Eliminating barriers girls in Nigeria face in accessing support on mobile phones

In 2018, Girl Effect launched its partnership with 9mobile - an innovative, youth-focussed mobile network operator in Nigeria - to support the ongoing success of Girls Connect. The partnership will provide unlimited minutes and a toll-free line to Girls Connect, eliminating cost as a barrier to girls accessing the service.

Combining the power of storytelling with one-to-one support, Girls Connect is a first-of-its-kind mobile innovation for girls, developed by Girl Effect in partnership with the iSON Group.

Girls dial a number and listen to pre-recorded stories containing inspiring, entertaining and educational lessons about their lives, covering multifaceted issues including violence, healthcare, personal finance and education. Not only can girls listen to these stories, but they are also connected to a 'role model': specially-trained iSON call centre operatives who can answer girls’ questions truthfully and talk through the stories they have heard to make them more meaningful and relevant to their own lives.

There has been significant demand for the service. During a small scale pilot conducted in 2017 in two areas of Nigeria, the service received over 44,000 calls.

Girls Connect scales across Nigeria

The Girls Connect service received 44,000 calls

Keeping the cost of using the service to a minimum for girls is critical to the accessibility of the programme to vulnerable girls. 9mobile, which has millions of customers across Nigeria, will provide unlimited minutes and a toll-free line to the Girls Connect service.

Boye Olusanya, the CEO at 9mobile said,

“We are pleased to have been given the opportunity to partner with Girl Effect and iSON on this laudable initiative that is ‘Girls Connect’. At 9mobile, we are passionate about empowering the youth to succeed in life; and are committed to equipping them with all that we can, to enable this. In this instance, we are well-placed to provide toll-free access to information on how to survive and thrive, to girl children in particular and indeed all our subscribers.

“In addition to our array of social developmental initiatives that we are implementing on our Corporate Social Responsibility platforms of Education, Health and the Environment; this is yet another opportunity for us to drive the sustainable development of young girls and women. As we know, the female members of society are specially recognized for their pivotal role in shaping any society. Therefore we expect that this partnership and our contributions to it, will have far-reaching positive impact on the wellness of the Nigerian society."

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