Provide Life Skills for 4000 Rural Mayan Girls

by Population Council
Apr 26, 2012

Rugby, health and prevention of violence on Mother's Day.

Julia flying with the rugby ball.
Julia flying with the rugby ball.

So far 2012 has been a busy year for Abriendo Oportunidades girl leaders, full of workshops on sexual-reproductive health, prevention of gender-based violence, resume writing, and even rugby!  We have been working with amazing volunteers from Peace Corps and the Guatemala Rugby Club to provide girls with high quality learning opportunities.

Last month, the girl club leaders started to learn how to play rugby with the help of coaches and players from the Guatemala Rugby Club. They are learning to play tag rugby and each girl leader has one ball and tag belts to start playing the game in their community. Since rugby is not often played in Guatemala, especially in rural areas, this provides the girls with the opportunity to “own” the game and use it as a tool to empower girl club members. Creating safe spaces for girls to play, learn and grow is an important aspect of the program and rugby is more than just a sport for them. It is a way for the girls to learn to work together, grow as a team and play a sport that nobody, not even
men, in their communities are playing. The rugby revolution is Guatemala has not only already begun, but its leaders are young rural Mayan girls!

So this Mother’s Day, we are asking for you to help us continue AO club activities and expand our growing rugby project. We are hoping to work with a volunteer to visit the communities and organize training activities with the girls clubs directly to help them continue to learn more about the sport, and then ultimately have a rugby tournament in December! Donations will also help us buy more balls, make more tags belts and cover the costs of adding an extra day to our workshops to train and play rugby. The Guatemala Rugby Club is committed to providing high quality, safe, and fun activities to bring this sport to our 45 communities. By creating safe spaces to learn, grow and develop into empowered, educated young women, Abriendo Oportunidades will continue to form girls who decide when THEY want to become mothers and then pass on these same values to their daughters! Happy Mother’s Day to mothers across the world, from rural Guatemala!

Girls training.
Girls training.
The first tag rugby match.
The first tag rugby match.
Youth leaders at reproductive health workshop.
Youth leaders at reproductive health workshop.
Peace Corps volunteer facilitating workshop
Peace Corps volunteer facilitating workshop

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Organization Information

Population Council

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Alejandra Colom Bickford
Guatemala City, Guatemala
$44,662 raised of $50,000 goal
688 donations
$5,338 to go
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