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Reach for the SKY

25 March, 2022

Difficult choices, friendships put to the test, celebrity guest appearances, love interests… these are the ingredients of an aspirational teen girl drama. But our question is how to create this whilst also spreading a social behaviour change message? Enter SKY Girls, our pan-African teen girl empowerment programme funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Since launching SKY in 2013, we’ve become experts at changing the behaviour of teen girls across social and health issues, including tobacco. Instead of switching girls off by preaching about the harms of smoking, SKY’s approach is to create cool, relatable girl-led content – and then incorporate smoking messages within it.

This was a big week for SKY, as we launched a TV show in Kenya ­ – ‘Paa, Born To Fly’ – and our third feature-length movie in Ghana – Sugar, Spice N’ Sauce 3’. Each was created in close collaboration with local agencies, resulting in highly relatable and entertaining storylines with added behaviour change power which have had girls flocking. In the first week since launch, our content has had combined viewership of over half a million on YouTube, and PAA has launched on Citizen, Kenya’s biggest TV channel.

SKY channels have reached an estimated 6.1 million girls and counting, across five countries and launching in Nigeria this year. SKY Girls demonstrates the scale and impact possible by starting first with the target audience not the issue, creating entertainment content that girls love and putting the social messaging in their hands.

By Alice Railton

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