Mission: CEDPA equips and mobilizes women and girls to achieve gender equality. Their equality is essential to building stronger families, communities, and societies. We envision a world in which women and girls are able to fulfill their dreams free from the constraints of poverty and inequality and in which their full worth is realized and valued. We work so that women can control more resources and contribute meaningfully in decision making at all levels.
CEDPA’s proven approach to development includes girls’ education and youth development programs that expand opportunities for youth to live healthy, productive lives. CEDPA engages parents, local leaders and religious institutions to build support for youth education, and particularly girls’ education. Working with community partners to provide girls with practical, non-formal education, CEDPA’s youth programs build practical life skills and develop leadership abilities to open up a world of opportunities for the future. Complementing our work with girls, CEDPA reaches out to boys providing them with the skills and training necessary to be partners with girls in making gender equality a reality.
CEDPA has developed an integrated and holistic approach to improving the lives of young people and has implemented it successfully in a range of countries and contexts. CEDPA’s Better Life Options and Opportunities Model incorporates life skills training for youth (particularly girls), institutional strengthening of implementing partners, community mobilization, and advocacy at the local level. The Better Life Options and Opportunities Model builds self-confidence and self-esteem in adolescents utilizing a comprehensive, participatory non-formal education and life skills curriculum, Choose a Future! Issues and Options for Adolescent Girls (and Boys). This curriculum began with a reproductive health focus and has grown to include modules on building healthy peer relationships, self-efficacy and self confidence, skills in decision-making and communication, gender-based violence, civic responsibility, and the environment. It was developed for facilitators to actively involve young people in creating their own solutions to situations they encounter at home, in their communities, and at school. The curriculum continues to be adapted as necessary so that it is country or region specific as well as age appropriate.Currently, CEDPA is implementing several education programs that employ the Better Life Options and Opportunities Model:· Better Life Options: Empowering Girls and Boys for Future Leadership in Nigeria · Towards a Better Future: Improving Educational and Health Outcomes for Girls in Southern Africa
· Improving Educational and Health Outcomes for Boys in Swaziland and Zambia
· UDAAN: Towards a Better Future (Jharkhand, India) and PAHEL: Towards Empowering Women (Bihar, India)
In each program, considerable attention and resources are devoted to adapting the curriculum to the local environment and to training local NGOs to implement them.