6462-901-Dignity for West African Girls
We are envisioning community transformation by changing the lives of women and young girls. We want to train and equip individuals and groups of women to increase their capacity in addressing issues women and young girls face in communities these days. Our vision is to see girls and women find their identity, belonging and purpose in God. We believe that dignity is God-given and essential to the spiritual, emotional and physical growth and well-being of girls and women. Coming alongside them in a way that impacts every area of their womanhood, from their self-image to managing their menstruation is our objective.
Cote d'Ivoire, Africa
More and more high school girls are dropping out of school because of getting pregnant or from running away from home. The risk of falling into the trap of sex trafficking is evident if girls are not careful. In November 2017, an article by the New York Times (https://nyti.ms/2hyE3ee) talked about 26 West African girls found floating in the Mediterranean Sea. The girls were probably victims of sex trafficking, originally picked up in southern Nigeria, held in Libya and then sent to Italian shores in dinghies. That same week we heard in the news here on TV, that the Ivorian government sent 3 planes to Libya to pick up their girls to bring them back.
We want to prevent girls from getting into trouble like that by enabling and encouraging them with life skills to improve their health, continue with education and to make good choices. Also to disciple girls who come through this training program and events to find their identity, belonging and purpose in God. We want to raise and mentor young girls to lead change in their communities through peer influence and other local initiatives.
Another problem is that most of the girls here can’t afford to buy tampons and throw away pads when having their period. It’s in addition not good for the environment. To educate and help the girls in providing them with good washable pads would allow them to go to school even during their period.
The way we do this is by organizing Dignity Days where girls learn together with other girls about who they are, where they belong and what their purpose in this world is. We also recognize that girls need to know about menstrual management and hygiene and together we explore these topics in a safe environment. Each girl who takes part in a Dignity Day is given a gift of a pack of washable pads and panties to make sure that they are able to continue attending school while they have their period.
Costs for one girl at a Dignity Day: booklets, slips and pads: $15
Other materials for a group of 30 girls: balloons, rent for projector, paper, snacks: $20
If we would do 4 Dignity Days this year with 30 girls it would be: $1,880
We hope to do much more in the coming years. This is just the start up for this year.
Costs for Discipleship Training: Further on we organize weekly meetings with a small group of girls to deepen topics like making choices, relationships, puberty, sexuality etc. and explore what the Bible has to say about the value and worth of women. Here in West Africa it’s a taboo to talk about certain women subjects. As a result, there is ignorance about all the topics mentioned above. This would be a once a week meeting for 12 weeks.
Cost for the material for 10 girls and 4 different groups: $200
For all this to happen we need to have for the start 2 Facilitators trained. The Dignity Campaign in Cape Town, South Africa does those trainings best. There will be a training April 23rd to 29th 2018. To send 2 Facilitators to the training with airfare, visa and the formation costs would be $3,800
Transportation Costs for the different meetings: $120
Total for the year 2018: $6,000
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