Our story

We’re an international non-profit that builds media that girls want, trust and need. Founded by the Nike Foundation in 2004, today we’re an independent organisation reaching millions of girls in 20 countries across Africa and Asia.

From chat-bots to chat-shows and TV dramas to tech, our content helps adolescent girls in Africa and Asia make choices and changes in their lives. Igniting their confidence to act differently at a time that can define their future.

We create safe spaces for girls, sharing facts, and answering questions about health, nutrition, education, relationships and so much more. To arm girls with the skills to negotiate and redefine what they are told is possible “for a girl”.

Because when a girl unlocks her power to make different choices that change her life, it inspires others to do so too. She starts a ripple effect that impacts her family, her community, her country.

That’s the Girl Effect.

Maria quote FINAL 2

If a girl believes in herself and her community believes in her, a whole belief system can change to uplift her.  

Maria Eitel, Chair, Girl Effect
Real girls, real lives respondent India5

Real girls, real lives, connected, 2018

A global study by Girl Effect and the Vodafone Foundation into girls’ access to and usage of mobile, told through 3,000 voices

Zathu launch

Zathu launches, 2017

A new youth brand to unite boys and girls in Malawi

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Girls Connect pilots, 2017

A first-of-its-kind mobile platform for girls, developed in partnership with the iSON Group

Springster research group

Springster launches, 2017

A global mobile platform to propel a new generation of connected girls


Mobile World Congress, 2017

Girl Effect former CEO, Farah Ramzan Golant, speaks about the power of mobile innovation in girls hands

TEGA pilot

TEGA pilots, 2014

Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors pioneer a brand new research methodology in Kano, Nigeria

Girls Summit

Girl Summit, 2014

Alongside UNICEF, Girl Effect co-hosts the first Girl Summit, with a mission to end FGM and child marriage

Girl Dec

Girl Declaration consultation, 2014

Insights from over 500 girls contribute to the Girl Declaration, work that leads to girls' needs being recognised in the SDGs in 2016

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Yegna launches, 2012

Ethiopian youth brand, Yegna, meaning 'ours' in Amharic, launches in Addis

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Ni Nyampinga's first edition, 2011

Youth brand Ni Nyampinga launches in Rwanda with a magazine made for girls, written and distributed by girls

Our journey


Ethiopian youth brand Yegna expands on its existing 8.5m reach with a new TV drama enabling over 90% of the population to access the brand. Ni Nyampinga, already a truly national movement in Rwanda, strengthens its impact through a new weekly radio drama featuring the perspectives of both girls and boys. 

In Nigeria, Girls Connect builds on the striking success of its pilot, going live across Kano and Edo States with a campaign to galvanise girls’ calls. TEGA pioneers new research innovations and grows its impact through partnerships with the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Australian Government’s Department for Foreign Affairs and TradeSpringster continues to expand its digital footprint across the world, whilst deepening its impact through the development of a new chatbot with the potential to reach millions of girls with advice on sexual health.

And Girl Effect and Vodafone Foundation release Real girls, real lives, connected, the world’s first comprehensive global study into adolescent girls’ access and usage of mobile phones.


Following a partnership with Facebook Free Basics, Girl Effect Mobile becomes Springster – a mobile platform connecting girls to each other, as well as the content, services and advice they need to reach their full potential.   

Girl Effect launches youth brand Zathu in Malawi, as part of a partnership with PEPFAR DREAMS. Zathu uses the power of music and storytelling to unite and encourage friendships between boys and girls. It aims to close the gender gap and reduce the high rates of HIV in girls. 

TEGA, Girl Effect’s multi award-winning mobile-based research tool pilots in the US, in Saginaw, Michigan, to trial its application in a developed world context and better understand the lives of girls and women in Saginaw.

Meanwhile the Girls Connect pilot launches in Nigeria, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with iSON Group. The on-demand mobile platform combines the power of storytelling with the one-to-one support of trained staff.


Girl Effect forms a new kind of partnership with Gavi to tackle cervical cancer – a huge killer in the Global South. GAVI supports countries in buying HPV vaccines, while Girl Effect uses the power of its youth brands to help girls feel able to seek out the vaccines.

Ni Nyampinga, the first youth brand in Rwanda made for girls, by girls is 5 years old, reaching 6.6m people (79% of the population over 10) and positively influencing girls’ confidence and community attitudes to gender equality. 

Meanwhile the first TEGA network goes live in Abuja, Nigeria. Through TEGA, girls collect data about their world in real time. This helps girls gain employable skills, while providing Girl Effect and partners with authentic, meaningful insights to inform all our work.


In September, Girl Effect becomes an independent organisation, with Farah Ramzan Golant as new CEO.

As a result of relentless work by Girl Effect and 25 development partners, the Girl Declaration ensures girls feature prominently in the Sustainable Development Goals. It’s a landmark moment – the first time girls’ needs are explicitly and substantively included in the global development framework.


The first TEGA pilot runs in Kano, Northern Nigeria. 

Alongside UNICEF – with the support of UK Prime Minister, David Cameron – Girl Effect host the first Girl Summit, aiming to end FGM and child marriage. As a result of the event, 19 countries commit to ending FGM and child marriage within a generation.


Girl Effect speaks with more than 500 adolescent girls living in poverty, to understand their hopes, fears, practical needs, and ideas for solutions to the challenges they face.

These insights inform the Girl Declaration – a concrete set of goals, targets and indicators created with over 25 development partners, with the ambition to inspire a deep girl-focus within development institutions. 


Girl Effect unveils Yegna, Ethiopia’s first brand for teens. Initially a radio drama, Yegna – meaning ‘ours’ – follows five girls who face their own challenges but come together through a love of music to form a band.


Girl Effect launches Ni Nyampinga as a magazine and radio show. It starts with 7 girl journalists aged 15-24 reporting stories about local girls who break from restrictive norms. The name Ni Nyampinga is chosen by girls, and means ‘a girl who is beautiful inside and out and makes good decisions’.  


Girl Hub is launched by the Nike Foundation and DFID. The partnership leads to the creation of the Girl Summit, to accelerate progress on issues affecting girls. It also launches the SPRING incubator, to support entrepreneurs developing products and services that improve girls lives.

Girl Effect starts to focus on the program models that have been most successful, and have the biggest potential to scale.


Girl Effect’s work challenges people to think differently about girls. From the launch of film The Clock is Ticking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, to collaborations with the Novo Foundation, the United Nations Foundation and many other partners.


Girl Effect is launched in 2004 by the Nike Foundation and its partners. Founded on a single premise: that the most effective way to break the cycle of global poverty is to improve the situation of adolescent girls.

Youth brands

What we do

We create youth brands and mobile platforms that millions of young people love and interact with. In ways that empower girls to change their lives.

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Our impact

With the support of our partners, our youth brands and mobile platforms reach an estimated 29 million people in a year across over 50 countries.

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