Determined Girls lead in their communities
“I really believed that it was girls’ nature to be shy and timid. Now, after seeing the changes in the girls from Girl Determined, I am realizing that girls can be anyway they want to be. They can even be strong and vocal.” – a 28 year-old teacher from a school in Mandalay
That girls are ‘shy’ and ‘timid’ by nature is a commonly held belief by many people in Burma (Myanmar). This understanding of girls’ and women’s fixed character is as certain as the sun rising each day, even for many girls and women themselves. So, when this monastic school teacher, whose girl students are weekly participants in Girl Determined leadership programs, described her dramatically shifting understanding of girls’ potential and abilities, we considered that a major win.
Every week our facilitators go to fifteen communities across Rangoon and Mandalay, reaching close to 800 girls aged 12-16. The weekly sessions build girls personal leadership, communication skills, confidence and ability to assert their ideas and opinions. In this case, the teachers remarks were evidence that not only is our weekly program deeply transforming the girls in that school, the school teacher herself has been affected, so much so that she is openly questioning deeply held beliefs. At Girl Determined, this is one of the changes we have been working to see.