Jun 21, 2021

A Safe Space = An Empowered Space

Soukaina with Project Soar Program Manager Tess
Soukaina with Project Soar Program Manager Tess

Dear Friends,

Project Soar is so thankful to You, our supporters as we continue to navigate this ever-changing world. With your support of the Empower Teen Girls in Morocco project, we are able to continue to safely welcome Project Soar Girls and staff to our headquarters in Douar Laadem. As you know, these walls are more than just a building - they represent a safe space for girls to develop confidence, understand how to advocate, become leaders, and aspire to change the world.

Project Soar Headquarters are not just offices for our team, but a safe space for teen girls. During set times each week, Project Soar girls can convene and use the space in ways that serve them best, with access to internet, the PS library, tablets, chess, art supplies, etc. Project Soar Girls know the importance of education and in the run up to exams, we extended Safe Space hours to 5 days per week in order to allow Girls to use Headquarters as needed with flexibility and ease.

We recently sat down with Project Soar 2020-2021 Alumni and new Soar Girl Leader Club member, Soukaina Zaihour to learn more about what having this Safe Space means to her. "I am very happy to come to Project Soar during Safe Space hours," she tells me. "It really motivates me. Having a place to be together with the Project Soar Staff and the other PS Girls inspires me to be creative and continue my schooling." In the weeks leading up to exams, Soukaina was often times at Project Soar Headquarters for as many as seven hours a day, not just to study, but also to flex her creative muscles. "I come here to study English and other topics in school like physics, math, and French. I love to use the resources here, like the tablets and to watch educational videos. This also helps me to learn more about how to use technology for learning. But I also come here to do creative things like creating photo montages, painting and drawing." While she is able to draw at home, "here at Project Soar, when I do something creative, I am able to share it with others and make them happy, which I love." 

A very motivated Girl, it is clear that Soukaina recognizes the value of the Project Soar community and is able to foster her relationships and curiousity at Project Soar Headquarters. Now that exams are over, Soukaina hopes to utilize Safe Space hours to "help other Girls who come here to learn." 

In addition to funding general operations that keep our Headquarters and Safe Space hours going, your support of this project has helped to fund other key operational costs such as the purchasing of office supplies, printed materials, and paid for postage allowing us to ship crucial program supplies to our sites across the country.

Stay tuned for more Project Soar news, and never doubt that you are making a difference!

Warmest wishes,

Tess and the Project Soar Team

Girl Leader Club studying during Safe Space hours
Girl Leader Club studying during Safe Space hours
Jun 3, 2021

Empowerment Facilitators: Champions of Change

Kawtar with PS Girls at Project Soar Headquaters
Kawtar with PS Girls at Project Soar Headquaters

Hello friends! We are sending gratitude to You, our supporters, and positive wishes for good health as we continue to navigate the pandemic together.

This month, we are wrapping up the 2020-2021 cohort of Project Soar Girls across the country with COVID-19 safe graduation ceremonies. Keeping this momentous milestone in mind, we could not help but continue the festive spirit by highlighting our amazing Empowerment Facilitators, who make it their priority to ensure that each girl completes the PSB program feeling as though she is celebrated. Your donation to this campaign helps provide support to the Facilitators who play the most crucial role at Project Soar as they dedicate their time to ensuring the PS Girls have a safe space to reflect, learn, and flourish. 

One such woman to be celebrated is Project Soar's very own Program Coordinator and Program Facilitator, Kawtar Ait Malek. Through her dedication over the past 2+ years, Kawtar has now directly led over 40 girls succesfully through completion of the Project Soar in a Box program and has indirectly impacted hundreds more through her support of Facilitators across the country. In total, Kawtar has supported 30 Facilitators across 17 sites in Morocco and continues to add to her already amazing achievements with Project Soar by assisting in the support of Empowerment Facilitators working in communties of internally displaced people (IDP) in Northwest Syria. 

When asked what Kawtar loves most about supporting the Project Soar Empowerment Facilitators, she says "I love seeing the Facilitators through all their ups and downs. I'm able to motivate them and pass positive energy to them when they feel challenged and share appreciation with them when they succeed. Since I am a facilitator too, I am able to empathize with them and understand them emotionally." In terms of being a 2 year facilitator, she states that "while it is not always initially easy to create the safe space we need to thrive, the fact that the girls eventually trust me enough to approach me, tell me their feelings, and ask me for advice - this is the most precious reward."

Kawtar recently shared an experience she had with one of her fellow facilitators, saying "I am so inspired by so many of the other Facilitators I work with. Ghita, one of my co-Facilitators, inspires me in particular. Her attitude has really touched me personally because although she has a speech impediment  I watch her stand there every Sunday, speaking in front of the PS girls, emanating so much confidence and positive energy. She never dwells on the way she sounds, but rather focuses on passing her positive emotions on to the girls no matter what. She is never embarrassed or shy -- she just wants to give the girls her all."

Ghita, like all of the Empowerment Facilitators, embodies the Project Soar spirit by showing the girls that while her skills may not be perfect, she is strong, she is smart, she is capable, she is a leader, and she is a feminist. What's clear is that Empowerment Facilitators are not just teachers, but rather mentors, confidantes, and champions of change.

It is safe to say that without Faciliators like Kawtar and Ghita, the lasting impact Project Soar makes would not be possible, and we are forever grateful for their enduring spirit. Stay tuned for more stories of these incredible women, and never doubt you are making a difference!

Warmest Wishes,

The Project Soar team

Kawtar assists the GLCs with a Community Dialogue
Kawtar assists the GLCs with a Community Dialogue
Ghita (right) with co-Facilitator Aziza (left)
Ghita (right) with co-Facilitator Aziza (left)
Ghita proudly sports her Project Soar t-shirt.
Ghita proudly sports her Project Soar t-shirt.
Mar 25, 2021

146 Project Soar Girls are Soaring thanks to YOU

Hiba, Project Soar Girl quote
Hiba, Project Soar Girl quote

Dear Project Soar Friend,

We hope you continue to be well, as we send our gratitude to you, our supporter. 

Your generous help and sponsorship is helping us to provide our teen leadership workshops to seven Project Soar Chapters across Morocco. You are contributing to the future of girls like Hiba in Aourir, Casa Mabrouka, Casa Andalous, Casa Sidi Moumen, Casa Ain Sebaa, Casa Mediouna, and Rich. In total, 146 Project Soar girls are benefiting from the GlobalGiving Sponsor a Girl program! 

Our women Facilitators have led these squads of girls through our Project Soar curriculum, and they are now in Module 4: Rights. This Module begins with the workshop “I have the right to be treated as an equal,” and aims to foster an understanding of girls' rights. During this module, the Project Soar Girl embraces her right to an education and understands her right to be free from violence, sexual harassment, and early or forced marriage.

Thank you for your commitment to Project Soar and supporting teen girls to become leaders.  We are grateful to you!

Stay tuned for more news from Project Soar and never doubt you are making a difference!

Best Wishes, 

Maryam, Maha and the entire Project Soar Team 

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