Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica

by WWDF/BIENDEMUJER
Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica
Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica
Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica
Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica
Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica
Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica
Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica
Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica
Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica
Growing Free of Gendered Violence in Costa Rica
Gifts for kids
Gifts for kids

Times are both unprecedented and challenging. It called us to evolve and find ways to continue moving and change for the good of those who we served –at-risk children that are growing in environments plagued of gender stereotypes, discrimination and violence.

Sanitary measures in Costa Rica are strict and prevent us to serve the children in site; therefore we had to go virtual in the most challenging situation you can imagine –lack of access to the Internet and intelligent devices, overcrowded households, lack of proper infrastructure and a nice and quiet place to learn, just to mention some.

We had to postpone all activities but those that can be carried out virtually and had to prioritize critical needs. Poverty has raised even more, and the children, their families and community are hurting –deaths by Covid-19, no means to buy food and hygiene products, and so on.
Our role has been to continue serving the kids virtually with online classes, games and special events, but we are strongly working to satisfy the basic needs of the children and their families.
The last months we have:

  • Help families with members that have contracted Covid-19, with food, hygiene products and even funeral arrangments.
  • Distribute food, masks, hygiene products, some electronic devices, toys and more.
  • Help kids with their school classes online and academic projects and homework
  • Continue to have virtual activities with the children to prevent gendered violence –virtual interactive books reading, songs, yoga, sharing and more.

It is impossible to fight gendered violence if the basic needs of the children are not meet. Right now, while we are still under the siege of this deadly disease, we need to focus on critical needs to diminish the high probabilities of gender violence increasing given the detrimental socio-economic conditions of these underprivileged households.

Virtual Interactive Book reading
Virtual Interactive Book reading
Online Yoga
Online Yoga
Fun activities
Fun activities
Food for the Children and their Families
Food for the Children and their Families
Masks for all!
Masks for all!
Tutoring
Tutoring

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Field trip to the theater -we love who we are.
Field trip to the theater -we love who we are.

Breaking stereotyped gender roles

In a sunny morning, Juan seems really happy, he said: "The sun is shining today. that's great. My clothes will get dry today! Because I wash my clothes you know."

Joshua is doing his homework. He is reading about gender roles, he thinks for a while and says: “But there is nothing a girl can’t do! Boys and girls can do everything!"

Nayelin comes to the project cycling, she loves sports; a free spirit the loves math and believes there is nothing she can’t do!

A healthy self-perception, acceptance of who I am and to embrace and respect others with their differences, are critical principles to grow free of gender bias and violence.

With your help, using creative, playful arts-based methods, we delivered more than 50 workshop sessions and activities to 200 at-risk children to improve their self-perception. They are learning new ways of relating to their peers, family, and community free of gender-based violence, sexist perceptions and gender inequity.

Workshops and Activities
• Giant Origami Workshops. 24 sessions,
• Yoga for Kids. Weekly sessions.
• Body Theatre Workshops. 24 sessions.
• A Field Trip to the theatre.

Thanks to your support 200 at-risk kids have the opportunity of a brighter future free of gender bias and violence. 

Giant Origami -expressing ourselves.
Giant Origami -expressing ourselves.
I am free. I am worthy and love myself.
I am free. I am worthy and love myself.
Yoga at home -my body is strong. My mind is strong
Yoga at home -my body is strong. My mind is strong

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Girl learning code
Girl learning code

Within the frame of ILORI Educational Program, in Carpio community in San José, Costa Rica, since July 2019 we have been carrying out activities aimed to fight stereotyped gender roles and consequent forms of coexistence between men and women that promote and exalt sexist socialization of children. In the community of Carpio, these sexist imaginaries are strongly rooted. Gender inequity and gender-based violence are normalized, internalized and reproduced as behaviour patterns in children’s daily life weakening their self-perception, relationships, and potentialities, and hurting them both in the short and long term.

Using creative, playful arts-based methods we have been teaching to children of the community to deconstruct sexist imaginary of men and women and access gender equality perspective to rebuild their self-perception and develop new ways of relating to their peers, family, and community free of sexist perceptions, gender inequity, and gender-based violence.

We have taught to 200 boys and girls yoga techniques of relaxation and visualization. We have used stories and songs as playful elements for them to explore their imaginaries around gender.

Kids created, decorate and embroider their own pillow, with an aspirational idea for the future. This exercise required creativity and concentration and helped them to imagine a hopeful future, free from sexist limitations and stereotypes. Embroider and decorate have been traditionally assigned to women, so it has been a great exercise for boys to embrace such an activity.

Besides, through reading, listening and writing stories we have provoked a relearning of masculine and feminine from the gender perspective and kids have come to realize that is possible and desirable a coexistence in equality and respect. The exercises included reading comprehension, analyzing and writing of stories, texts, and poems.

We also took the eldest kids of the Program for a visit to WMWare company where many women work in STEM fields, such as engineering. The kids witnessed women working and participating in STEM projects and collaborating with men in equal conditions, rights and opportunities.

Girl reading
Girl reading
Nice embroider job
Nice embroider job
Art and equality
Art and equality
Arts for equality
Arts for equality

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Performing
Performing

INTRODUCTION

With a fraction of the resources needed to execute the Growing Free of Gendered Violence Project in Costa Rica, we have advanced several of the activities outlined in the Project. Using creativity and arts, day by day, we are helping children to deconstruct the sexist imaginaries they have. We guide them to access an equal perspective of men and women and, to rebuild their self-perception and the way they relate to others.   

CARRIED OUT ACTIVITIES AND OUTCOMES

Activity 1:

Goal: 200 children explore their imaginaries on femininity and masculinity through movement.

Description: Moving to the rhythm of our emotions. Four sessions of creative movement and corporal expression using contemporary dance as a language for the expression of emotions and feelings around gender imaginaries.

Outcome: 200 boys and girls have explored and are more aware of their emotions and feelings around gender imaginaries and the concept of gender equality.

Activity 2:

Goal: 200 girls and boys explore their self-perception from a gender perspective using ludic, pedagogical, creative and, artistic activities to encourage emotions and feelings expression, and help them to recognize their potential as human beings beyond gender.

Description: Dreaming about my future. Kids create and embroider a pillow of their own, with an aspirational idea for the future. It is an exercise of creativity and concentration to help them to imagine a hopeful future, free from sexist limitations and stereotypes.

Outcome: 200 children have imagined their future and are aware of new opportunities that open up when they are not limited by sexist stereotypes. 

Activity 3:

Goal: 200 children identify the broader social and geographical environment in which they develop. Through socio-educational and cultural tours, they experience approximations/examples of opportunities/challenges of development in equal conditions.

Description: 200 children, organized by groups, participated in the following activities:

  • An Hour Code Workshop at WMVare Corporation, Costa Rica. Kids learned basic coding in a very friendly way. The learned Code is cool and it is not difficult as well!  and –best of all– they learned that it doesn't matter if you are a girl or a boy –code is for everybody! 
  • Contemporary Dance: A group of professional contemporary dancers taught a workshop. Participating kids discovered how fun and interesting contemporary dance is. And, learned that no matter if you are a boy or a girl –everybody can enjoy and benefit from dancing!
  • March against Gender Violence: kids all together with their moms protested for the International Day for the elimination of Violence against Women. They carried placards prepared by themselves and chanted slogans in favour of peace and against gendered violence.
  • A day of games and sports: Kids had the opportunity to enjoy games and sports free from gendered stereotypes. They experienced the freedom of playing and participating without the labels of boy or girl.

Outcome: 200 children have experienced that men and women are equal and entitled to equal opportunities and rights. 

HEART-TOUCHING STORY 1

Eduart was a beneficiary in our project up to sixth grade and now is a teenager. He started secondary school this year. Although he is not anymore in the age range to participate in our project, he likes to stop by and see what we are up to. When he saw the kids embroidering their pillows he immediately asked to participate in the activity. He did embroider his pillow and we were all thrilled with the result. It was wonderful to see this young man creating a embroider masterpiece with so much patience and creativity!

HEART-TOUCHING STORY 2

Nelson is in second grade. He loved the pillow project. He couldn't wait to finish it and took it home and applied himself to get it done. His mom wrote to us and said that Nelson worked on his pillow with a lot of perseverance and patience. He dedicated a lot of time and effort, and it paid off!

Pillow embroidery project Nelson
Pillow embroidery project Nelson
Pillow embroidery Eduart
Pillow embroidery Eduart
End Violence against Women
End Violence against Women
Embroider is fun
Embroider is fun
End Violence against Women
End Violence against Women
Code 1
Code 1
Code 2
Code 2
Contemporary Dance 1
Contemporary Dance 1
Contemporary Dance 2
Contemporary Dance 2
Playing equal 1
Playing equal 1
Playing Equal
Playing Equal

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Organization Information

WWDF/BIENDEMUJER

Location: San José - Costa Rica
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @biendemujer/
Project Leader:
Maritza Ulate
Alajuela, Alajuela Costa Rica
$7,282 raised of $20,980 goal
 
102 donations
$13,698 to go
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