“Research shows that girls, especially young adolescents, want someone to look up to, perhaps someone slightly older who has followed a certain life path,” explains Ruth Hoyal, Girl Effect’s Senior Manager, Brand Strategy. “Many girls have told us that they would much rather look to real-life role models than celebrities who are too far removed from their lives to be aspirational. By showing girls a picture of Rwanda’s first female mechanic, girls can begin to envisage a life that could well be within their reach.”
Smiling proudly on the front cover of Ni Nyampinga’s magazine in her work overalls, Olive is the perfect embodiment of a real-life role model. By carrying out a job traditionally viewed as ‘man’s work’, she deviates from established social norms and boldly leads the way for a whole new generation of girls, who can in turn become future role models.
Ni Nyampinga’s inspirational tales extend well beyond the workplace: Pascaline found her motivation from a teenager running in a youth election, while Nadine enjoyed reading about a female volleyball player so much that she began playing handball for her own school. Meanwhile, young mother Providence’s life was transformed when she read of another girl who returned to school soon after having a baby. “Her bravery encouraged me- to completely change my life,” she says, beaming from ear to ear. “I had to follow in her footsteps.”
Learn more about Girl Effect’s youth brands.