Supporting Women And Girls Through Empowerment (SWAG Through Empowerment), is a project implemented by Girls Voices Initiative and funded by Mundo Cooperante, under its ‘Right to be a Girl’ Project, and titled, ‘Empowering Married Girls and Women with Vocational and Entrepreneurship Skills to Build a Sustainable Cooperative’. SWAG Through Empowerment targeted survivors of child early or forced marriages in Northern Nigeria, directly benefitting 45 married girls and women in the North-East, North-West and North-Central Nigeria.

The project sought to empower girls and women to rise above the negatives of child early or forced marriages that have left them to be victims of poverty, no education and gender-based violence etc. Also, the project sought to establish a sustainable enterprise that provides the platform for the girls and women to raise sustainable income and pull other girls and women out of child early or forced marriage. While also joining ongoing initiatives to end child marriage in Nigeria and around the world, the project activities included:

  1. Recruitment, endorsement and program orientation
  2. Empowerment workshop (Personal Agency)
  3. Vocational skills training (tailoring and accessorizing)
  4. Project monitoring and evaluation
  5. Apprenticeship

The project witnessed remarkable results, including:

  1. 45 project beneficiaries (married girls and women) who received personal agency through the empowerment workshop
  2. 45 project beneficiaries received and manifested vocational skills in tailoring and accessorizing
  3. 45 project beneficiaries developed stronger vocational skills through the apprenticeship program
  4. 45 project beneficiaries set up their enterprises to sustain their income

During the apprenticeship program, the beneficiaries already displayed an impressive level of proficiency in the skill: sewing clothes for themselves, their children and rising clientelle within their communities. Equally transforming was the personal agency they had acquired that gave them working tools to create the life that they really want for themselves, as designed in the Empowerment Workshop, (powered by the Empowerment Institute, USA) the girls and women understand how to create a vision around 7 pillars of their lives: emotion, relationships, sexuality, money, work, body, and spirituality. They understood how to manifest their visions with strong affirmations and visualizations, and they understood how to work on their growing edges as they continue to master the art of creating the life that they really want for themselves.

Undoubtedly, the married girls and women in the program are truly on their way to a new kind of advocacy – one that emerges from the results of their empowered lives and thriving enterprises. Shout out to these phenomenal girls and women who are not only survivors of child marriage but girls and women who are truly empowered from the inside out and manifest their swag through Empowerment!

This innovative approach has empowered these ambassadors to rid their local communities of child early or forced marriage and its negative impact on the livelihood of adolescent girls and women in society. Hear some of their stories and the highlights of their experiences.