Provide Life Skills for 4000 Rural Mayan Girls

by Population Council

As the International day of the Girl Child, is taken place today, we are happy to share with you this weekends experience during our first Soccer "Abriendo" Tournament in San Luis, Petén. More than 120 girls and boys had the chance to experience an interschool championship, which gather them together in an event where girls had a very important participation, something that is not very common when it comes to soccer.

 

This event was made possible through joint efforts between mentors, community leaders, and school teachers who worked together to make it possible. In Abriendo, we believe that specific joint efforts must be made by different and relevant members of society, to compromise with the big challenges that gir's vulnerability still have in our country and the world. We feel happy to show proof that with great efforts, results can be possible.

 

  

sharing our experiences
sharing our experiences

In AO we believe effective communication skills and value oriented relationships are key towards achieving impact in any kind of social project. 

 

The work that Abriendo mentors do is very complicated work that needs clear motivations and an integrated group of people that share the same view.

 

That is why we try to get the teams together to share our experiences, our feelingstowards work, and learn together through different kinds of activities that bring us closer together. These experiences teach us how to develop problem solving skills,and help us find integrated solutions for the problems that affect girls’ vulnerability in the communities where we work. 

 

On the last week of September the Peten team met for a workshop. 29 mentors in charge of 100 communities,  traveled 360 km. to Guatemala City, where they metwith staff from headquarters, led by Ceci Garcés, our Education and Curriculum Specialist. We also had some very important guests: AO most experienced mentors, who currently lead research efforts in the Western Highlands, shared their experiences and motivations, and encouraged mentors to work hard to bring Abriendo to more girls across Guatemala.

 

We feel very happy to share these great news and some pictures from the workshop.  

Eli sharing with the rest of the group.
Eli sharing with the rest of the group.
SORORITY
SORORITY
mentors learn together in Peten
mentors learn together in Peten

For the past year, the Population Council in Guatemala has worked in partnership with the alliance of municipalities of southern Peten to implement Abriendo Oportunidades in San Luis, Dolores, and Poptun.  Last week, mentors from 99 communities worked with Council staff to prepare the second quarter of the curriculum. 

Peten has presented new challenges to Abriendo Oportunidades, including the high rates of sexual violence reported by girls and adolescents.  We are currently working with local partners to identify solutions and determine the best paths to ensure that girls and women have access to justice.  

These past months have also been exciting for our partners from the Learning Circle.  Organizations in Izabal, Alta Verapaz, Solola, Quiche, Jalapa, and Chimaltenango are moving forward with their plans, leading groups, and ensuring that more girls have access to safe spaces and the Abriendo model. 

We are also pleased to share with you that our friends from Sheva (http://www.sheva.com/) are helping us share the good news about Abriendo Oportunidades and the impact it has on girls and adolescents in Guatemala.  Thank you Sheva!

Peten mentors and monitors
Peten mentors and monitors
Distributing materials for 99 groups
Distributing materials for 99 groups
Chisec mentors and senior staff
Chisec mentors and senior staff

Abriendo Oportunidades' scale-up strategy has taken the team and a set of new mentors and monitors to Peten, in northern Guatemala.  As of January 2015, 100 new communities were mapped and all girls ages 8-18 included in our Girl Roster.  A new class of mentors met for a week to begin learning the basic elements of the curriculum. The majority of this group is Maya Q'eqchi' and will work in communities of three municipalities: Dolores, San Luis and Poptun. Some communities are located along the border with Belize, others nearby protected areas.  Our partners in Peten include government and non-governmental organizations that will collaborate in different aspects of the program, from expanding the curriculum to add a stronger environmental component, to helping us with complex logistics such as mapping distant communities.  We are grateful for the support so far and thankful for what is to come! 

Between Peten, Chisec, Solola, and Belize, in 2015 Abriendo will operate in 175 communities! 

celebrating 10 years
celebrating 10 years

This year's Thanksgiving will be especially important to Abriendo Oportunidades. We are celebrating 10 years of the program, 10,000 girls, over 150 mentors trained, sessions in 8 different languages and, as of, 2014, expanding through partners across Mesoamerica.  It remains a program built on committment and love from our small local staff, volunteers, and friends who are convinced that investing in adolescent girls is key to Guatemala's development.

Our celebration this Nov 27 will have as guests of honor many of the members of the first generation of Abriendo. We will celebrate their achievements. Some of our first participants graduated college this year, others are leading programs such as providing legal services to indigenous women and increasing participation of women in economic activities. Some have become school teachers or opened their own businesses. We are grateful for all they have taught us in terms of the challenges faced by indigenous girls, their dreams and aspirations, and the brave paths they have chosen to achieve their goals.

We are thankful for you, our globalgiving friends, who support our mentors and girls in distant communities in Guatemala.

Chisec participants
Chisec participants
Claudia, mentor coordinator in Chisec
Claudia, mentor coordinator in Chisec

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Organization Information

Population Council

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.popcouncil.org
Project Leader:
Alejandra Colom Bickford
Guatemala City, Guatemala
$39,541 raised of $50,000 goal
 
633 donations
$10,459 to go
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