Standard Chartered Malaysia’s flagship empowerment programme for adolescent girls, Goal, celebrated the graduation of its first cohort of 80 girls last weekend. The award-winning programme coaches adolescent girls aged 12 to 18 through sports and life skills education to equip them with the confidence, knowledge and skills they need to be integral economic leaders in their families, communities and societies.

Abrar Anwar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia said, “Goal is a programme that aims to safeguard girls’ access to critical economic opportunities for the future. We feel a programme such as Goal holds the key to social, political and cultural enablers which will then allow them to fulfil their economic potential, bridging the gap between men and women in society in the generations to come.” “At Standard Chartered, we recognise that gender equality is critical to economic growth. If countries around the world could achieve gender parity, global annual GDP could increase by as much as US$12 trillion by 2025. Educating girls and giving them the tools to shape their own future has an incredible multiplier effect on communities and societies,” he added.

Goal was launched in Malaysia last August, in collaboration with its international partner, Women Win, and Pertubuhan Pembangunan Kendiri Wanita dan Gadis (WOMEN:girls) as its official local implementing partner. The Goal programme is divided into four modules, focusing on key life skills such as communications, health and hygiene, women’s rights and financial literacy. Through the programme, Goal aims for the girls to grow into peer leaders, learn about themselves and gain more confidence, build friendships and network amongst themselves.

The programme was conducted through 17 weekly Goal sessions from January to May earlier this year in two hubs located in Shah Alam and Putrajaya. Since its launch, Goal has reached over 2,800 number of girls in Malaysia, and over 430,000 girls across 21 countries worldwide.

Recruitment for Goal 2.0 is now open for girls aged 13 to 18 residing in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor. Two hundred girls will be selected to undergo 20 weekly Goal sessions from January until May 2019.