Dec 4, 2019

December 2019 Update: Storytelling & Film Workshop and A Look Ahead to 2020

Storytelling & Film Workshop participants
Storytelling & Film Workshop participants

Since the first session of the pilot project ended this summer, Girl Rising Guatemala has been busy reviewing and incorporating evaluation results and planning for the second cohort of participants. 

To help with the creation of new content and expand the work with girls, in mid-September, we invited alumnae—girls who took part in Year 1—to participate in a workshop that guided the girls through the process of capturing their own compelling personal narratives on camera, told in their local languages with the goal of also developing their storytelling skills. Select content will be integrated into the curricula to give voice to local girls facing local challenges, with the aim to provide inspiration and encouragement to other girls in their communities. We look forward to seeing and sharing the girls' reactions and the impact of this localized content for the program. 

In 2020, GR will continue to work with our current partners and also start working with two others in different regions of the country: COINCIDIR in Jalapa, working with adolescent girls at the community level and EPRODEP, an organization that works with girls and boys in their schools in the outskirts of Guatemala City. With the second cohort, we intend to extend the project to new and greater numbers of girls as well as include boys, parents and community leaders to begin to shift gender attitudes and create awareness about how educating girls is proven to benefit and improve the stability and health of communities. We look forward to sharing the details in the new year!



Sep 5, 2019

Girl Rising Guatemala Report August 2019

Girls' Graduation Ceremony!
Girls' Graduation Ceremony!

Summer marked the completion of the first phase of the pilot with the REDMI and MAIA girls! Graduation ceremonies and celebrations recognized this key milestone--and most importantly the life and educational skills that each girl gained. Working with girls in and out of school provided many opportunities for GIrl Rising (GR) to learn and develop strategies to improve the program--crucial as we seek to expand the pilot to reach more girls, boys and new communities. With GR support, challenges were identified and solutions tested. For example, when attendance of older girls lagged, mostly due to family and work demands, mentors actively sought ways to improve the situation by:

  • Incorporating home visits to engage family members to see the value of this programming
  • Using the appeal and draw of content to create interest. GR witnessed the power of film at one screening where girls of all ages sat still and quiet, captivated by the landscape of Perú and the story of Senna--foreign yet familiar--and inspired by the way Senna, despite the odds, focuses on her studies with her father's encouragement. 
  • Drawing connections between the issues addressed through the stories of girls in the GR curriculum and those facing girls in Guatemala like early preganancy/marriage, child labor, access to education and violence among others. 

This commitment to improving the program was also evidenced in July when GR conducted a closing workshop with mentors from partner REDMI Aq’ab’al. We were able to discuss issues and progress as well as anything related to the final stage of the pilot program, including monitoring and evaluation tools, reporting and particular aspects of the curriculum.

It was also an opportunity to explore the personal stories and trajectories of the mentors, sharing how they got to where they are today, why they feel it’s important to work with girls and adolescents, and how GR’s program has made an impact in the communities where they hold weekly sessions. Some attested to their own difficulties in continuing their education, often due to the need to help support their families. Solidarity and a commitment to continuing this crucial work to advance girls' education was evident. 

When asked about the GR program, mentors said it opened their eyes to the issues faced by girls around the world that they hadn't realized before and developed a greater understanding of the similar challenges that also exist. The GR training and materials facilitated the mentors' growth so that could better deliver the programming to the girls and serve as a resource for them. They shared that both for the girls and themselves, an important step was to open up to new ways of thinking, information and experiences in order to connect with their own stories or those of their families. Mentors and girls explored and wrote life plans as part of the project, and these learnings helped them better integrate experiences and challenges into their plans to help articulate their vision forward. 

GR is finishing the preliminary pilot evaluation to refine materials and delivery for next year's implementation. We are also kicking off September with a much-anticipated storytelling workshop for REDMI girls and look forward to sharing the amazing results in a future report!

Engaged with the GR content
Engaged with the GR content
Mentors with the new Brave Girl Rising flag.
Mentors with the new Brave Girl Rising flag.
Jun 6, 2019

Girl Rising Guatemala June 2019 Report

REDMI Aq'ab'al Participants
REDMI Aq'ab'al Participants

During the past three months, the GR Guatemala pilot with our partners REDMI and MAIA has been in full swing, and we are nearing the completion of the sessions.

With both groups, the mentors who lead the sessions report that the girls are identifying with the materials and understanding these issues in the context of their own community. Many of the REDMI participants shared that gender-based violence and forced-labor is something they have witnessed, along with lack of access to education, that resonates the most for them from the stories of other girls from around the world.  

With REDMI, we are working with more girls and a larger age range than anticipated, with approximately 230 girls ages 5 to 16 years, participating in eight rural communities of Nahualá and Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán in Sololá. Because REDMI works at the community level, any girls who would like to attend may do so, whether they are in school or not and regardless of their age (although most girls who are participating are between 10 and 12 years of age). Due to home and other responsibilities, it can be difficult for older adolescents to come to sessions, so GR is adapting our resources to be effective with all. The range and number of girls interested has been tremendous, which highlights the need and enthusiasm for this project.

At the MAIA school, girls have discussed the privilege they have of access to education beyond grade 5 and have learned to identify allies and supporters of their education who’ve helped make this possible. This sense of the importance and power of community action for change was seen during one activity where the girls made a paper plane and talked about where they would dream to travel. During this session, one of the 9th grade groups decided to conduct a collective imaginary trip instead of an individual one, "because together we can achieve our goals and dreams, supporting each other and forming a support network.”

In early May, the girls from both groups met with a group of GR staff and board members who were eager to see the project in action. These were special visits for all! At MAIA, GR observed a session with the GR curriculum and also spoke with mentors and students about the pilot program. Additionally, GR staff had the tremendous opportunity to visit the homes and meet the families of two girls with everyone participating in joint learning activities. The girls at the REDMI program in the community of Xeabaj II impressed the GR staff and board with an incredible dramatic play they created and performed. They told the story of one girl and the attitudes and challenges she faced to get an education because of migration of the father and economic difficulties faced by the mother, highlighting the importance of engaging parents and adults to getting girls into school.

Future Plans

As we near the end of the pilot program in July, we have received enthusiastic feedback from the participating mentors and girls and thoughtful recommendations for additional engaging activities to include in the curriculum. The girls participating are eager to explore how to better support other girls in their communities as well as throughout the country. The pilot evaluation and analysis will be completed by August, which will then be used to adjust and improve our curriculum accordingly.

In the future, we are hoping to expand our program to other communities through engaging with more organizations, partners, and schools to reach more students, including male students. Working with MAIA and REDMI has provided valuable insights into the different strategies and ways to work with communities, especially about how to reach girls who are not in school or have limited access to safe spaces.

REDMI Performance for Guests and Community
REDMI Performance for Guests and Community
REDMI Student Performers
REDMI Student Performers
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.