The International Day of the Girl (IDG), celebrated on 11 October, is a unique opportunity to highlight the rights of girls and the specific challenges they face. In the eyes of the Government of the United Kingdom, this is a priority issue, given the girls’ development impact on the community and the entire society. To meet this challenge, the UK Department for International Development to improve of the lives of girls and women in every area of our international development work.
The theme of the IDG 2013 is “Innovating for Girls’ Education”. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the UK government is funding the Global Partnership for Education to support the basic education in the DRC. Moreover, UK aid is funding the project “Valorisation de la Scolarisation des Filles (VAS-Y Fille)” implemented by International Rescue Committee and its partners, Catholic Relief Service and Save the Children International and that was launched in June 2013 in Mbandaka. This project will improve the rate of completion of primary school as well as the quality of education for 137,360 girls in five provinces in the DRC.
For UK aid, girls’ education raises other issues than just the access and the quality of education. The questions of the public finance management, the protection of girls during their journey to and from school, but also the non-formal education and reintegration programmes are all at the heart of UK’s strategy in DRC. This is why UK aid has provided a new support of £121,000 to War Child UK for the medical and psycho-social support as well as socio-economic reintegration it provides to young vulnerable girls living in the streets of the Tshangu District, in the Province of Kinshasa.