Through our VIVA Girls initiative, we uplift and amplify the insight, vision, bravery, and resilience of girls and their organizing. We know that girls are building trust in their communities, supporting the bold action of their peers, and driving movements for social change.
MADRE partners with young women and girls from multiple marginalized communities, including Indigenous Peoples, those living with disabilities, Afro-Descendent people, LGBTIQ+ people, and refugee and internally displaced people. Many young leaders face double and triple disadvantages because of their gender and youth — their perspectives are the first to be dismissed or excluded.
Below, you will find examples of our grantmaking to:
support girls' resistance
strengthen their role in intergenerational leadership
build networks for girls to support each other
ensure that the voices of girls are heard in the spaces where decisions are being made about them
build MADRE’s relationship with girls and young women leaders, now and as their activism evolves.
Amplifying the Insights of Girls Impacted by Conflict in Mali
Priority Community | Internally displaced and refugee girls
Region | Africa
After their recent civil war, communities in Mali are still recovering, and violence flares up even years after a peace agreement was signed. Women and girls were particularly targeted with violence during the war and now seek to rebuild their lives and communities. And through this, girls grapple with stigma and the narrow labels they are assigned by their communities: either victims or heroes who overcame great obstacles.
Mali Musso's Contribution:
Sadya, a young activist and founder of a grassroots organization called Mali Musso, wanted to give girls in her community the opportunity to tell their own stories in a new way. She wanted people to pay attention to the systemic issues girls face and to learn from the insights that girls in her community can offer. READ MORE.
The participants of Mali Musso's storytelling workshop celebrate their time together.
Building Community in Diversity: Disability Justice in Panama
Priority Community | Girls with Disabilities
Region | Latin America
With funding from VIVA Girls, Estefanía, a blind young woman activist, works to promote autonomy among other young women with disabilities in Panama, who face discrimination and violence because of both their gender and ability status.
Through a four-day workshop, Estefanía brought together young women and girls with disabilities from across the country. The participants built community and learned skills to advocate for themselves and their communities. READ MORE.
Seeding and Growing Afro-Peruvian Girls’ Resistance and Resilience
Priority Community | Afro-Descendent Girls
Region | Latin America
Afro-Peruvians have few protections under Peruvian law, and young women in the Afro-Peruvian community frequently face racism and stereotyping that impacts all elements of their lives.
Katherine, an Afro-Peruvian activist, creates programs for Afro-Peruvian girls to build community, find strength in their identity, and to ensure their well-being. Her community workshops include leadership training based on Afro-descendent culture — to revive and claim their identity. READ MORE.
A participant of the empowerment workshops, uses art to explore the connection between her own roots and climate justice.
Young Indigenous Women Building Movement in the Philippines
Priority Community | Indigenous Girls and Young Women
Region | Asia
President Duterte’s authoritarian government is working to dismantle the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines, as the state seizes Indigenous land to benefit extractive industries. With an increasing military presence on their ancestral lands, Indigenous communities are at risk, as are their livelihoods, culture, and tradition. And Indigenous organizing efforts and collective action are met with intimidation and force.
Kabataang IPnay's Contribution:
The Young Indigenous Women's Collective works to build a network of solidarity among young Indigenous women in the Philippines, while highlighting the unique obstacles and strengths of each of their communities. READ MORE.
Building Acceptance of and Rights Awareness for LGBTIQ Youth in Kenya
Priority Community | LGBTIQ Girls
Region | Africa
LGBTIQ+ people in Kenya frequently face violence for their gender and sexual identities. Despite legal victories in the courts, same-sex marriage is still illegal and LGBTIQ+ people confront daily discrimination.
Empowered Ladies Initiative for Equality (ELITE) connects LGBTIQ+ youth through workshops that focus on empowerment and protection from discrimination. The workshops ensure that LGBTIQ+ people know their rights and can document violence against them, devise prevention strategies, and respond to abuse in the community. In their advocacy work, ELITE trains members of local government, police, and media on LGBTIQ+ rights issues. READ MORE.