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
Mentors with the new Brave Girl Rising flag.