Our stories have a healing purpose and are meant to be shared.  As we are able to better know our own stories, we are better able to take in the humanity of those around us. On the first day of the Indaba, The Gathering and Narration Day, the girls will call participants to the Indaba and share with them stories of their ordeal in their pursuit of life. A Bemba adage (one of Zambia’s local languages), goes, icikalipa cumfwo mwine’ meaning the one who suffers the pain is the one who feels its intensity and describes it the best.  Therefore, the Gathering and Narration Day will be girl-led and girl-organised and the girls will narrate stories of their pain and suffering with those around them.  The narration of the stories of pain and suffering is part of the healing journey.


The narration of the stories of suffering and pain is based on the premise that we hold our stories in our bodies. The extent that we learn how to release them affects how we perceive and approach our lives. The girls will be given a chance to tell the story of their own suffering and pain as a way of helping them understand their own narrative outside of what’s been told to them.  Narration of pain gives access to one’s story due to trauma. The Indaba will give space and courage to enable the girlst o share their truth with the world. It will empower the girls to identify, understand and tap into the healing power of their stories. 


Therefore, the first day of the Indaba will offer a new paradigm for healing, personal growth, self-care and community action for girl empowerment through an embodied storytelling and writing practice.  The power of this day is that it will take the girls and other Indaba participants beyond a series of presentations toward healing through storytelling through phases of awakening, listening, expression, inspiration, connection, and growing. The narration will provide girls and even the Indaba participants a comforting yet equally empowering process to find a path to themselves and find deep connection with the world around them especially those who suffer marginalisation and deep hurts like the girls. 

The girls understand that “it takes a whole village to educate a child,” and therefore the girls will invite to the Indaba several stakeholders to a conversation where they will state the real experience of an African girl and her struggle to attain an education; the girls will state what they feel the issue is. The Gathering and Narration will involve the full participation of a wide range of stakeholders. It will serve to convey the collective statement of the girls and youth on what the real issues surrounding girl education in Africa are in the wake of COVID-19. The Gathering and Narration will call the global public, youth, teachers, civil society, religious leaders and others to listen, to see and be attentive to the experience of the girls.



Girl-led Gathering Day Programme

17th MAY 2023



Masters of ceremony:
Youth Leader South Africa
Youth Leader Zambia





08:30 – 9:00



09:00 – 10.00













































I.      Opening: “The Gathering and Narration”  - Global Education Village – girls constitute a global conversation on creating gender-responsive and transformation


1.     Opening performance

·       Music

·       Cultural dance

2. Keynote interventions from youth

·       Girl education activist

·       BPE Girl Uganda

·       Fe y Alegria Chad

3. Youth-led Conversation on the Impact what happened to the girls when schools closed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

·       Moderator:  Youth leader

II.     Engaging Girls: Girls at the centre of creating gender-responsive transformative education.


1. Introduction: Why engaging girls matters? Presentation by CAMFED Zambia


Meaningfully engaging girls in transforming education (Video): Keynote intervention by Sr Jane Wakahiu, OSF, Hilton Foundation.


Part 2: Fireside Chat

Head of UNICEF Africa

Youth leader, Malawi

Youth leader Tanzania


Part 3: Improving girl and youth participation in creating gender responsive education systems


Moderator: Youth leader Madagascar



·       Fe y Alegria, Spain

·       Columbia

·       Minister of Education, Rwanda

·       Youth leader, Cameroun

·       Youth leader, Uganda


12:00 – 13:00

III.    Intersectional Areas for Gender-Responsive and Transformative Education - Thematic Breakout sessions Parallel thematic sessions in breakout rooms:


·       Breakout session 1 – System-wide approach to school organisation: Safety, Gender and Inclusion lens to education analysis

·       Breakout session 2 – Leadership of girls and women: Their role as agents of change.

·       Breakout session 3 – Action to bring all girls back to school

·       Breakout session 4 – Girls’ holistic education, health and protection needs.

·       Breakout session 5 – Educate yourself about the education needs of refugee girls


13:00 – 14:30

Lunch Break


14:30 – 15:30

IV.   Dialogue with the Minister of Education, Rwanda, girls and youth leaders on the role of girls and young people in creating gender-responsive and transformative education.


Moderator: Youth Leader, M

Introduction: Aegis Trust Rwanda


Girls Declaration


Part 1: Panel with the Minister of Education, Rwanda



·       Minister of Education Rwanda

·       SDG 4 Representative, Kenya

·       AU Youth Ambassador

·       Youth leader, Latin America

·       Refugee Student

·       BPE Students

·       UNICEF Inclusive Education Youth Champion, Uganda


Part 2. Handover of Girls Declaration & Photo

·       SDG4 Youth Network

·       Teacher, Uganda

·       Community leader Zambia



V.     Girls Declaration – opportunities for action

This session will provide an overview of the Girls Declaration and discuss key opportunities to take its recommendations forward beyond the Indaba.


Part 1: Girls’ Declaration Overview



·       AU Youth Envoy

·       Bakhita Partnership for Education

·       SDG4Youth Network Kenya


Part 2: Going Forward - Commitments from the floor

·       Kenya Minister of Education

·       Zambia Minister of Education

·       Rwanda Minister of Education

·       Bakhita Partnership for Education

·       Hilton Foundation

·       Head Jesuit Education Network

·       SDG4 Youth

·       UNHCR Youth leader

·       UNICEF Uganda

·       UN Women

·       FAWE Uganda

·       Ghana Youth Delegate




17:00 – 17:30

Part 3: AU Youth Envoy Final Remarks and opens the floor for a plenary interaction


Building a movement for gender-responsive and transformative education. This session highlights the importance of inclusive conversations to create global movement for gender-responsive education transformation and interactively engage stakeholders in the conversation. The conversation’s interactive session involving girls, youth leaders, Govt representatives, UN representatives, and other stakeholders around the Conversation to create a shared purpose and vision for girls’ education.



17:30 – 18:00

VI.   Charting the way forward: Girl-led transformation of education for girl empowerment. This session covers what will happen beyond the Indaba including the girls-led Bakhita Partners for Education Initiative that will take the recommendations of the Girls’ Declaration forward. What’s happening next?


Moderator: Youth Leader

Girls and Youth leader Speakers:

·       Minister of Education, Zambia

·       Youth leader BPE Kenya

·       Youth leader Chad

·       Closing remarks UNICEF Zambia



The discussion on inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools brings together the latest on Inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools in times of COVID-19.