I’ve been dragging my feet on posting recently. Things have been really crazy. I just got back from vacation and it’s Ramadan (again). I have some really great news. I talked a little bit about it in my expectations post. We finished our Janxmar project! In Wolof, “janx” means strong independent young woman. We did girls club with girls from each middle school class at Abdoulaye Mar Diop (a local middle school).
We discussed menstrual cycles, pad making, income generation, puberty, choice, media, peer pressure, gender inequality, STDs, HIV, contraceptives, marriage, and education. When we finished we had our certificate ceremony where we had juice and thanked our local counterparts.
This club started in January and wrapped up in May. We’re so grateful for these girls and their willingness to learn and speak out.
Working with young girls has become something I’m really passionate about. Girls in cities receive education for the most part, but it’s not uncommon for girls to be left out of education in villages. It was awesome to share this club with them to continue giving them more opportunities to learn.
Talking about boyfriends, sex, and choice is so taboo in Senegal, but these girls got the opportunity to share their stories, perspective, and choices with us and their peers. Young girls hide their boyfriends from their families a lot because the concept of boyfriends doesn’t really exist. It goes from being single to engaged. There is not a real middle ground except in maybe, Dakar. Knowing this, we aimed to target peer pressure and choice issues because these girls don’t have an outlet for that. I hope the girls loved this experience as much as I did.
Stay tuned… I’ve got a waste management and rooftop garden projects in the works that I’ll be posting about shortly!