Britney, 2nd Generation Youth Promoter
2019 has been a challenging year, to say the least. But our staff, girls and young women have met every setback with resilience and creativity. For that, we have so much to be thankful for and celebrate. Including you, so thank you!
Back in April, we shared that the girls of "Let Girls Lead" and the local Council for the Defense of Children and Youth's Rights presented and reviewed the first version of a local public policy to promote mandatory comprehensive sexuality education in public schools. After seemingly unending setbacks and delays, we were finally granted an audience to present the public policy to our local city council. When met with disinterest, our girls spoke up with passion. When met with resistence, they spoke up with clarity and conviction. While there is still more work ahead, we are now one step closer to getting the policy passed and put into practice.
Additionally, our girls continue to raise their voices for gender equality and against gender-based violence. Just a few days ago, in conmemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, five of our girls attended the Center for Women's Rights forum "Free, Not Brave," where they shared their perspective on the violence that teen girls experience in Honduras.
Beyond "Let Girls Lead," OYE intentionally creates spaces for young women (and men) to learn about their sexual health and rights, reflect on and challenge patriarchal gender norms that dictate what is appropriate, acceptable and expected of them and how they should relate to other people of the same and different genders. Over the past year, a group of four of our youth leaders have traveled throughout Central America and Mexico facilitating youth leadership conferences to promote gender equality and cultures of peace. Over the past few months, they have invested their time in training a new generation of youth promoters.
Britney, pictured above, is a part of this new generation of youth promoters. In her words:
"By participating in each workshop, I learned so many things that have helped me in my life and those that surround me. I learned how to understand my emotions and that it is not bad to feel or express anger, love, sadness, happiness, or any other emotion. I learned about sexuality, which is something I didn't know much about before. And I learned that macho culture - machismo - affects all of us. I now consider myself to be an agent of change and I am inspired to continue learning and sharing what I have learned with those around me."
In just two weeks time, nine of our girl scholars will graduate from high school! We can't wait to share special moments and photographs from their big day with you. And next Tuesday, Dec. 3rd, we will be kicking off our holiday giving campaign with #GivingTuesday. We hope you will join the celebration and make a special gift in honor of an inspiring girl or woman in your life.
In the meantime, thank you so much for your support in making this important work possible!
Britney during workshop with Youth Promoters
Public policy presentation to local city council
Girls in front of El Progreso Municipal Palace