Girl Determined

Girl Determined is a leadership project designed to assist girls ages 12-17 to avoid the pitfalls of trafficking, dangerous labor and other forms of violence, by facilitating girls' recognition of their personal and group potential. Because of our belief in girls as potential change-agents in their households, communities and nations, our program aims to increase girls' ability to make strategic life-decisions, generate choices and exercise bargaining power. This real empowerment creates opportunities for girls to better cope with their difficulties, envision alternatives and take leadership into their own hands. The underlying premise of Girl Determined work is that educating, connecti...

Girl Determined
77 Dhamazedi Road
Sanchaung Township
Yangon, Yangon 11111
Myanmar
9595450015996
http://www.girldetermined.org

Board of Directors

Hla Mon, Khin Hla, Salai Isaac Khen, Susanna Soe, brooke Zobrist, Thazin Min

Project Leaders

Brooke Z

Mission

Girl Determined is a leadership project designed to assist girls ages 12-17 to avoid the pitfalls of trafficking, dangerous labor and other forms of violence, by facilitating girls' recognition of their personal and group potential. Because of our belief in girls as potential change-agents in their households, communities and nations, our program aims to increase girls' ability to make strategic life-decisions, generate choices and exercise bargaining power. This real empowerment creates opportunities for girls to better cope with their difficulties, envision alternatives and take leadership into their own hands. The underlying premise of Girl Determined work is that educating, connecting, supporting and fostering the development of personal and group voice amongst marginalized adolescent girls will derail cycles of abuse, poverty and neglect. Not only is adolescence a period when girls are gaining abstract thinking skills and sexual awareness, it is a time when they are all too quickly being pressured to take on adult responsibility and this is particularly for girls, resulting in lost growth and development opportunities. The rights of girls in Burma is often regarded as being equal to that of boys and girls rights, in general, is not thought of as a serious issue in the country, despite the fact that the sexual exploitation and the trafficking of young girls to China for forced marriage, for example, continues to increase, or that the so-called "un-wrapping" of girls (selling young, virgin girls into prostitution) continues to take place on the outskirts of Burma's most prosperous cities-Rangoon and Mandalay. This apathy, social acceptance and tolerance of rights violations against girls smacks of an underlying gender discrimination: a discrimination which forces more girls to drop out of school so their male siblings can continue; compels girls to engage in child labour, to support their families income or, more accurately, the short, often paltry economic interests of their parents/household at the expense of the best interest of the child. Girl Determined's work empowers girls to achieve that which is in their own best interest while working structurally to establish mechanisms for greater awareness of the specific needs of adolescent girls, their protection and increasing their life-opportunities. Girl Determined employs a three-pronged strategic approach: 1. Individual transformation - Adolescent girls will go through some form of personal transformation lending to a change in a girl's understanding of personal power and rights. Shifts will include reduction of shame and fear regarding violence, ability to identify and express situations of discrimination, value of self and education, motivation and skill to actively make decisions about ones future. 2. Network mobilization - Girls will develop a sense of connectedness with girls from across the country through their shared experiences and complex differences. By bringing girls together across space, through 'by-girls, for-girls' media projects, Girls' Forum and our Girls Advisory Board, girls will mobilize as defenders and actors. This wide network also creates a structure through which other programs could potentially be realized. 3. Research and Advocacy - Evidence-based research will assist Girl Determined in bringing increased attention to the plight and power of the girl child in Burma. We will focus research and related advocacy domestically, pushing governmental and non-governmental agencies to recognize the specific needs of girls in their programming.

Programs

Girls We Serve Girl Determined targets girls aged 12-17 living in poor communities in and around Rangoon and Mandalay. These areas tend to be very poor, industrial zones with large populations on the move. These girls are vulnerable to extreme poverty, HIV infection, dangerous labor, sexual violence and trafficking. What we see is a lower number of girls attending and completing schools, especially beyond sixth grade, a significant chore burden for girls, limits on girls mobility and exposure. The outcome of these realities has been, despite their curiosity and engagement, girls often lack self-confidence, have poor communication skills, lack vision for themselves, have limited relationship skills and exhibit self-harming behaviors. Girls come from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds. Some communities are predominantly of a single ethnic tradition while others are mixed. We reach Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindu girls. Economic and political repression has led to extreme poverty as well as the sidelining of women's issues in the larger social justice movement. As such, girls, especially in this age group, have few social services available to them, including space to share and lack of female mentors. Colorful Girls' Circles, importantly, seeks to address the whole girl. As opposed to projects that address a single issue, for example micro-credit or school scholarships, Colorful Girls Circles go deep, facilitating the development of girls' ability to make good decisions and better manage all aspects of their individual and group lives. Girl Determined's core program is Colorful Girls Circles. It is integral to the first element of our strategic approach - Individual Transformation. Colorful Girls Circles are also the basis for all of our programming. In 2013 Colorful Girls Circles will reach 1200 girls on a weekly basis. The circles, based in council format, are nine-month long peer processing groups, limited to 15 girls. Reflecting our research and the independent findings in the fields of public health and education, we have created a girl-centered, strengths-based curriculum that aims to develop the whole girl. In addition to confidence, deepened tolerance and decision-making skills, the group activities impart important financial literacy and reproductive health knowledge. Teenage girls need safe spaces, mentors and social networks for positive personal development. Colorful Girls Circles are run weekly as an after-school program. Circles are completely voluntary, though some school leaders show greater commitment through ensuring the physical space is always prepared for our activities, informing and actively advocating amongst parents and openly encouraging girls' attendance. All Colorful Girls Circles are run by trained, Girl Determined staff facilitators. The Colorful Girls Circle curriculum is comprised of 5 fundamental modules developed to strengthen girls' protective factors. Our activities-based curriculum topics have come out of research on adolescent girl development in other contexts and the expressed and observed needs by girls in Burma. The five modules and the broad objectives are as follows: 1. 'Looking In' - get the girls comfortable with sharing in the circle and begin to understand that there is no 'right way' or 'wrong way' to be themselves. 2. 'Relationships with others' - Practice express ones needs and communicating them in productive manner. 3. Ethnic and Religious Diversity - Girls can identify cultural messages about religion and ethnic identity as a step towards uncovering myths as well as allowing for a more complex understanding of identity. 4. Paths to the Future - Girls will be able to weigh risks and opportunities of job offers through a rights-based lens. 5. Mind and Body - Girls will understand the fundamentals of puberty and reproduction, including HIV transmission. Strategy 2: Movement Building - Peacebuilding Summer Camp and Annual Girls' Forum This individual shift will begin to influence institutions, at first, at the household and community-level. Participants will become change agents in their schools, communities, social groups and families. Girls will find strength and structural power in their connectedness to girls in their communities as well as girls from other communities. We are currently increasing cross-site activities and larger gatherings from girls. Girls Forum - Girls Forum brings together girls from the various communities in an all-day, theme-based workshop. Girls come from Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian backgrounds and represent a wide-variety of ethnic groups. In 2013, we will hold Colorful Girls Forums in Rangoon and in Mandalay, allowing all the girls a chance to attend. Leaders Peace building Summer Camp - In 2013, we will implement our second-ever, Peace building Summer Camp for Girl Leaders. The camp will reach 100 girls of a wide-variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds who have exhibited leadership strengths and a keen desire to increase their participation in the 'girl movement.' Adolescence is a critical time for individual and group identity formation. As such, we believe the impact of building strong communication and conflict management at this time will lead to strengthening the voice of girls and women. Indicators of success - 70% of the participating girls score higher in self-efficacy survey on at least three critical questions at the close of the school year. - A majority of girls self-report improved understanding of ethnic and religious diversity in program evaluation at the close of camp and in interviews 4 months post. - A majority of girls report making a new friend from another area when we discuss with them the Girls Forum in their Circles.

Statistics on Girl Determined

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $25
    give
  • $60
    give
  • $120
    give
  • $175
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $60
    each month
    give
  • $120
    each month
    give
  • $175
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?