girls with similar passion, providing this generation with a sense of community that would not be available without Girl Up. In fact, 92% of our girl leaders experience an increase in their social and political participation thanks to Girl Up.