Promoting Girls' Education & Equality in Guatemala

by Girl Rising
Promoting Girls' Education & Equality in Guatemala
Promoting Girls' Education & Equality in Guatemala
Promoting Girls' Education & Equality in Guatemala
Promoting Girls' Education & Equality in Guatemala
Promoting Girls' Education & Equality in Guatemala
Promoting Girls' Education & Equality in Guatemala
Promoting Girls' Education & Equality in Guatemala
Promoting Girls' Education & Equality in Guatemala

Girl Rising and our Program Partners have been working urgently to adapt our program delivery to the new circumstances of the lockdowns caused by the pandemic and to respond to the needs of girls and young women in the community.

- We developed and are now delivering a community radio program to deliver or curriculum teaching life skills, growth mindsets, knowledge of rights, self-advocacy and leadership to hundreds of young people in three regions.

- We have built new partnerships with community organizations to deliver home-learning materials in different local languages

- We have led training workshops for mentors on Girl Rising curriculum, gender issues and M&E

- We have provided monthly stipends for the mentors in partner programs as well as transportation so they can get to the communities where they facilitate sessions

- We continue to work on translation and dubbing of the Girl Rising films into Mayan languages, which will be done in early 2020

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MAIA Student project art
MAIA Student project art

Immediately after GIrl Rising's last report, Guatemala went into lockdown on March 16th, restricting movement and travel (including shut down of public transportation) across the country, with restrictions on gatherings, school and market closures and mandatory curfews and use of masks in public. These measures remain with devasting effects throughout Guatemala, but we continue to work to meet the needs of the youth we serve by: 

  • Working with partners on adapting Girl Rising (GR) materials and activities, including storytelling, for different digital and at-home learning contexts.

  • Providing partners with funding to secure and distribute basic food and supplies for program families as well as support for partner communication costs/needs to stay connected with youth and with GR.

  • Developing radio programming to deliver GR stories and materials to program participants in three regions. In addition to GR-focused content, we aim to include key information on the COVID-19 pandemic, including its socio-economic implications, as well as mental health and self-care strategies. These broadcasts will also reach a wider audience of girls, boys and community members with GR's powerful gender-equality messaging and resources. 

  • Building alliances with other NGOs in Guatemala through digital platforms and advocacy initiatives; sharing COVID-19-related information and GR educational materials in different languages with these networks. 

  • Finalizing, with radio partner FGER, the dubbing of films in K’iche’ & Kaqchikel. 

During these challenging times, it is wonderful to see the commitment of our partners to their communities as well as how quickly and creatively they’ve worked to meet the increasing needs of program youth. As things are in constant flux, we will provide updates as possible of ways we continue to adapt our work. 



EPRODEP student project participant
EPRODEP student project participant
EPRODEP student participant
EPRODEP student participant
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Teachers & principals viewing GR film content
Teachers & principals viewing GR film content

In 2020, GR is excited to build on the pilot with returning partners MAIA and REDMI Aq’ab’al and broaden the scope, both geographically and demographically, with new partners COINCIDIR, Colegio Miguel Ángel Asturias and EPRODEP. This will bring the project to new communities (Totonicapán, Quetzaltenango, Jalapa and Guatemala City) reaching an estimated 500 youth, ages 8-17, as well as parents, family and community members. This year we’ll also work with teachers and principals in addition to mentors. 

Based on evaluation results and partner feedback, we revised the curriculum, including using photos from Guatemala and updating country content. Supplementary materials were enhanced by creating a colored booklet version of the storybook, provided to each participant, and editing a short video featuring girls from the first pilot and storytelling workshop talking about their future aspirations. With the completion of the dubbing of the six short films into K’iche’ and Kaqchikel, we can better connect with parents and community members, potentially using the films for community screenings, discussions and teacher-parent meetings. 

All partners began programming with participants during the past few weeks. During MAIA’s first session, one student shared, “We can be the change if we propose to be so, but we have to start with ourselves and then help others.”




Updated GR Curriculum for Guatemala
Updated GR Curriculum for Guatemala
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Storytelling & Film Workshop participants
Storytelling & Film Workshop participants

Since the first session of the pilot project ended this summer, Girl Rising Guatemala has been busy reviewing and incorporating evaluation results and planning for the second cohort of participants. 

To help with the creation of new content and expand the work with girls, in mid-September, we invited alumnae—girls who took part in Year 1—to participate in a workshop that guided the girls through the process of capturing their own compelling personal narratives on camera, told in their local languages with the goal of also developing their storytelling skills. Select content will be integrated into the curricula to give voice to local girls facing local challenges, with the aim to provide inspiration and encouragement to other girls in their communities. We look forward to seeing and sharing the girls' reactions and the impact of this localized content for the program. 

In 2020, GR will continue to work with our current partners and also start working with two others in different regions of the country: COINCIDIR in Jalapa, working with adolescent girls at the community level and EPRODEP, an organization that works with girls and boys in their schools in the outskirts of Guatemala City. With the second cohort, we intend to extend the project to new and greater numbers of girls as well as include boys, parents and community leaders to begin to shift gender attitudes and create awareness about how educating girls is proven to benefit and improve the stability and health of communities. We look forward to sharing the details in the new year!



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Girls' Graduation Ceremony!
Girls' Graduation Ceremony!

Summer marked the completion of the first phase of the pilot with the REDMI and MAIA girls! Graduation ceremonies and celebrations recognized this key milestone--and most importantly the life and educational skills that each girl gained. Working with girls in and out of school provided many opportunities for GIrl Rising (GR) to learn and develop strategies to improve the program--crucial as we seek to expand the pilot to reach more girls, boys and new communities. With GR support, challenges were identified and solutions tested. For example, when attendance of older girls lagged, mostly due to family and work demands, mentors actively sought ways to improve the situation by:

  • Incorporating home visits to engage family members to see the value of this programming
  • Using the appeal and draw of content to create interest. GR witnessed the power of film at one screening where girls of all ages sat still and quiet, captivated by the landscape of Perú and the story of Senna--foreign yet familiar--and inspired by the way Senna, despite the odds, focuses on her studies with her father's encouragement. 
  • Drawing connections between the issues addressed through the stories of girls in the GR curriculum and those facing girls in Guatemala like early preganancy/marriage, child labor, access to education and violence among others. 

This commitment to improving the program was also evidenced in July when GR conducted a closing workshop with mentors from partner REDMI Aq’ab’al. We were able to discuss issues and progress as well as anything related to the final stage of the pilot program, including monitoring and evaluation tools, reporting and particular aspects of the curriculum.

It was also an opportunity to explore the personal stories and trajectories of the mentors, sharing how they got to where they are today, why they feel it’s important to work with girls and adolescents, and how GR’s program has made an impact in the communities where they hold weekly sessions. Some attested to their own difficulties in continuing their education, often due to the need to help support their families. Solidarity and a commitment to continuing this crucial work to advance girls' education was evident. 

When asked about the GR program, mentors said it opened their eyes to the issues faced by girls around the world that they hadn't realized before and developed a greater understanding of the similar challenges that also exist. The GR training and materials facilitated the mentors' growth so that could better deliver the programming to the girls and serve as a resource for them. They shared that both for the girls and themselves, an important step was to open up to new ways of thinking, information and experiences in order to connect with their own stories or those of their families. Mentors and girls explored and wrote life plans as part of the project, and these learnings helped them better integrate experiences and challenges into their plans to help articulate their vision forward. 

GR is finishing the preliminary pilot evaluation to refine materials and delivery for next year's implementation. We are also kicking off September with a much-anticipated storytelling workshop for REDMI girls and look forward to sharing the amazing results in a future report!

Engaged with the GR content
Engaged with the GR content
Mentors with the new Brave Girl Rising flag.
Mentors with the new Brave Girl Rising flag.
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Organization Information

Girl Rising

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @girlrising
Project Leader:
Catherine Brandli
New York, NY United States
$2,454 raised of $8,500 goal
 
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