Girls at the forefront of change: Girl Determined facilitates girls’ recognition of their personal and group potential. In Myanmar, Girl Determined is sparking a movement of girls with leadership skills to advocate for their own rights and a future that does not re-create the risks they now face.
Since 2010 Girl Determined has been working with girls aged 12-17 in rural and urban communities to develop girls’ abilities to take hold of their lives’ course. With 8 million adolescent girls in the country, more than half of those not currently in school, the need is evident. Girl Determined programmes enhance girls’ ability to make strategic life-decisions, manage their money, take care of their bodies and minds and organise positive social change around issues that affect them.
“Colorful Girls Circles”
“Colorful Girls Circles” are structured, weekly after-school programmes, following a two year curriculum, facilitated by trained women from the relevant communities. In 2013 Girl Determined began developing and implementing a sporting programme to compliment the weekly leadership circles; after careful consideration volleyball has been selected mainly because of its emphasis on teamwork as well as volleyball’s limited needs for equipment, specialty attire and space. 750 girls have immediately attended the weekly sports sessions, compounding the lessons learned in the circles and bringing physical health and body confidence to the fore. In addition to the clear individual benefits of regular sports, including fitness, building patience and reliance, and problem-solving skills, gender norms in some communities are beginning to shift around expected and accepted behaviours for girls.