Muzvare Betty Makoni is one of the first women in Africa and if not in the whole world to start girls empowerment movement that grew from just ten girls in her class to be the global movement. Many girls networks that followed after 1998 whether formally registered with Girl Child Network Worldwide or not, were very much influenced to start by Muzvare Betty Makoni.
Girl Child Network Zimbabwe was founded in a classroom
The need to establish an organization to champion the rights of girl children in Zimbabwe was perceived in 1998 by Betty Makoni after listening to the horrifying experiences of ten of her female students. Her personal experiences of abuse as a child further fueled her determination. An informal discussion group was subsequently created to provide a safe forum for girls to meet and talk freely about their problems and devise possible solutions. This initial group became the first girls’ empowerment club in Zimbabwe.
The GCNW Empowerment Model has worked very well in Zimbabwe and in other parts of Africa, however, its transformation into GCNW comes at a time when its founding members strongly feel an international platform would unite girls in their activism and allow them to speak out with one well coordinated voice, ensuring a clear worldwide leadership and solidarity on issues affecting the girl child. GCNW is meant to be the center of coordination and learning, and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and resource
Girl Child Network Worldwide has emerged out of multiple personal experiences, collectively representing proven track record that is acknowledged around the world and makes it possible to move seamlessly from the African village to the Global village.
Girl Child Network Worldwide is at the center of a global commitment to gathering, codifying, training and promoting the experiences and expertise of girl advocates.
The idea to expand GCN into Girl Child Network Worldwide (GCNW) was conceived in September 2007 by Betty Makoni, and current US-based trustee Leanne Grossman who started fundraising projects to support girls in Zimbabwe who had fallen into disastrous situations for which no one immediately and effectively mobilized. This had a huge impact as the assistance benefited 160 girls over a three-month period.
GCNW replicates a best practice model that has secured 32 global awards for excellence, innovation, and effectiveness in the delivery of girls` empowerment programs at the local grassroots level. It is a globally acclaimed organization anchored in many parts of the world. It stands as a great inspiration to girls and women who want to actualize their full potential. By taking a unique empowerment and proactive rather than welfarist or reactive approach, GCNW motivates girls to spearhead their own liberation.