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British Council and Oando Foundation Announce Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action to Enroll 230,000 Nigerian Girls in School

NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2014Oando Foundation and the British Council announced today the launch of
Reach a Girl, Teach a Girl: Girls’ School Enrollment in Nigeria, a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action aimed at enrolling approximately 230,000 Nigerian girls in primary school over the next three years. The six million dollar program also outlines a plan to help more than 21,000 girls transition from primary to secondary school.

While the Nigerian government has committed to universal primary education for all, the staggering population growth has made achieving this commitment out of the government’s reach. Today, Nigeria has the most out-of-school children in the world – 10.5 million. Over five million of the out-of-school children are girls – many of them in northern Nigeria. The British Council and Oando Foundation have partnered to help close that gap through an initiative that bridges advocacy efforts with infrastructure development.

Reach a Girl, Teach a Girl will join commitments by more than 30 public, private, and grassroots organizations as part of CHARGE (the Collaborative Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education) a global collective to advance girls education worldwide. Announced by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, CHARGE’s commitments will focus on five key areas in global girls education which include: Ensuring girls enter and stay in school through secondary education; ensuring that schools are safe and facilities are girl friendly; improving the quality of learning opportunities for girls; supporting girls from secondary school to post-secondary school and preparing them for the workforce; and supporting  developing country leaders to catalyze change in girls’ education.

“Our track record of success in adopting and transforming schools across the country is directly connected to our familiarity with the social issues Nigerians face.  Our partnership with the British Council is an opportunity to utilize our complementary skills to remove the barriers that inhibit Nigerian girls’ education,” said Tokunboh Durosaro, Executive Director of Oando Foundation. 

Research commissioned by the British Council reveals social norms governing the position of women and girls in northern Nigeria have a harmful impact on girls’ education. A number of additional factors, including poor and insufficient infrastructure, opportunity costs of early employment, social barriers and safety, have been cited as reasons for the large number of out-of-school girls in Nigeria.

Reach a Girl, Teach a Girl focuses on four main components:
•    Community engagement via school-based management committees
•    A media advocacy campaign
•    School infrastructure improvement
•    An exchange program between traditional leaders to breakdown harmful social norms.

“The British Council is extremely pleased to be working alongside Oando Foundation on the Reach a Girl, Teach a Girl Programme. Working together will enable us to leverage the considerable experience and expertise of our organisations. The British Council is proud to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to ensuring that girls and women are able to play a full and productive role in Nigerian society. Our ambition is to convene a broad range of partners such as Oando Foundation, who are committed to ensuring girls receive quality education,” said Connie Price, Director Nigeria for British Council.

Operating in Nigeria since 1943, the British Council has a developed an excellent platform to execute this project. The British Council has trained over 10,000 teachers across the country and is helping to strengthen the Nigerian education system through its participation in DFID’s Education Sector Support Program. The partners are hoping additional organizations and companies will join them in meeting the six million dollar budget to sustain the program.  Reach a Girl, Teach a Girl reflects a broader movement to support girls.

In 2011, Oando Foundation was registered as an independent charity in Nigeria.  The foundation focuses on empowering communities and supporting the Nigerian government in realizing its development goals. The goal of the foundation is to foster sustainable development by contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal to achieve universal primary education.  The foundation works to achieve this goal by addressing the needs of students, teachers, school leaders and the education community.  Our programs include infrastructure development, ICT/creative centres, early childhood care and development centres, teacher capacity building and scholarship programs.  The foundation has a special focus on girls in northern Nigeria. Oando Foundation is also registered as a 501c3 in the United States and is registered with the UK Charity Commission.

Oando Foundation has adopted 48 schools across 20 states: Adamawa, AkwaIbom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, FCT Abuja, Kaduna, Katsina, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Taraba States.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover which last year was £781m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

Oando Foundation (Edelman)
Charity Tooze

British Council
Alex Dimsdale


Date Published:September 24, 2014

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