Ask a Volunteer
Q: As a Peace Corps Volunteer, what projects have you worked on that empower women or girls? Why are these projects important in your country of service?
A: The women's empowerment activities I have engaged in include: creating an annual sponsorship program for the girls in my village who could not afford to go to secondary school; participating in a girl’s empowerment conference with plans for a second conference; writing a grant for a vocational training center for at risk youth in my village who did not pass their 7th grade exams; a writing group for young women to learn about literature and how to create it; a running group for young women to understand the importance of exercise and to feel empowered to do it; a health club for primary school girls in which I taught life skills, health information, and empowerment skills; and creating a Mamas Income Generation group to increase the financial independence of the women in my village.
All the projects listed above are important, specifically with regards to women, because they teach girls and women that they are valuable citizens, that they can do everything that boys and men can do if they wish to, and that they have the right to stand up for themselves in all situations and to make their own decisions.
Catherine Scully, Community Development Peace Corps Volunteer, Tanzania
A: Nearly every Monday for the last two years, I have worked with a girls' empowerment group in my community called Girls' Circle. We, as facilitators, work with the girls to develop inner strength and confidence by helping them to realize their potential. Through creative arts and group activities we discuss everything from healthy relationships to building a successful future. The girls in St. Lucia are faced with many obstacles, from the prominence of infidelity to the rising rates of HIV/AIDS. Girls' Circle helps the girls to establish a healthy self-image and effective communication skills to help them conquer the cultural obstacles that arise in their lives.
Haley Shellhorn, Community Development Peace Corps Volunteer, St. Lucia