With the departure of Marina, our first Girl Impact volunteer, we welcomed the arrival of Girl Impact volunteer number two Alison. This also marked the return to a wonderful project NAFGEM, a haven for inspiring girls who escaped female genital mutilation.
During this programme we delivered workshops in gender inequality, contraception, dowry and sexual health. This two week programme was amazing with staff and volunteers leaving inspired and amazed by these wonderful girls and their positivity and outlook on life. Throughout the programme we were continually surprised and impressed by the views of these girls and how open and courageous they were while discussing topics that many would find challenging and embarrassing.
On our final day we had a graduation where everyone shared things they learnt during the programme. The feedback and positivity was moving:
‘Women are strong, women are intelligent’, - GI student
“I am so inspired by all of the beautiful girls of NAFGEM and will remember you always” – Kate African Impact Academy Volunteer
‘Girls are able’- GI student
‘I learned that when girls come together and support each other, amazing things can happen’- Alison GI volunteer
‘All people are equal under the sun’- GI student
‘This programme inspired me to remember this famous quote by former Irish president Mary Robinson: “Women, who instead of rocking the cradle rocked the system”’ – Gill Programme Manager
Our project continues presently with an after school Girls Club in our local secondary school. This project has gotten off to an energetic start with numbers jumping from 38 girls to 46 girls in just oneday. With this club we will be covering workshops based on the topic of physical & mental health, adolescence, sexual health and decision making.
The response for our programme so far has been amazing with the students really taking over and getting involved in discussion. Our programme doesn’t end in the classroom, our volunteers are also enjoyed female empowerment movies and discussion evenings, and Alison our volunteer is currently running a girl impact social media campaign tackling different gender stereotypes using our craft day in kindergarten class as a means to portray these and the outreach has been amazing so far.
Great progress has been made to date worldwide but we are still a long way off reaching equality. We all need to work together to bridge the gap, because there have never been more ways to fight for women’s equality, and with our Girl Impact programme we are working together to achieve that goal by educating and empowering our community; male and females alike on the barriers faced by women in today’s society and ways of overcoming these barriers.
One of our students at NAFGEM has summed up perfectly everything we are trying to achieve with this programme. ‘All people can do everything; all people are equal in this world about all things. Let us fight for our right because we are strong and we can do everything in this world.’
‘Girls are able.’