Social and Financial Empowerment of Adolescents
‘Social and Financial Empowerment of Adolescents’ (SoFEA) is a new initiative by BRAC targeting adolescent girls in rural Bangladesh. The goal is empower adolescent girls both socially as well as financially in order to make them more confident and independent and lead dignified lives.
• Dhamrai upazila (Dhaka district)
• Puthiya thana (Rajshahi district)
• Santhia upazila (Pabna district)
• Barura upazila (Comilla district)
• Magura sadar upazila (Magura district)
SoFEA targets girls aged between 11 and 21 years. It has established 360 clubs, currently reaching over 13,000 girls in five sub-districts in rural Bangladesh. The clubs serve as a safe space for girls to socialise and be themselves. The clubs are open six-days a week with Thursday being a mandatory day for attendance. Other days, girls come and go as they please. They have books to read from a small library and board games to play. The goal is to provide them with a safe space where they can meet more girls of their age and socialise with them. By providing such a forum, SoFEA hopes to increase girls’ social networks as well as their mobility. Our observations and conversations with girls already indicate some positive impact. They appreciate having a space dedicated to them to express and enjoy themselves through books, games, songs and dancing etc.
b. Life skills training:
The goal of this component is to raise awareness among adolescent girls about issues that are important in their lives. This is a peer to peer learning course. 360 Peer leaders have been trained. Training is non-residential and provided in a rented training space close to SoFEA’s branch office. After training, the peer leaders facilitate the course in the club.
Currently life skills’ training is being conducted in 360 clubs covering topics that include human rights, importance of education, adolescence, menstruation, early marriage, early pregnancy, family planning, prenatal care, child nutrition and development, STIs and HIV AIDS, dowry, domestic violence, trafficking, and acid violence.
C. Financial Literacy:
The financial literacy training is an extremely crucial part of the SoFEA programme. This component has been developed within SoFEA from the beginning of 2010. The purpose of the training is to familiarise girls with the basics of financial consciousness. The training covers the following topics:
– Dream realisation
– Need for financial empowerment
– Savings - sources, safe spaces and importance
– Budgeting- cost-profit calculation
– Borrowing; and social negotiations
Till date, 4610 girls have received this Financial Literacy Training.
Insana's Story: A Student and a Teacher.
Jasmine Lamb: Girl Effect Enthusiast Raises Money for BRAC
BRAC's SOFEA Girls Have Big Dreams
Profile of the Adolescent Girls: Findings from the Baseline Survey for Social and Financial Empowerment of Adolescents (SoFEA) Programme
Back to Bangladesh - Day 3 - June 22, 2011