The Step Forward team of the Girls Academy
GIRLS ACADEMY FOR CONSCIOUS CHANGE
In Rwinkwavu, in Eastern Rwanda, our 70- vulnerable high school girls who took part in the Girls Academy training last November are exceeding our greatest expectations with their passion, commitment and fearlessness. Although their projects were initially intended to take place as a one-time events during their holiday school break, the girls are motivated to develop long-term programs creating change in their communities as well as opportunities for themselves to grow as leaders. We are certain you too will be inspired by their progress:
- Brave People, a team working on the issue of homeless youth, has succeeded in reintegrating seven children back into their families as well as helping three children find families to adopt them.
- Hardworkers, a team working on reducing poverty and increasing self confidence has organized basket weaving classes that take place under a tree. Women gather in the shade to weave, while hearing the girls talk about self confidence and valuing the skills that they know.
- Invincible is working to reduce hunger by increasing farm yields using fertilizers. They have approached local leaders who have agreed to partner with them, bought four pigs to give to families and will be training the families on using fertilizer from the pigs to benefit the crops.
- New Life is fighting overpopulation through family planning. They have succeeded in creating strategic partnerships with nurses from the local health center who helped them provide comprehensive family planning training to 20 women.
- Step Forward, a team working on child abuse, has facilitated conversations between parents and children at the municipal office of the Mukoyoyo cell. They discussed children’s rights, how parents can help children achieve a bright future and worked to develop a “culture of conversation” between parents and children. They also gave school materials such as notebooks, pens, school bags and soap to 10 of the most vulnerable children.
- Withstand has identified lack of day care centers as a significant problem for women’s equality. They have approached local leaders who agreed to raise this issue at community meetings and help mobilize the population to build nursery schools. They also led two public discussion about the importance of day care to more than 100 people.
Global Grassroots will be returning to Rwinkwavu to offer these remarkable young change agents another series of workshops during the girls’ spring break in April. The planned workshops will include basic bookkeeping, financial reporting, impact assessment and activity planning.
Our partner, The Komera Project will be recommending a new cohort of 20 girls to join the Girls Academy for Conscious Change in August 2013. In addition to receiving training from Global Grassroots staff, the new cohort benefit from peer-to-peer learning shadowing the current teams and receiving mentorship from them throughout the next year.