Girls Supporting Girls was started in 2013 by three Chicago women hoping to improve the prospects for at-risk girls in the developing world, and inspire our own children to be agents of change.
We work to eliminate gender barriers in education by funding international school construction projects and running our own local school programs and events that teach our children about their peers around the globe.
GSG partners with international nonprofit groups including buildOn, Room to Read and Schools for Salone to build schools and libraries and provide other educational infrastructure in the world’s neediest countries. By intervening early in the lives of children to provide educational opportunities, the socioeconomic conditions of families, communities and even countries are greatly improved.
In many parts of the world, the roadblocks to receiving an education don't start and end with proximity to a school. Many schools require students to purchase uniforms, books and other supplies. Some students need bicycles to get to schools that are not within walking distance. GSG provides scholarships to girls to cover these types of expenses.
While our main focus is children, GSG also funds adult literacy programs with buildOn. Parents and grandparents attend evening programs in the same schools their children attend during the day, learning to read, write and do basic math through the lens of health, agriculture and relevant life skills. Participants put their skills to use through income-generating activities such as gardening, textile production and animal husbandry.
We’re not afraid to get our hands dirty. GSG sent a group of adults and kids to Malawi in June 2018 to help break ground on a primary school in a community that had waited nine years for a school. We lived with local families and worked alongside them to dig latrines, lay bricks, mix cement and more. The school now serves more than 200 children. Another group is heading to Guatemala in June 2020 to help start construction of our next school.