Monday 26 November in Lusaka, Zambia
My first visit since arriving in Zambia was to a UK aid adolescent girls empowerment programme in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of the capital, Lusaka. This initiative is supporting more than 1,500 of the most vulnerable girls, providing safe spaces and mentoring to help build their confidence and life skills.
Perhaps most inspiring are the girls' hopes for the future. They are encouraged to dream big. When I asked the girls what they wanted to do in life, hands shot up around the room. They wanted to be doctors, lawyers, journalists, nurses, teachers - one even said President of Zambia, to much applause.
Girls like these will negotiate greater security and opportunity for women in Zambia. But they will also need role models and wider support if they are to achieve their ambitious goals - an issue I have since been discussing with key Zambian ministers.
This programme will reach 10,000 girls hopefully unleashing a powerful 'girl effect' that will challenge social norms and practices of violence and discrimination against women in Zambia.
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