WorldTeach volunteer Jordon has created a girls' club to help some of her students learn more about women's issues in Namibia.
Finally, after many trials, tribulations, delays, and some lack of interest I finally had my first official girls' club meeting, with not just one additional teacher helping me but two.
I really wanted to get this club going because the kinds of issues I hope to tackle in the girls club have always been issues close to my heart; things I have struggled with in my own life. I have found these issues, such as self-esteem and feeling empowered to be huge problems not only in Aroab, but in Namibia as a whole. Namibia errs on the side of a male dominated society. I have noticed in my own relationship, that there are certain things that I am expected to do. Although being the feminist that I am, I have slowly tried to break my boyfriend of this habit. I was so happy to finally being doing something outside of school where I could at least feel like I am developing relationships that matter.
We started off very simple, especially since we were struggling to get girls interested in the first few weeks. So we just decided to do an activity where the girls did not need to be signed up previously. We held it at the government hostel, conveniently where I am staying, approximately about a 30 second walk. My colleague, Miss Yisa and I challenged the girls to bake a simple shortbread recipe and after we would discuss what the girls club is about. The cookies turned out all right, good enough for the girls to enjoy. Then we told them what we would be doing the rest of the year in the club. I really tried to impress upon the girls that this was their club, and we really wanted to do things they wanted to do, not just talk at them about issues we wanted them to conscious of.
During the second hour, another colleague of mine, Miss Van Staden arrived and really came up with some good ideas for the club that the girls were interested in. The thing that I like the most that she talked about was how everything said in this club would be confidential. Anything we as teachers shared with the girls or anything they shared with us would be keep in the club and not gossiped about in school. I think she was very open with the girls in a good way that made them more comfortable around us.
I am really excited about the potential this club has. I hope that in the coming weeks, things will begin to happen more quickly, I just really have to stay on top of the girls and my colleagues, despite the end of Term 2 coming in just a few weeks.
- Jordon Frank, WorldTeach Namibia 2014
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