SO much has been happening in the past few weeks; it’s been hard to keep up with all of it. Here are some highlights from Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, Uganda and India:
- Bencille had chicken pox and missed three weeks of school, but her grades were still pretty darn good and she placed 6th in her class at the end of the year. She apologized profusely to us for her lower grades, but we definitely understand!
- In Nicaragua, all the girls are doing really well, says Ashley. They managed to have a class on sex education for all the girls except Odalis, who is only 8! Here is Ashley’s report of the class, which sounds like it was wonderful:
All of the girls showed up (Fatima and Michel were right on time after being slightly reprimanded for not showing up to the movie at all haha). Teresa showed up fashionably late, but she did show up and participated. We also invited Tatiana and Alondra to attend, and they came with Sua. Anyway, during the charla, Blair talked to them about why it’s important to take care of themselves, different forms of protection and where they can get them plus the benefits and detriments to each one, emphasizing which ones prevent STDs and which prevent pregnancy, plus how they are to be used. She also emphasized the fact that they can get them all for free in a health clinic or at the hospital. We watched a great video that talks about the cycle of teenage pregnancies and the effect it has on mom and baby and family, and how that can be reversed if a girl grows up in a positive environment, gets an education and is supported to make her own choices in her life and to choose when she wants to form a family and how.
We also did a couple dinamicas, one where they represented two different families. In one family, the couple both studied and got a college degree, got jobs and were economically settled when they decided to start a family – she talked to the girls about this and involved them in asking what they studied, what kind of job they had, etc. Then the other family represented a young couple (high school age) who got pregnant at 16 and struggled…the baby gets sick, they don’t have money for medicine and have to “sell” something (represented by taking a piece of jewelry from the girls during the dinamica), have more kids, the parents don’t get to study and end up getting informal low-paying jobs to make ends meet. The idea for this was for them to see the relationship between making responsible choices, accomplishing their educational goals, etc and deciding when they want to start a family compared to being thrown into it before they’re ready and having to put their goals on hold while raising a child.
They also learned how to properly use condoms. I know that Tatiana and Alondra and even Sua are a little young to be doing it, but we figured it is something they should know how to do and even if it was a bit silly for them now, at least they have a background for later on. We emphasized to them that if and when they decide to become sexually active that they need to be proactive about protecting themselves because they are the ones that will get pregnant if they don’t, and if their novio says they don’t have a condom, they should be prepared so there are no excuses. Plus, it’s their right to protect themselves because it’s their body!
We are so glad that the girls were able to do this class. We’d like to have classes like this for everyone, boys and girls, but we can only do so much, so at least these girls have heard a little about this subject now. Hopefully it will help! Some photos from the class are included at the bottom of the page.
- In Honduras, Camila did really well at the end of her 4th grade year. She loves her school and is absolutely thriving there. For her year-end letter, we asked her if she could solve one problem in the world, what would it be and how would she do it? She wrote us a fantastic letter and it’s posted on her page—check it out!
- In Uganda, Naume continues to do so well in her classes, and she was elected “Assistant Head Girl” at school, which is quite an honor! Check out her page for some photos.
- In India, Prachi sent us a delightful letter at the end of her year, which answered the question: Tell us what a typical day is like for you? You can find this posted on her page as well.
All the other girls are doing pretty well. There have been some big upheavals at the orphanage in Tanzania, and as that situation becomes clearer, we’ll keep you informed. But all the girls there are OK, and there is a new letter up from Husna on her page. In Nepal, Bharosha is shining, as usual, and Roshani is improving a bit. This coming year, her classroom teacher will be our contact Subash, so he is already making plans to help her after school with special tutoring, for which we are very grateful.
Enjoy catching up with our girls, and as ever, thank you so much for your support! We keep growing and helping more girls, all thanks to your generosity.