April 2016: GVI Laos Monthly Achievement Report: Women’s Empowerment Project
- To develop relationships with educational institutions and temples with the aim of increasing their ability to provide educational opportunities.
- To increase English classes and life skills for girls from our local partner organisation which rescues young girls from abusive situations
- To provide equal educational opportunities for both men and women.
- To provide educational opportunities to all students in the local community, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity and gender.
This April, the first Women’s Empowerment volunteers joined GVI Laos! Our WEP volunteers have been teaching 3 classes of girls from our local partner organization who rescue young girls who have been forced or tricked in to the sex industry. In addition to continuing with their English curriculum, our WEP volunteers have also introduced additional subjects to the classroom.
The first of these subjects is an ongoing self-esteem workshop. The girls talked about what a ‘feeling’ is and drew pictures of how they feel inside. To finish the lesson, they sat in a circle, taking it in turns to say something positive to the girl on their right. At the end of the lesson the program manager of our partner organization approached us, quite emotionally, and thanked us for the workshop. He said that some of the girls had told him that before class they were feeling sad but now they are feeling happy. This workshop will continue to run once a week.
The second new subject focuses on incorporating life-skills into the girls’ English lessons. This helps them gain additional skills while continuing to build on their English abilities. The first topic introduced was baking. First, the girls learnt the vocabulary associated with baking including different ingredients, utensils and instructions. Next, they learnt how to read a recipe. Then, they watched a baking segment in order to see the vocabulary and instructions in action. Finally, they choose two recipes, choc chip cookies and chocolate cup cakes, and using their new found skills, baked together!! The girls had a wonderful time, produced delicious food and practiced their English in the process.
In addition to teaching the girls classes, our WEP volunteers have also been hard at work creating women’s health workshops with interactive work books. These will be delivered as part of our girls’ program next month. Topics include puberty, menstruation, relationships, sanitation and hygiene, sex education and nutrition. We hope to adapt these workshops in the coming months in order to deliver them to rural women and girls from Luang Prabang and surrounding areas.
Written by Program Manager Leyla Isin