The annual Gaelic traditional festival, St. Brigit’s Day, celebrates Ireland’s only female patron saint and heralds the start of spring. It signals the end of the darkness of winter and welcomes hope, brightness and growth. On 1 February 2022, Aidlink will join the Brigit 2022 initiative of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland, in celebrating women and discuss the value of and challenges to girls’ education in the global north and global south. This is a free event hosted by Aidlink on Zoom at 12.30-13.30 on Tuesday 1 February, join us!

To register, please send your name and details to and we will send you a zoom link. Then just click on the zoom event link at 12.30pm on Tuesday 1 February to join!

This event will be hosted by Aidlink. 2022 is a special year for Aidlink, marking 40 years working to achieve gender equality and end poverty in Africa. This event will be moderated by Annet Evara, Aidlink board member.

The panel discussion will be followed by a 30 minute Q&A, during which all attendees are invited to prepare and pose questions to the speakers and Aidlink CEO Anne Cleary, as well as share their own experiences and insights.

Speakers include:

Girls from the Maasai and Turkana nomadic pastoral communities in Turkana and Kajiado, Kenya and from marginalised communities in Uganda, tend to have low attendance rates due negative traditional norms such as gender bias, feminine hygiene issues, domestic responsibilities. These issues often result in poor outcomes for the girl child, including low attendance, early drop-out rate, early marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, early pregnancies and gender-based violence.

With school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were reminded of the importance of schools not only as education facilities, but also as a place of refuge, safety and development for the most at-risk children in both the global south and global north. With the phased re-opening of schools, girls across Kenya, Uganda and Ireland continue to face barriers to attaining an equitable education.

Both Kenya and Uganda have reported considerable rises in teen pregnancies since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures. Kenya has seen a 40% increase in teenage pregnancies while Uganda is reporting an increase of 22.5%. Schools in Kenya closed in March 2020 and were fully re-opened in January 2021. The 15 million out of school children in Uganda were amongst the world’s worst affected by school closures, as schools re-opened after almost 2 years on 10 January 2022.

School closures in Ireland also affected girls’ education and exacerbated existing barriers to education. In Ireland, a minority of students become disengaged with education due to a range of challenges, including mental health issues, learning difficulties, a lack of confidence, as well as economic and societal issues which create obstacles on the pathway to learning and development.

During this conversation, we will hear about the challenges to and progress of girls’ education in Uganda, Kenya and Ireland from our distinguished panel of women whose work focuses on empowering and safeguarding girls to engage in education and attend school. The floor will then open where attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions to the panel and CEO Aidlink Anne Cleary, as well as share their own experiences.

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We’re also very keen to hear from you. If you are interested in supporting us and becoming more involved in Aidlink please contact for more information.

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#Brigit’22 #Girls’Education #EducateEnableEmpower