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GrRrrL PoWer!! - ideas, suggestions, and encouragement much appreciated.

"The Family" by Christopher Gonzalez (as seen at UWI Mona, Kingston Jamaica)

*First and foremost let me preface this entry by saying that the views expressed are mine and do not in any way represent the views of the US government, the Peace Corps, or the Jamaican governement.

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As some of you wonderful community members already know, for my volunteer service here in Jamaica I am working with teenage girls who are "at risk" and "delinquent". Many of the community members here in Jamaica see these girls as "bad" and at fault for what happens to them.

What many of these community members don't realize is that these girls are not inherently bad, that they act out for a reason. Most of these girls have been sexually abused and all of them have been either sexually, emotionally, or physically abused. We also have a high rate of developmental delayed girls.

My job at the facility is to promote the girls' self esteem and encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle. I also work with the staff on programming that they can implement and doing sensitivity and effective positive reinforcement training.

I am loving what I am doing, but I am running into some challenges in finding resources for some of the programs I am wanting to implement at the facility. Here is a list of some of the ideas I have:

- Relaxation and anger management
- Effective stretching for teenage girls*
- Effective exercises for girls who are developmental delayed*
- Art therapy for victims/surviors of domestic/sexual/emotional abuse*
- Self esteem building activities
- Goal setting

These are the ideas I have come up with so far. Let me know if you have any other suggestions. The ones with the astrik (*) denote the ones I am having the most challenges with. Please please please if you know of any resources for these do share!

Much peace,

Sharese

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jodelight's picture

brainstorm ideas

Hi Sharese,

so i really appreciated this entry. I think idea sharing is such a great way to connect. I wanted to ask is the exercises were only group/class exercises, or if you are thinking physical exercise too. so anyway,here are my ideas...

dance group activities: an evening a week, get together with a boombox, and have a dance group. Maybe you already do something like this...but I think if you are occupying the girls evenings, it helps them stay out of trouble.

I love collages. I would suggest incorporating art and goal making for the girls to create their future for themselves, and have the opportunity to express themselves.

journaling. This would encourage the girls to write about themselves, their lives, and improve their writing skills. Maybe have a time when the girls read an excerpt out of their journals/writings to the group.

Story telling. I think this would be cousin to journaling, but, maybe have the girls write a story, and then tell it to the group. Encourage their creative minds, and their learning and communication skills by having them express themselves in a few ways. I also think storytelling is a huge part of certain cultures, maybe JA culture too?

Music outlets. Encourage the girls to sing, create music, express themselves through lyrics and rhythms.?

What resources are available to you? Is there an Art Therapy option? I think that is a neat idea.

I think the work you are doing sounds so incredible. I am sure that you have many challenges, and many small rewards. I will send good thoughts your way. Keep up the good work, you are changing young women's lives. They will remember you long after you leave JA. Even on your frustrating days, remember how much progress you've made, and how many beautiful moments you've had with these girls. Keep it up sister!

I'm so proud of all the people out there who want to do all they can to change this world for the better. You're one of them.

Thank you on behalf of us all,

best,
Jody Delight

Sharese's picture

Thank you thank you thank you!

Jody,

Thank you for the ideas- they are really getting my gears going :)

Most especially thank you for the encouragement!! I will keep you updated on the programs and how they go.

Much peace and love,
Sharese

Anette Leslie's picture

Keep up the good work Sharese

Regarding self esteem building activities, you can contact Sister Angella, who is also a world pulse member, at www.sisterhoodagenda.com. They offer a very effective programme for teenage girls, which I have already spoken to her about. Resources can be mailed to you free of charge. I am also interested in implementing the programme in Jamaica so we can join forces when I return. However, I`ll be on the other side of the island, in Westmoreland.

You can also select women who are making a difference in vaious fields-there are many on world pulse, show pictures of them, tell them about the work that they are doing and let them know that they can do it too(audio visual presentations are very effective).

Please read an article in my dairy entitled `I Love You`, for more ideas.

All the best.

Anette

michellee's picture

yoga

Yoga is a great way to stretch and also relax. You don't need to have a super long program or anything either-- I worked with an environmental nonprofit that started out every day with about 15 minutes of easy yoga stretches.

Michelle
World Pulse Technology Associate

Starland's picture

an idea

You might consider checking out www.poweredbygenius.com for ideas and movements for helping developmently delayed. Ms. Whitehawk is a long time professional Brain Gym instructer and has had much succes in using Brain Gym with developmently delayed kids.

Prior to coming to Smithville, I worked for many years in non-violence negotiations and peace programing. If I can be of assistance, please let me know.

Blessings
K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

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