Women's Tabloid

Home Industry InsightsBanking Standard Chartered empowers 15,000 Girls in Sri Lanka through Goal Girl Empowerment Project

Standard Chartered empowers 15,000 Girls in Sri Lanka through Goal Girl Empowerment Project

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

Standard Chartered has made significant strides in empowering 15,000 young women and girls from underprivileged areas in Sri Lanka through its Goal Girl Empowerment Project. This initiative is a key part of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, the bank’s global drive to combat inequality and promote economic inclusion for disadvantaged youth, particularly those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Goal Girl Empowerment Project, which began in 2017, is funded by the Standard Chartered Foundation and executed by Women Win and SERVE, a Sri Lankan NGO. The program targets adolescent girls aged 12 to 18 from disadvantaged backgrounds, using sports and life-skills education to address gender inequality and foster economic inclusion.

Anuk De Silva, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing, highlighted the program’s impact: “Through the sports-based initiative, we have empowered over 15,000 target participants, addressing gender inequity, and creating economic inclusion among adolescent girls in Sri Lanka.” He emphasized that the project is part of their broader Futuremakers initiative, which aims to equip young people, especially girls, with the skills and confidence needed to become future leaders. “By breaking down barriers and promoting empowerment, the Goal project has paved the way for a more equitable and prosperous society,” De Silva added.

With an investment of approximately Rs. 67 million from the Standard Chartered Foundation, the Goal project has equipped young women with the confidence and skills to become economic leaders within their communities.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the program adapted by introducing the ‘Goal@Home’ Activity Book, a self-study resource translated into Sinhala and Tamil, covering themes of bravery, activity, and creativity. Support from social workers and coaches, through phone calls and home visits, enabled the girls to continue their empowerment journey despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

In 2023, as Covid-19 restrictions eased, SERVE resumed the full Goal Programme, incorporating chess as an additional sport.

Reflecting on the project’s success, SERVE Executive Director, Sanjeeva de Mel, remarked, “We are grateful for the invaluable partnership with the Standard Chartered Foundation and Women Win on the transformative Goal Girl Empowerment Project through which we’ve helped build confidence, resilience, and leadership qualities in young women and girls from several districts from urban and rural settings. Empowering the girl child is crucial for social progress and economic development in our nation. Equipping these young women with essential skills, we are also nurturing a future generation of empowered leaders who will drive positive change.”

The project concluded with a ceremonial closing event in May 2024, featuring an inter-school sports tournament attended by Standard Chartered officials and education authorities, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to foster gender equity and economic inclusion in Sri Lanka.

Recommended For You