Iftin Foundation organized the first Secondary School girls Competition during the holy month of Ramadan (July 8 – August 7, 2013). The program was exclusively attended by female representatives from 32 of Mogadishu’s most popular schools and was broadcast on both Radio Iftin and Kalsan TV. As the first of its kind, the program inspired girls to stay in school, compete for prizes, learn from each other.
Majority of radio stations in Mogadishu broadcast quizzes and contests among various districts or schools of Mogadishu during the Holy month of Ramadan. However, as a male-dominated society, female participants have a little role, if any in such competitions. For example, in 2012 a quick survey revealed that the female participation of such quizzes was lower than 20%.
The objectives of this project were:
- To improve the knowledge of the schoolgirls;
- To give exclusive space to female secondary school students who normally would not have got much space at national quizzes, organized by media outlets in Somalia;
- To showcase the talents of the female students and help the public recognize that girls can learn and perform as much as boys;
- The program will pave the way for more female participation in national school quizzes;
- The program will serve as a platform for introduction among girls in secondary school education.
- The program will also deliver other messages to girls, including issues related to their health, FGM, the importance of education, early marriage, etc.
The program was broadcast on Mogadishu’s Radio Iftin and Kalsan Tv and has reached more than 100,000 students and their families. The program attracted the attention of:
- Fellow girls: We expect that girls at all primary and secondary schools closely followed this competition because it directly affects them.
- Fellow boys: We expect that boys enthusiastically followed this program. The boys could be either brothers, classmates, friends, or just follow this unique program.
- Parents: We expect parents followed this program to see how their daughters are performing in the competition.
- Education stakeholders: The education stakeholders including teachers, principals, government, or organizations working in the education sector, learned the performance and gaps in girls’ education.
- The public at large: The general public not only benefited from the questions and answers of the program but also saw the first-hand experience how girls can perform if they are given the right opportunity.