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The Girls First Fund Hosts Learning Convenings

These in-country gatherings provide an opportunity for our grantees to share their insights and gain new knowledge.

As the Girls First Fund approaches the halfway mark of its inaugural grantmaking year, we’re excited to bring grantees together in each of the six focus countries for workshops focused on learning over the next few months.

These convenings are important to the Girls First Fund’s approach to working in partnership with grantees during this first year of grantmaking—what we are calling the learning year. The goal is to intentionally understand how to evolve our strategy and approach to be more effective at supporting community-based organizations in their efforts to prevent and respond to child marriage. These grantee convenings provide an opportunity for our partners to share with us—and each other—their success and obstacles, what they are seeing in their community, and how we can be more supportive in their efforts.

Additionally, the convenings provide an opportunity for many of the grantees to reunite for the first time since meeting at the beginning of the learning year. Grantees have valued the time to build relationships and learn from one another.

Lastly, the convenings are also an opportunity to provide capacity building support in areas of interest expressed by the organizations and their leaders. The capacity building agenda and discussions for each convening vary by country to allow for context-specific sessions driven by grantee requests. In India, for example, grantees have asked for more information on specific rules and regulations related to receiving international funding, so the convening will include an external facilitator and a specific session on the topic. In Uganda, we plan to discuss social norms change—an area of interest of grantees in that country.

In addition to presentations from our staff and external facilitators, the grantees will also share their own learnings from their first six months of working in their local communities and with the Girls First Fund.

The questions, comments, and feedback that grantees share in these convenings will be used to shape the fund’s strategy going forward. Grantees will be asked to give anonymous feedback on what is and isn’t working in their interactions with the Girls First Fund and what could help them improve their outcomes. They’ll also be asked to provide feedback into the fund’s theory of change and other strategy documents.

And of course, there will be a bit of fun, too. From cocktail hours to self-defense classes, our program advisors organizing the convenings in each country look for creative ways to foster collaboration, relationship building, and knowledge exchange.

These convenings are an investment that we hope accelerates the work that the grantees are doing and increases the Girls First Fund’s insight into how we can help these leaders champion change in their communities.