Girl Effect is a creative NGO working to empower vulnerable girls and change the perceptions of their worth across the world.
Labelled the most dangerous city in America for women by Forbes in 2015, Saginaw has high rates of poverty, unemployment, violent crime, and family breakdown. While things have been improving slowly over recent years, girls and young people in general in this area and those like it are regularly overlooked, with groups who want to create change struggling to determine what they actually need to do so.
Enter TEGA, Girl Effect’s mobile research tool. Originally created for use in rural Nigeria, TEGA aims to provide accurate, insight into girls’ lives by employing girls to act as the researchers using an adapted smartphone to capture video and voice data from the people around them.
Working with a local non-profit, Girl Effect found 16 young girls living in Saginaw to be TEGAs, trained them up and taught them how to use the mobile research tool. These girls have just graduated with a research qualification that will enable them to get jobs for other research organisations and help them with their college applications, alongside the income they earned which one girl said had enabled her to buy her mother a Mother’s Day present for the first time.
In 2017, the team used freuds’ connectivity to set the TEGA girls up with their local Congressman, Dan Kildee, and freuds also helped Girl Effect wrap up their final report for the project, which touched upon everything from the hopes and wishes of girls living in Saginaw to their sexual health and relationships, and will be used by local NGOs to influence their programmes.
TEGA continues to be rolled out across the globe and the next US-focused programme is set to be launched in 2018.