Our History

Girls Inspired Development Network (GIDN) was founded in 2012 by Clare Henshaw. It started off as a personal yearning to reach out to and provide mentorship to a growing number of young adolescent girls aged 10 to 16 years old in secondary schools across Nigeria who simply wanted to talk about issues affecting them both at home and in school without the fear of being judged negatively. Among some of the most pressing discussions she had with young girls, some of the most recurring issues ranged from sexual abuse, sexual health, peer pressure and a general lack of self-esteem and poverty. However, what was most alarming was the significant number of girls making poor choices on issues affecting them as a result of misinformation and confusion on stereotypes attributed to them as girls.

Another worrisome issue observed during her interaction with women, especially mothers of these young girls was the high number of vulnerable and economically disadvantaged women (especially widows) suffering from depression and  burdened with the task of single-handedly providing for their children’s welfare with little or no source of stable income, leaving them discouraged, dejected and suicidal. A number of these women were perceived to have been at a stage in their lives where they simply wanted to give-up.

The desire to bridge the gap for these vulnerable girls as well as channel lessons learned from the experiences of previous interaction of each girl/women birthed Girls Inspired Development Network.

GIDN operates with the belief that girls and young women in Africa should not be limited or held back from discovering or reaching their full potential and seeks to support a world in which African girls and women can break glass ceilings by aspiring to be anyone they want to be.

GIDN became a formally registered non-governmental and non-profit organization in October, 2016, with a vision to inspire and equip young girls and women across Africa with the right tools and resources to succeed. We are serious about changing the world for African girls. Our commitment to delivering high-impact programs for girls/women across Africa ensures that we have measurable programs with high rewards for girls and women.

GIDN is a registered non-governmental organization with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria. The Foundation receives support and donations to fund its programs from personal donations, generous private individuals, friends, corporate donations and grants from other organizations/foundations.

Our Vision

To inspire and equip young African girls and women to succeed.

Our Mission

To equip and empower young African girls and women by investing in their development, using education, innovation, technology and advocacy to improve their economic outcome.

Our Values

Growth:                      To empower young African girls and women to be a force for good  in the world. While we continue to develop creative programs and projects that have the potential to change the African continent.

Integrity:                     We will act with transparency, honesty and integrity without compromising   the truth in all our work.

Accountability:          We are responsible for the actions that influence the lives of the girls and women we impact.

Nurturing:                  We will nurture and encourage young girls and women by giving them the support and the push they need to succeed. We will celebrate small successes in our journey to achieve big things.

Cultural Diversity:     We believe that valuing diversity and inclusion enhances our ability to work with the diverse cultures in Africa. We will achieve this by respecting every girl/woman’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion and disability as well as her individual qualities, talents, perspectives, background and experiences.