In 2009-2010, Girls For A Change served over 1,860 girls in ten states, Rwanda, and Swaziland. In Fall 2010, in our partnership with Kotex, we presented a special training to 800 girls in six cities to help girls understand how they can make change for themselves and their communities, removing the mystique and shame around their bodies. In 2010-2011, in partnership with 60 plus schools and community organizations, Girls For A Change will engage over 1,200 girls, ages 11 – 18, and 200 women volunteers on Girl Action Teams and Change Your World Trainings.
In 2010, GFAC completed its first longitudinal evaluation study, tracking girls participating in the program in pre and post surveys, including a control group of girls not participating on Girl Action Teams from the same communities. GFAC participants scored higher in three key areas: awareness of social change and their role, skill building opportunities such as working with a team to complete a project, and general skills such as asking for help and making a back-up plan.
In 2010, GFAC and See Change embarked on a new layer of analysis involving linguistic and video discourse analysis. Linguistic analysis in this context seeks to surface beliefs and attitudes through quantitative (What words do people use, and how often do they use them?) and qualitative (What do people talk about? How does the content and style of speech relate to the context of the speaker?) analysis of speech patterns. Pre, mid, and post video of girls interviewing each other in dyads with preset questions were analyzed, as well as group video. Preliminary results from this pilot were significant.
Among middle and high school girls, a majority of girls changed the collocations (series of words) they used to describe the role of women in society from negative (objects of desire or subservient) to positive (care giving, responsible, powerful in making the world a better place). In addition, and especially striking among middle school girls, was the decline in the use of deferential language. For example, the instances of using “I don’t know” as a qualifier for expressing her opinion declined sharply over the course of the 12 weeks for girls taking part on a Girl Action Team.
GFAC is continuing this pilot in FY11 and is also partnering with the Thrive Foundation for Youth, which has established twelve key indicators for thriving among adolescents, such as Life Skills, Love of Learning, Social Skills, Character, Confidence, and Persistent Resourcefulness. Coaches are measuring the impact of the program against specific rubrics created and tested by the Foundation and their researches at Tufts and Stanford.
In addition, GFAC is surveying alumna girls to measure the lasting impact of the program on girls who have completed one or more program sessions. All evaluation results gathered will be reported in Summer 2011.
For more details on the qualitative impact of GFAC click here. For the most recent quantitative evaluation results click here.