Mar 8, 2019

Girl Rising Guatemala March 2019 Report

REDMI Mentors During Session
REDMI Mentors During Session

In January 2019, Girl Rising started the year with a training with each partner organization: REDMI Aq’ab’al and MAIA.  The mentors were able to watch the two other films that were dubbed to Spanish back in December of 2018, and we took a deeper look at the curriculum, storybook, and Monitoring and Evaluation Tools. The first module focuses on Ruksana, a girl from India, and we discussed issues around informal settlements, forced migration, gender-based violence, and the right to education, but also to art and leisure time.

 

Before starting the module with girls, REDMI’s mentors had meetings at the community level to guarantee the safe space to hold the sessions and did several home visits to inform parents about the program and invite girls to participate. At MAIA, the sessions started almost with the start of the new school year. At the end of January, mentors led an introductory session to describe the program, to get to know the girls and to pass a pre-test on girls’ perceptions around different issues such as child marriage, adolescent pregnancy, violence, life plans and other important issues concerning girls and women. The mentors did a similar pre-test themselves, and at the end of the pilot, both mentors and participants will answer the same questionnaire so we can compare answers around these issues after the 24-week program.

The sessions started in February, and for a month now, the mentors have been meeting with girls on a weekly basis to look at Ruksana’s story in the short film and storybook while reflecting on their own lives and experiences. MAIA is working with 9th graders and will use part of the materials with 7th and 8th graders. REDMI is working at the community level, welcoming all the girls that want to participate, whether they are in school or not, and no matter their age. There is a need for spaces for girls to get together, talk with each other, learn and play.

Currently, the weekly sessions are focusing on Ruksana’s story, and with each session, the mentors are taking note of new participants, of aspects of the stories and materials that are useful and others that need to be strengthened for local use. This will be helpful to edit and change the curriculum for the future, so it’s more contextualized, and we can scale-up to cover more regions of the country.

 

In terms of partnerships, we have continued to hold several meetings and presentations in different spaces, with local and international organizations working in Guatemala, to find ways in which we can collaborate this year and in the near future. There is a lot of work to do in the country around girls' and adolescents’ rights, and it continues to be important to build a stronger network of people and organizations so we can learn from each other and push for more options for girls and women. Some people in congress are trying to push retrograde laws while pushing away laws that are looking to protect girls and adolescents in a more integral way. This year, Guatemala will have elections as well, so in the midst of all this, we need to keep advocating for legal frameworks that protect and promote girls’ rights in everyday life, in the present and the future.




MAIA Mentors with GR Materials
MAIA Mentors with GR Materials
REDMI Mentors 2
REDMI Mentors 2
GR Storybook & Mentor's Curriculum in Spanish
GR Storybook & Mentor's Curriculum in Spanish
REDMI Aq'ab'al Mentors with GR Materials
REDMI Aq'ab'al Mentors with GR Materials
Dec 10, 2018

Girl Rising Guatemala - Report 1

With your support these past few months, Girl Rising has prepared for the launch of our Guatemala pilot program in 2019. We’re excited to share with you some highlights of what we’ve been able to accomplish so far!

 

GR’s Guatemala Curriculum is ready to go: GR has just completed the translation of the GR curriculum to Spanish, and we’ve made sure to connect our materials with the national basic curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education of Guatemala. We’ve also adapted curriculum components (videos, discussion guides, storybooks and more) to honor local contexts, customs and cultural norms, and added a brand new story to the GR storybook illustrated by a local artist. We look forward to sharing snapshots of our GR Guatemala curriculum with you soon!

Our partners, mentors and teachers are primed and excited to begin: This past November, GR collaborated with our two local program partners - REDMI Aq’ab’al and Starfish - to host a mentor training session in preparation for our program launch. The session included a screening of four of the GR film chapters tied to the curriculum, a review of the curriculum as a whole and a candid discussion about the tough issues the curriculum highlights (some of which include forced marriage, adolescent pregnancy, sexual violence, forced labor and obstacles to education). In 2019, the mentors from REDMI Aq’ab’al will be ready to reach around 150 girls in eight rural communities (not all of these girls currently attend school, but they will all have access to a safe space to see the films, participate in discussions and explore the GR curriculum). The mentors from Starfish will be ready to engage around 50 girls who are currently enrolled in the 9th grade at their school.

We’re working hard to engage our community and build relationships: We know from experience that for a program to be truly successful, we’ll need the buy-in and support of the adults and the community who surround the girls we’ll be working with. We have thus dedicated significant time to building strong relationships with local partners, and eventually, with parents and community leaders. For this, we have developed tools that allow mentors to clearly explain the program structure and goals, as well as hold community screenings and discussions about some of the issues GR’s films cover.

To lay the groundwork for our larger Guatemala and Central America campaigns, we have been meeting with regional peer organizations who work with adolescents and girls. We’ve learned a tremendous amount and have been honored to be a part of discussions about how to create a more united front to advocate for increased investment in girls’ education.

 

We are just a short month away from the official launch of our pilot program in Guatemala. A heartfelt thank you to all our donors who have supported our work so far - we cannot wait to share more with you soon! In the meantime, on behalf of Girl Rising, we wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and New Year.

With gratitude,

María José Aldana

 
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