Equality for Women and Girls


Picture of Starfish girl teaching about Sexual and Reproductive Health

In the Sololá Department, known for its extremely poor health indicators and high rates of poverty, only about 5% of Mayan girls complete secondary school. Starfish aims to change that, attempting to reach 500 indigenous girls over 20 years and radically transform their educational and life prospects. Since 2008, Starfish has operated its Girl Pioneers Program for girls in secondary school, which uses partial academic scholarships, positive peer support and supplemental life skills and academic support to enable participants to stay in school and develop a clear idea of their skills, talents and interests. With Summit’s support, Starfish launched the New Horizons program in 2015, an initiative created to make sure that Girl Pioneers have opportunities and skills for employment, education and entrepreneurship after high school graduation. Starfish also has created the Chispa Action Network (CAN) in order to create connections between girl leaders throughout Guatemala and create “sparks” of empowerment they can bring home to their own communities. The network also exists to create synergy among diverse girl-serving entities country-wide and align these interests and interdependencies towards systemic change.

Photo © Kate Lord Photography


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