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Rise Up Girl Leaders Impact Millions Across the Globe

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Rise Up

Highlights

A group of girl leaders in South Africa sitting outside on a play structure and smiling

Collectively, PHI's Rise Up has positively impacted more than 700,000 people in 2022, and millions since the program was founded in 2009—supporting girls, youth and adolescents to strengthen their leadership skills, advance gender equity globally and amplify their voices in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States.

27M girls with more rights, equity and power, thanks to Rise Up leaders

700K people in 2022 impacted by Rise Up girl leaders who are strengthening their leadership skills and advancing gender equity globally

60 girl leaders in South Africa advocating for youth-friendly healthcare services, ending period poverty by increasing access to menstrual products and sanitation facilities, creating awareness on substance abuse, and initiating actions to prevent teenage pregnancy

223K girls and adolescents positively impacted by Rise Up leaders in Honduras through their leadership skills to advance sexual and reproductive healthcare, access to education, and prevention of sexual harassment and violence in their communities

Rise Up graphic of people holding hands and stats that show 27 million girls are impacted by Rise Up leaders in Guatemala, India, Mexico, Nigeria and the U.S. since 2019Since PHI’s Rise Up program was founded in 2009, girls have been at the center of our work to advance gender equity globally.  Over the last year, Rise Up has supported hundreds of girls, youth, and adolescents to strengthen their leadership skills and amplify their voices in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. Collectively, Rise Up girl leaders have positively impacted more than 700,000 people in 2022. In close partnership with in-country organizations, girls and youth learn how to identify issues that impact them, set goals, develop strategies, meet with decision makers, and share their own stories through our Girls’ Voices Curriculum.

Girls also remain principal to Rise Up Leaders’ work as they improve equity in education, health, and economic opportunity in countries around the world.

While there has been notable progress and increased attention on the issues that matter to girls in the last decade among governments, policymakers, and society at-large, significant obstacles still exist.

Investments in girls’ rights remain limited and girls continue to confront a myriad of challenges to fulfilling their potential; made worse by concurrent crises of climate change, COVID-19, and humanitarian conflict.

United Nations

Rise Up will always be committed to girl-led and girl-centered advocacy campaigns to effectively engage decision makers in advancing girls’ rights. Learn more about some of the inspiring ways Rise Up girl leaders have forged a path forward in their own communities, countries, and the global stage this past year. 

HONDURAS

At the beginning of this year, Rise Up girl leaders in Honduras celebrated their remarkable achievements in advancing sexual and reproductive health care, access to education, and prevention of sexual harassment and violence in their communities, impacting more than 223,000 girls and adolescents.

With support from Rise Up, the girl leaders reached decision makers to enact political changes that benefit Honduran girls and adolescents, including:

  • Making comprehensive sexual education a reality through a public policy in the municipality of El Progreso, Yoro and an education program in sexual reproductive health in Jutiapa Atlántida.
  • In the municipality of La Ceiba, street sexual harassment will be prohibited, prevented, and punished through a new ordinance, and psychological, physical, and sexual violence in schools will be addressed through a new public policy of prevention.
  • The lack of access to school education will improve with the approval of scholarship programs in the budgets of the municipalities of Olanchito and La Ceiba.

    Rise Up girl leaders in front of the city hall in El Progreso, Honduras.
    Rise Up girl leaders in front of the city hall in El Progreso, Honduras. Photo courtesy of OYE
We youth and adolescents have great capacity to strengthen the social fabric and create a sustainable present and future. The impact of the ongoing pandemic is transforming us and there is still no clarity about what our lives will be like in a world after COVID-19. The only certain thing is that nothing will be the same anymore. Iliany

Rise Up girl leader

GUATEMALA

Rise Up girl leaders Ximena, Cinndy, and Anyeli from Guatemala participated in UN Women’s Intergenerational Peacebuilding Month in August of this year,sharing their visions on the importance of youth participation in creating more peaceful societies, sustainable recovery from crisis, and building intergenerational solidarity.

Click the images below to hear directly from Anyeli and Ximena.

SOUTH AFRICA

“Phakama ukhulume,” a Zulu word which means “rise and speak,” has become the defining phrase for the latest cohort of Rise Up girl leaders in KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa – encouraging them to speak out in their communities. Rise Up is working in partnership with local partner SAfAIDS, an organization focused on expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care for adolescents and young people in Southern Africa, on this program.

The 60 girl leaders are advocating for youth-friendly health care services, ending period poverty by increasing access to menstrual products and sanitation facilities, creating awareness on substance abuse, and initiating actions to prevent teenage pregnancy.

The latest cohort of Rise Up girl leaders in South Africa standing in front of a hotel.
The latest cohort of Rise Up girl leaders in South Africa.

CALIFORNIA

A group of 39 girls and gender-expansive youth in Oakland, California are growing their leadership skills and learning new ways to speak out for their rights to stay healthy, finish school, and live a life free from violence through a partnership between Rise Up and The Unity Council’s Latinx Mentoring & Achievement program.

At a session this summer, the girl leaders created a “problem tree” to analyze the root causes and effects of problems in their everyday lives. The leaders plan to advocate for menstrual products in school, resources and programs for low-income students, addressing school closures, and launching a campaign against sexual harassment.

Girls are ready for the next decade of progress, and Rise Up will continue to recognize their agency, work with them to develop their leadership, and support them in fulfilling their potential.

Young leaders share their “problem trees” during a group training in Oakland, California.
Young leaders share their “problem trees” during a group training in Oakland, California. Photo courtesy of The Unity Council
I have always said that I want to be the voice for the girls who are not here and who maybe are but are afraid to raise their voices. That continues to be my goal, to be able to give a message that they have rights and know about their rights. Kemberly

Rise Up girl leader in Honduras


Rise Up activates women & girls to transform their lives, families & communities for a more just & equitable world through investment in local solutions, strengthening leadership & building movements. Since 2009, over 600 leaders have successfully advocated for 120 new & improved laws & policies impacting 135 million people around the globe. For more information, visit their website.

This impact story was first published as a highlight in the Rise Up newsletter. 

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