Immigrant Girls Empowerment services from Sauti Yetu Center for African Women and Families


Youth Programs

Girls Empowerment and Leadership (GELI) provides immigrant girls ages 13-24 years the academic and social support they need to ease their transition into a new country, a new school system, and adulthood. In New York City, the program provides the following services:
Academic and Educational Support
We work with immigrant high school students, particularly English Language Learners (ELLs) with limited or interrupted formal schooling (SIFE), who have never attended school prior to their arrival and/or who are struggling to earn high school credits to graduate. GELI provides intensive academic support during school hours and after school.
Leadership Development
Built upon a foundation of asset-based and gender-focused youth development, the program employs theater and the arts to enhance the following skills:
  • LEADERSHIP in school, community and at home;
  • VOICE  by encouraging young women to speak out/up and express themselves in and outside of the classroom); and
  • CULTURAL NEGOTIATION by building skills to negotiate cultural nuances and conflicts with integrity.
Comprehensive Case Management
We support immigrant girls with school enrollment, referrals and accompaniment to social services, medical care, and emergency counseling. The program aids in integrating students back into family life and schooling after being separated. Lastly, GELI helps immigrant girls and their families find the appropriate resources to address the challenges they face in their day-to-day lives.
We promote immigrant girls leadership on issues that impact their lives most critically, which include:
  • Forced Early Marriage;
  • Educational Access;
  • Access to Reproductive and Sexual Health Information & Services;
  • Family Reunification;
  • Violence; and
  • Support for married youth.
Research/Technical Assistance/Training
GELI provides technical assistance and training based on original and participatory research. The purpose is to engage immigrant youth, educators, researchers, activists, social workers, policy makers, social service agencies, and community-based organizations in a deeper exploration of the overlapping issues inherent in immigration, gender and youth.The program comprehensively weaves together a network of support vital to the successful adjustment of immigrant African girls to the United States.
 GELI currently operates in the following schools
  • Bronx International High School, Bronx, NY (since 2007)
  • International High School at Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (since 2008)
  • International Community High School, Bronx, NY (since 2009)
  • Urban Science Academy, Brooklyn, NY (since 2011)
Request GELI at your school
If you would like to collaborate with Sauti Yetu by bringing the program to your school, please contact the Program Director Ms. Laurette Nsanse by email at: or T: 718-665-2486, ext. 220.