Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Adolescent Girls' Camp

Jalore-19-20 May, 2011 and Jodhpur 29-30 May, 2011

Vikalp led a two-day camp for adolescent (kishori) girls on the rights of women, the importance of girls’ education, and stopping domestic violence (gharelu hinsa) in both Jodhpur and Jalore. 40 girls from seven villages united in Jalore to participate in this creative training session and another girls came to Jodhpur from ten villages in the Luni block district. Usha, the director of Vikalp, guided the girls in collaborative activities to voice their feelings and experiences. For example, each girl described her dream with the group and drew a picture of what she wanted to be in ten years. The drawing would hang on her wall at home as a reminder to pursue her education and speak out against violence in order to realize her dream. The girls watched a documentary and performed skits, as well as participating in numerous songs, dances, and games to help build confidence.

The group ended the camp by sharing their new knowledge, such as how to stop child marriage in the village, go to school irrespective of difficulties, or remain in a group while managing her own needs. The girls pledged to use these lessons when they returned to their respective villages, helping to promote equal gender norms and a violence free zone. The girls also took the responsibility upon themselves to promote girls’ education in their villages by traveling from home to home, spreading the important message to girls and parents to continue higher education.
Case study: Shobbha is from Bavabi village, and this was her second time participating in a Vikalp camp. In the first training she gained a lot of self-confidence, so she eagerly shared her experiences with the group. Her dream now, she explained, was to continue her education and become a social worker. She wanted to continue all the work that Vikalp does with women. The lessons and confident sense of self she gained from the workshop, allowed her to raise her voice at home when her father domestically abused her mother. She spoke out on behalf of her mother and helped her to safely find help.
Girls performing a skit on gender-related problems they face in their homes

Dancing and playing
Meditation on future dreams
“My name is mamta. My village name is Shikarpura. I want to be a doctor.”
Playing a game
“We all are ONE.”

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