3 wonderful days with the Project Princess Initiative: the princesses of today and the mothers of tomorrow

Image of a young Ugandan girl in traditional clothing patterns, symbolizing empowerment through Project Princess Initiative (PPI) with International Parents Alliance

Empowering Vulnerable Girls: the Project Princess Initiative

Our team visited Project Princess Initiative (PPI) in Uganda between the 15th  and the 19th of April. Founded in 2009 a Christian-based non-profit organization, the Project aims to uplift, educate, and empower vulnerable girls. Its mantra, “EMPOWER A GIRL, EMPOWER A NATION”, clearly defines the Project concept that education for girls is not just a moral imperative and a basic right, but a strategic necessity as well.

The invitation dates back to August 2023 when Parents International was present together with PPI at the first in-person meeting of the Worldwide Commission to Educate All Kids in Toronto. The three full days we spent in Kampala were filled with meetings, emotions and friendship. We were privileged to participate at their 15th anniversary celebrations, too.

Day 1 : Collaborating with Education Authorities

On the first day of the visit, we had the opportunity to have in-depth discussions with the PPI team about their work, their future plans and support needs. We have identified areas of collaboration that we will work on the coming months and years.

Image of the Project Princess Initiative School in Uganda, symbolizing the power of education and empowerment through initiatives like Project Princess Initiative (PPI) and International Parents Alliance

The discussions were very useful for preparing our meetings with the Ministry of Education the following day as well as for the training that we delivered for the team on the last day of the visit. We have agreed that it is important to support the girls they are working with by equipping them with a wide range of skills and competences for a successful adult life, including preparation for motherhood. If proper parenting practices and role models are shown to them, they will be able to raise their children in a way that would make PPI obsolete in a generation. After a successful day of discussions, we had the opportunity to also get to know local handicrafts.

Day 2 : Celebrating Success and Cultural Exchange with the Project Princess Initiative

Image of the Ministry of Education Headquarters in Uganda, representing collaboration with initiatives like Project Princess Initiative (PPI) and International Parents Alliance for educational empowerment

On the second day of the visit, we had a great meeting with the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education. She had immediately felt a connection with PPI coming from the area of the country they first started working with girls from. It is clear that both the education of girls and parental engagement are important for the current education governance of the country, but it is also clear that there is a long way to go and resources are scarce. We finished the meeting on a collaborative mood and with the promise of working together in the future on these topics via PPI.

In the late afternoon and evening our team participated in the celebratory event of PPI. It was an opportunity to learn more about the work of the organisation that revolves around supporting girls to remain in formal education, to acquire knowledge, skills and competences that are necessary for a healthy and independent adulthood (e.g. sanitary issues, transversal skills, entrepreneurship), and to avoid early marriages. Their work was praised by various invited speakers including the previous Minister of Education as well as the current leader of education in the local area called the Kingdom of Buganda. The amazing evening made it possible to learn more about local culture, namely music, dances and food.

Day 3 : Training for Empowerment and Future Collaboration with the Project Princess Initiative

On the last day, we provided a brief one-day training to the PPI team showing them our approach and methods. We have chosen four topics relevant for their current work: parental engagement, entrepreneurship, trauma-informed methodologies and self-awareness. The participatory, experiential methods we use were new to all participants, and at the end of the training we have agreed to prepare a training primarily for teachers that is at least 4-5 days long, and will most probably take place in January 2025 when schools are on vacation. We are also working on making it possible for PPI to be present at the International Parents Alliace Parent Summit in Georgia.


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