Betty Makoni received The World's Children's Prize in 2007 for her long struggle for girls in Zimbabwe to be freed from abuse and to have the same opportunities in life as boys.
Through the Girl Child Network (GCN) Betty has built three safe villages for particularly vulnerable girls and started 500 girls’ clubs with 30,000 members, mostly in rural areas and in poor townships. Betty saves girls from child labour, forced marriage, abuse, trafficking and assault.
She gives the girls food, clothes, medical care, a home, the chance to go to school, and safety. Above all, she gives the girls courage to demand respect for their rights. Tens of thousands of girls have found a better life because of Betty’s work.
Betty and GCN speak out on behalf of girls in Zimbabwe by constantly encouraging the government to take care of the country’s girls. But not everyone approves of Betty’s struggle. She has lived dangerously and is constantly being threatened for her work.
Learn more in the stories about her and the Girl Child Network from 2007.
Text: Andreas Lönn, Photos: Paul Blomgren
The facts and figures on this page were accurate at the time of writing, in 2007