Cheers to a New Year!

"I'm looking at myself as more than 'successful' -- Let us be these facilitators willing to do more, give more, to keep learning...."

- GEF Kenya graduate and Mentor for the Young Leaders Clubs

Happy New Year to you all!

As we reflect on the past year and look forward to 2017, we see the above quote as an example of the growing impact of our partners and their work with children and youth. It demonstrates the confidence of an emerging young leader who shows a clear intent to do more for others while also improving his knowledge and experience base. This seems to us to be one important way to think about success for a program aiming to create confident and thoughtful leaders. How else is progress and impact being assessed across the different programs?

Evidence from partner's tracking of the girls and boys (during and after they leave the program) suggests that partners are seeing youth continue their education because they (and often their parents) have understood the importance of education like the children enrolled in the Miguel Asturias Academy and the girls involved the ADIMTU leadership program. In addition, partners are seeing graduates use their newly gained skills in social entrepreneurship and leadership - often with a strong interest to give back to others like the youth from the PACE and GEF Kenya programs. The new GURU-G pilot is also seeing early changes in confidence and knowledge of the girls with whom they are working.

We are convinced that we should not underestimate the importance of our partners' interventions for the hundreds of girls and boys who have participated in their programs. Going forward, we are committed to supporting our partners' efforts to refine their approaches, to improve how they think about and measure success, and then work with them as they share the emerging stories of their hard-earned lessons, challenges and successes.

As we begin 2017, not only do we reflect on the different accomplishments achieved, but we also give thanks to those who made them possible. First and foremost to our partners for their inspiring work and continued persistence to reach more children and youth. And, second, to each of you who have walked with and supported Global Education Fund - whether over many years or just recently - you truly are making a difference.

Our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to all,

Kathy Bartlett
Global Education Fund Executive Director