GirlSPARKS News & Events

Read the latest from the GirlSPARKS team, as we share upcoming opportunities and GirlSPARKS events.

Important changes to GirlSPARKS

Posted Posted in Uncategorized

We have had to make a difficult decision over the last few months…

GirlSPARKS will have to partially close our doors indefinitely, whilst we explore alternative options to move our organisation forward. We have taken great pride in the work that we have done over the past few years, making changes within communities and bringing the opinions and voices of girls to the forefront. During this time, we worked harder to refine and clarify Girl-Centred Design and pushed it to become an invaluable tool for girls. 

Our methodology has evolved beautifully, it has influenced organisations to reevaluate how they can effectively work with girls. We have been able to be impactful in locations where girls are the most vulnerable, from Uganda to Bangladesh, we have taken great pride in the impact we have in the lives of the participants and girls they have helped. 

We are deeply thankful for the network and connections that we have built and cultivated over the years, and we would like to thank those that attended and convened our regional trainings. It has been a pleasure training you, and we hope that it has been equality educative for you as it has been for us. As we move forward, we will have to temporarily pause our services, to navigate the next steps.

To be completely transparent, our core London team has been dissolved because our grant money dwindled, over the last couple of months our director Julisa Tambunan worked tirelessly and exhausted herself and her contacts in order to obtain additional funding for our organisation.

Owing to Women Deliver, G7 summit and the data collected from SDG30, we have a greater understanding of the work yet to be done, in terms of achieving gender equality and ensuring that girls are no longer subjected to abusive social norms and that all girls have access to an education. Nonetheless, we have faith that our partners and our internationally based trainers will continue to fight the good fight and continue their work as girl champions. 

Though their will no longer be a core team and we are undergoing changes, our course on the Philanthropy University platform will continue to run; as will our social media accounts. We would like to thank everyone who joined us on this journey and those that will continue to support us during the next stages of GirlSPARKS. 


Posted Posted in Uncategorized

Posted on 3 July 2019

The GirlSPARKS team hosted its first training in Bangladesh! This training was kindly organised by UNFPA, and was convened by Mercy Corps and Cox’s Bazar Youth Working Group. This particular training was aimed at organisations that endeavor to reach out to Rohingya refugee adolescent girls.

 Participants from Bangladesh and surrounding areas came together to explore the tools and approaches behind Girl-Centred Design and share their experiences of programming for girls in humanitarian and development contexts.

The three-day training was led by GirlSPARKS trainer Mohammed Munibbari and Mercy Corps Response Director, Justin Colvard.


Posted Posted in Training

Mercy Corps and the Cox’s Bazar Youth Working Group are excited to convene GirlSPARKS’ first Girl-Centred Design training for Bangladesh, from 17th-19th June in Cox’s Bazar. 

If you’re based in and around Bangladesh, and your organisation is working to help adolescent girls in Cox’s Bazar, apply below. 

Our 3-day interactive training workshops give practitioners the skills and tools they need to design intentional programming for girls, or to improve their current programming to be more girl-centred. This training will benefit both organisations which focus on working with girls and organisations which do not currently focus on girls, but would like to develop strategies and approaches to better include girls. 

Fees for this training have been waived thanks to the generous support from UNFPA, so apply now! 

For more information, download a flyer here

To apply now, visit our link for application

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so apply now to increase your chances of being selected. No applications submitted after June 11th, 2019 can be considered!


Posted Posted in Training
2015 May – Kavresthali, Nepal. M Samper for Mercy Corps

Applications are now open for GirlSPARKS’ regional training in Bangkok, Thailand, from 13th – 15th August 2019. Over the course of this three-day interactive workshop, participants will develop the skills they need to design intentional programming for girls, or to improve their current programming to be more girl-centred.

Download a flyer here to read more and begin your application.

Early bird discount deadline: 31st May 2019
Final application deadline: 31st July 2019


Posted Posted in Training

March saw the GirlSPARKS team host its first regional training for programme teams based in the Middle East. Participants from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria came together to explore the tools and approaches behind Girl-Centred Design and share their experiences of programming for girls in humanitarian and development contexts.

The three-day training was led by GirlSPARKS trainers Mohammed Munibbari, Saif Atari and Joseph Baker, with Ayah Al-Oballi from Mercy Corps’ Regional Center for Adolescent Girls co-facilitating and sharing her experiences of designing projects with adolescent girls.

Through group work, role play, presentation and individual reflection, participants developed the skills to design safer and more inclusive projects for adolescent girls.

“Eye opener. It is a way to empower girls and give them ownership.”

While the training methodology followed that of our previous workshops, this regional training was the first time that GirlSPARKS’ curriculum has been deployed in Arabic. Feedback has been highly positive, with participants praising “activities that make learning easier and enjoyable, a lot of discussions and experience sharing”.

Participants take part in an energiser between sessions

On the final day of the training, groups designed prototypes of their interventions and services for adolescent girls, before pitching them to the rest of the participants and iterating their ideas. One group deserves special mention for creating a video as part of their prototype (we will wait to see if that becomes publicly available!).

A huge thank you to all participants for your engagement and feedback!


Posted Posted in Training

From 16th-18th January, GirlSPARKS trainers Sylvia Namale and Zaitun Nabateregga co-facilitated a Girl-Centred Design training for nine community-based organisations in Jinja, Uganda.

Twenty five participants convened at the offices of Non-Violence Project Uganda to explore GirlSPARKS’ three-day Girl-Centred Design curriculum. The workshop was conducted in English, Luganda and Lusoga to ensure that all participants were able to take part throughout the training.

“The participatory method used by the trainers gave us the opportunity to practise the principles being taught right on the spot.”

On the final day of the training, participants explored how to apply concepts from Human-Centred Design to their programming with girls. By synthesising the data they collected over the course of the training, brainstorming ideas, and developing programme prototypes, participants developed practical skills to keep girls at the centre of the programme design process.

Many thanks to Peter Clarke at World Experience Exchange and Eddy Balina at Non-Violence Project Uganda for their support in convening the training.


Posted Posted in Training
December 11, 2016 – Jordan, Zaatari Refugee Camp. Sean Sheridan for Mercy Corps.

Applications are now open for GirlSPARKS’ regional training in Amman, Jordan, from 11th-13th March 2019. Over the course of this three-day interactive workshop, participants will develop the skills they need to design intentional programming for girls, or to improve their current programming to be more girl-centred.

Download a flyer here for more information about participation fees, and to complete your application.

Applications are due by 31st January, 2019.

Read more about our last regional training, held in Nairobi in October 2018.


Posted Posted in Calendar

The GirlSPARKS team are pleased to announce the 2019 schedule for our in-person trainings, online course and webinar series. To receive an application and information pack for one of our regional trainings and to indicate your preferred location for future trainings, register your interest here.

Applications for our Asia & the Pacific regional training, from April 29th – May 1st 2019, are now open. Please download a flyer here to begin your application.

Sign up to our free online course here, and begin to explore girl-centred approaches with your team and peer learners.

March 11th-13th
Middle East & North Africa
Amman, Jordan

April 29th- May 1st
Asia & the Pacific
Bangkok, Thailand
(download flyer here)

Location TBC

January 14th – March 11th
(enrol here)

March 18th- May 13th
(enrol here)

May 20th – July 15th
(enrol here)

(details TBC)

(details TBC)

(details TBC)

We will continue to update this calendar throughout the year, so please sign up to our newsletter and email us if you have any questions at [email protected]


Posted Posted in Training

On Monday 1st October GirlSPARKS launched the first in our series of Girl-Centred Design regional trainings.

Twenty-two participants from Mercy Corps and international and national non-governmental organisations came together in Nairobi for three days of interactive learning around Girl-Centred Design.

Over the course of the three day training, participants explored GirlSPARKS’ Girl-Centred Design approach as GirlSPARKS trainers guided them through a series of participatory sessions and role play activities.

“Consulting the girl made me appreciate the fact that the girl is the expert of her own life. So she is the only one who can give information about herself.”

“This was a great training and a worthy investment of my time and money.”

Read more of the feedback from training participants here.

A big thank you to participants and our team of trainers, Katy Chadwick, Zaitun Nabateregga, Sylvia Namale and Julia Wendt.

Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with the latest information about our regional trainings and further GirlSPARKS opportunities.



Posted Posted in Event

On Thursday 27th September Girls Speak Out brought together a range of stakeholders in Kampala, Uganda, to hear from girls themselves about the issues that affect their lives.

During the event, a diverse panel of girls discussed a range of topics, including their experience of living positively with HIV, accessing education, preventing violence and assault against girls and young women, inclusion of girls with disabilities, combatting stigma and speaking out for equality.


In particular, girls highlighted the importance of listening to their voices and being treated with respect – and the difference that this makes to their lives and their confidence.

“As a girl living with HIV,” Bonita explains, “I used to say the world is not fair and I stopped taking medicine. I joined a group for other young people living with HIV, and I gained back my power. I passed the school grade.”

Girls Speak Out was hosted by GirlSPARKS  alongside partners Health Plus Development Communications, Rhythm of Life and Global Fund for Children. Special thanks to Grant Thornton Uganda for their venue and support.

Thank you to everyone that participated in person and joined the discussion online!  #GirlsSpeakOut #GSOUganda #ListentoHer #GirlsVoices #GirlsLead #GirlCentredProgramming


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