Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender (A.L.E.G.) is one of just 20 organisations from around the world to receive a With and For Girls Award this year. As part of the award package, ALEG will receive US$15,000 of flexible funding and capacity building support.
The With and For Girls Awards is a global initiative to identify and support strong local organisations working with and for girls.
Based in Sibiu, Romania –A.L.E.G. is recognised for its work providing support services for victims of violence among girls and young women in Romania, particularly those from disadvantaged families.
In 2015, an 18-year-old girl was gang-raped by seven boys in the eastern Romanian county of Vaslui. Despite the fact that three of the perpetrators admitted to the crime, a court released the boys from arrest. The case shocked public opinion, casting a shameful light on a culture of gender discrimination and violence in Romania. According to A.L.E.G., 24 per cent of Romanian women have suffered from partner violence and 14 per cent were exposed to violence by a non-partner. Women have little access to specialised services and evidence suggests that less than one per cent of offenders are punished.
ALEG also runs educational projects on sexual and reproductive health and rights as well as the Gender Equality Festival, a yearly gathering aimed at campaigning against gender stereotyping in Romania. The organisation has helped 1,431 people in the last two years, more than 60 per cent of whom are girls.A.L.E.G. works to tackle the core of the problem through lobbying and advocacy while offering direct support to the victims of violence and abuse. The organisation provides information, psychological counselling as well as social and legal support. In response to requests from survivors, A.L.E.G. set up an online counselling platform on its website where girls can discuss their concerns anonymously. Thanks to ALEG, survivors have reported gaining a better understanding of their rights and for the different forms, causes and effects of abuse.
Camelia Proca, the director and founder of the organization will be attending the award ceremony to take place on the 2nd of November in London, as well meetings with the rest of the winners and the donor organizations. “For A.L.E.G., the award is first of all a sign of recognition for our unique approach, emphasizes prevention and involves teenagers, particularly girls – in transforming power relations in family and society, towards sharing of power which means being stronger together, the opposite of overpowering. This is nothing but gender democracy and change begins with each girl that has respect for herself and demands respect from others. Everything we achieved in 12 years of work – from social service innovation to legislative changes like rape crisis centers – is the joint effort of a team that remained true to values of the organization despite the lack of state funding. This team always included girls who have grown up at the same time with the organization while building up new girl leadership.”
Muna Wehbe, CEO of Stars Foundation: “These 20 outstanding organisations demonstrate the power of grassroots movements and girl leadership to effect change, both in communities and in the world at large. The Collective is proud to be supporting the With and For Girls Award winners with flexible funding, which is still a rare asset for most grassroots organisations. We want to encourage more funders to trust and invest in girls to address the challenges that they face in their everyday lives. By doing so they are changing the future for the millions of girls worldwide who face discrimination simply for identifying as a girl.”
- The With and For Girls Collective is a group of seven organisations that share the belief that girls are vital agents of change.
- In 2016 the Collective committed US$1million to a global awards process to identify and support strong local organisations working with and for girls.
- The With and For Girls Collective is made up of: EMpower, Mama Cash, Nike Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Plan UK, The Global Fund for Children and Stars Foundation – the Collective’s convening partner.
- The With and For Girls Awards do not focus on a particular theme, but instead are open to organisations with a range of development outcomes – from health and education to challenging negative attitudes towards girls in their schools, families and communities.
- Recipient organisations with current annual organisational budgets between US$20,000-US$100,000 will receive US$15,000 of flexible funding. Winners will also receive capacity building support as part of the award package.
- Recipient organisations with current annual organisational budgets between US$100,000-US$500,000 will receive US$50,000 of flexible funding. Winners will also receive capacity building support as part of the award package.
- This year, 161 local organisations were nominated to receive the Award by 61 referral partners worldwide.
- The 20 winning organisations are working with over 30,690 people across 17 countries.
- With and For Girls Awards will be given out to organisations in five geographic regions – Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, The American Continent and the Caribbean, and The Middle East and North Africa.
- Stars Foundation recognises and rewards outstanding local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to improve the wellbeing and life chances of children.
Photography credited to Ioana Cirlig/Stars Foundation.