Standing up for girls’ education and girl power

11th October 2019

On Day of the Girl, it’s time to stand up for the power of girls. Raleigh alumni Jacqueline is the founder of WapeSmile, a charity which works to improve access to education for young people in Tanzania, especially young girls. Jacqueline writes why she is standing up for girl power.

According to UNESCO, 132 million girls worldwide are out of school. This includes 34.3 million girls of primary school age, 30 million girls of lower secondary school age, and 67.4 million girls of upper secondary school age.

For girls across the world, there are many different threats to their education. From cost, gender bias, early marriage or stigma around menstruation, when young girls are unable access  education they are more likely to face poverty through their lifetime.

But through education we can provide the platform for young girls to excel beyond poverty and into leadership. This is why I set up WapeSmile Foundation, my charity to support and empower young children in Tanzania, especially girls, to be able to reach their full potential in school.

Providing stationary for underprivileged young girls so they can excel in school

Many young girls do not have access to the correct supplies that they need to engage in school, so through WapeSmile we work to change this. Through fundraisers and donation drives, we provide key stationery and resources to schools so that students from poorer families can engage in their education in the best way possible.

Helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

My role as chairperson is to make sure that we reach all children and give girls a special place so we can elevate them so they can reach their goals. WapeSmile works with schools and disadvantaged young providing school supplies, clothing and food so that they can embrace education to the fullest. We also work with schools to provide sanitary pads for those girls who cannot afford them, because menstruation should never be a reason for young girls to miss school.

It is vital that girls are provided with all their needs to access the best education. When they have the materials to engage in school, it helps them in their learning and gives them the opportunity to contribute to different topics in our society and to be able to make a variety of contributions to the learning of others. Education forms the basis of a girl’s future and empowers young female leaders to come forward to support sustainable development in our world.

This is why it is important to empower young girls. They can do just as much as boys and can be a great force and catalyst for development in our society. So on Day of the Girl, I am proud to stand up for girls’ education by reaching out to the communities where girls have the power to be so influential.


I, as a girl, support and collaborate with my girl friends around the world by finding the place for female empowerment and celebrating our day so that the community and rest of the world know and appreciate our significance as girls. Because being a girl should never mean that you have less opportunities. Girls everywhere have power, so it’s time to let that power shine.

Day of the Girl aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. If there is an issue that you are fighting to tackle, get in touch and tell us why at 

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