The project aims to reduce the prevalence of child early and forced marriage (CEFM) in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone. It works to reduce CEFM by enabling girls to decide their own futures and fulfill their equal human rights. Project activities include: (1) establishing/refurbishing physical safe spaces in existing community structures and equipping them with age-appropriate materials; (2) identifying female and male gender equality (GE) community champions using a participatory approach; and (3) conducting dialogue workshops between trained Civil Society organizations (CSOs) and government officials to understand the issues and challenges in addressing CEFM. It is expected the project reaches over 25,900 direct beneficiaries (11,400 girls, 6,700 boys, 3,800 women, 4,000 men) in the Western Area Rural and the Kailahun Districts of Sierra Leone, and the Cascades and Hauts-Bassins regions of Burkina Faso. Key groups include girls, boys, women, men, traditional and religious leaders, women- and girl-led community groups, Civil Society organizations, service providers, sub-national, national, and regional government stakeholders.
The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) empowered adolescent girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 17, including those most marginalized, are able to make informed decisions about marriage and pregnancy; (2) improved social environment for adolescent girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 17, including those most marginalized, to make their own decisions around marriage and pregnancy; and (3) strengthened institutional environment for accelerated action on GE and CEFM prevention.