The Secret Sauce of Empowering Girls: Encouraging "Voice and Choice" (Sunrise Centre, Uganda)
Sunrise Centre in central Uganda warmly hosted our group of families and board members in August. We were invited to co-create with teachers and girls ages 12-15 a series of empowerment activities to launch a girls empowerment program. 25 students were selected from 50 applicants. The girls and their teachers guided the choice of activities, facilitated by Amanda Coslor, with her 12-year old daughter Ona Herman, Sunrise Founder/Director, Nicole Van Seters, Lisa Giannini (Sunrise Board member), Kelly Stone, and myself.
Other activities chosen by the girls included journal making led by Ona Herman and her mom, and learning about local traditions around sexuality led by their teachers and special guest Jajja Nabukeira ("Jajja" means elder or grandmother in Luganda). Sunrise School hosted the girls for a weekend of sleepovers complete with movies and snacks. "Maama Nicole", besides leading the organization supporting the school and maternity/health clinic, is like a second mother to the girls, while mothering her own daughters Nassali and Eliana. The girls empowerment group will continue on a regular basis now that school is back in session.
We were thrilled and honored to be part of the kickoff of this essential program to guide, protect, and empower eager young hearts, minds and bodies! See more photos below..
"Voice and Choice" is one of the bylines of Global Force for Healing's work in Africa, Asia, and the Americas through supporting community-based, (mostly) women-led initiatives to help ensure access to healthcare and the universal rights of women and girls. Stay tuned!!