Girls Connect – Girl Effect’s innovative IVR (interactive voice response) mobile service for girls – is being scaled across Nigeria, following a successful pilot last year. In July, the programme will be launched state-wide across Kano and Edo states in Nigeria, in both Hausa and Pidgin, thanks to a number of partners coming on board to support.

Girls Connect is a pioneering partnership between the iSON Group – one of Africa’s leading IT and ITeS companies – and Girl Effect. Together we’ve developed a unique mobile platform to enable girls in Nigeria to anonymously explore and express their curiosities about growing up.

Natalie Au, Director of Gender at Girl Effect, said:

“It has been incredible to see the impact a service like Girls Connect can have. In the pilot phase, we started to see girls put into practice what they learnt from the stories and conversations they had with the role models – from opening bank accounts to starting apprenticeships that will lead them to starting their own business. Girls Connect has been deliberately designed to be replicable and scalable, regardless of geography, and we are already starting to explore how we can adapt the service for other markets outside of Nigeria.”

Keeping the cost of using the service to a minimum is critical to making the service accessible to vulnerable girls. At press conferences in Nigeria this week, the following partners pledged their support: the Kano and Edo State Governors, the Kano and Edo Ministry of Women Affairs, 9mobile, Airtel, and Arewa24.

This July, Girls Connect launches state-wide across Kano and Edo states in Nigeria

In 2017, Girl Effect ran a small pilot over an eight week period in five locations in Kano state, Northern Nigeria. The service received more than 44,000 calls – five times more calls than expected – demonstrating incredibly high demand for the service. Girls Connect went on to be nominated for a GSMA Global Mobile Award in the Social Good category and was a finalist in D&AD’s Impact awards.

Ramesh Awtaney, Founder and Chairman, iSON Group said:

“Human beings live on hope. Through Girls Connect IVR service, girls in Nigeria have access to a key platform free of cost where their quest is answered and their faith reinstated to live lives powerfully.  The program shaped up by iSON Group and Girl Effect is a collaborative effort of how technology and content can be the interface to connect and share to fortify the bond of human race.”

Find out about our work in Nigeria

Learn more about Girls Connect