"We've taken the positive aspects of Rwanda culture and reframed them to address the girls' needs and unique challenges." Kate Wedgwood

Panel Discussion: Spotlight on Progress "Brands, Media and Communications: Powerful Tools to Shift Social Norms for Girls"

Context: This presentation is from one of the 14 "Spotlights on Progress" video-recorded sessions from the Girl Summit 2014, London, United Kingdom (UK). The sessions were organised to share best practice between practitioners, grassroots activists, and government ministers across the issues of female genital mutilation (FGM) (also FGM/C - female genital mutilation/cutting) and child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM). Girl Summit is a project of the Department for International Development (DFID), UK.

Profile of speaker: A featured panelist of this Spotlight session was Kate Wedgwood, Country Director, Girl Hub Rwanda, whose presentation was entitled "Ni Nyampinga, Rwanda", describing a branded multi-media social platform with stories to inspire girls and connect them to role models. Click here for a video on the project.

Strategy overview: Ms. Wedgwood showed a video clip about the Ni Nyampinga initiative, which uses magazines, radio, and outreach in villages through clubs for girls, youth mentors/ambassadors, and health workers. "The initiative aims to provide information for girls and positive role models, and also to inform parents and to help them talk to their daughters about all these issues." Click here for the video shown for the conference session. 

"Launched in November 2011, Ni Nyampinga is Rwanda’s first teen brand. In Kinyarwanda it means 'the beautiful girl - inside and out - who makes good decisions.' This saying defines successful girls as doers and leaders of their community". Ni Nyampinga is a quarterly magazine and a weekly radio show, created for girls by girls. "But more than that, it is becoming a movement in Rwanda. Ni Nyampinga's latest platform is Ni Nyampinga Mobile, a digital platform that delivers critical tools and information to girls throughout Rwanda. The initiative has contributed to a national conversation about the power of girls to change things for themselves and for their country ('the girl effect') and has helped to increase girls' self esteem and confidence." Wedgwood identified 5 key learnings: "be rooted in local culture; put girls in the lead; be fun; be of value (provide accessible and meaningful information that girls need and want); [and] act, learn, act [innovate, keep checking in with girls' learning and trying new things]."

Overview of this Summit Session: From the Girl Summit summary document: "New and traditional media, brand platforms and communications strategies are proven tools that have triggered discussions and shifted perceptions. Speakers will give examples of how these tools are being used to change how girls see themselves and are perceived in their communities, as well to elevate the dialogue on key issues to national levels and beyond."

The speakers, in order of appearance, are:

Susan Shabangu, Minister of Women in the Presidency, South Africa.

Daniela Colombo, President, AIDOS - Italian Association for Women in Development.

Dr. Ben Cislaghi, Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning, Tostan.

Bruktawit Tigabu Tadesse, Co-founder, Whizz Kids.

Efua Dorkenoo, Programme Director, End FGM/C Social Change Campaign.

Poonam Muttreja (Executive Director, Population Foundation of India.

Kate Wedgwood (Country Director, Girl Hub Rwanda) .

Dr. Amal Mahmoud Abdalla (Secretary General of National Council for Child Welfare).

The session is moderated by Eric Levine, Interim CEO Stars Foundation."

Footage of this (available below) and other "Spotlights" are available on DFID’s YouTube channel.

The Girl Summit is a project of DFID. Click here and scroll down to see the full list of individuals and organisations committed to working on girls' issues, as well as a list of Girl Summit Charter signatories.


DFID Girl Summit Outcomes website and the Girl Hub website, both accessed on August 18 2015.

See video