Our service has planned so much within the span of a few months. Instead of making short individual posts, each of these activities will be succinctly summarized in this one post, as well as my final experience with the service I am proud to hand over leadership and resign from service with Ariana, leaving Girls for Girls in Diana’s capable hands!
Mandalas – Coloring Therapy (March 16th, 2017)
The girls from the center were scheduled for a yoga session at our school. Before this session, we decided to show the girls around our school and of course, have a few snacks and drinks before doing yoga. Eventually, we ended up in the library and we calmly colored for around 30 minutes. They seemed proud of their work and wanted to keep it. I hope that we can continue this in the future because it was a very therapeutic activity that was beneficial for both us and the girls.
Book Drive – Building a Library (March 23rd, 2017)
This was one of our projects which I was very excited about because it was a good way to raise awareness about our cause and involve others in supporting the girls. I remember during our first meeting with the girls, two girls said that they enjoy reading. This also relates to a local and global issue (LO6) – the difficulty girls have to face to obtain an education. Emerge’s transitional center aims to curb this issue. Therefore, we thought it was vital that they had a small sort of library o the girls can read in their freetime alongside their English classes and other classes.
We had plenty of donations, however not all were appropriate, either in terms of content or English level, but it was a good experience for us to sit down and go through the books and consider these obstacles (LO2). The next step is to get a bookshelf because they do not currently have one, and perhaps invest in more Sinhala books or English-to-Sinhala translated books, accompanied with the English version. It would be good to also curate the bookshelf to have books featuring young female role models. It was hard to do this when most of the books donated were kids’ books.
The Girls’ Graduation (April 6th, 2017)
It broke my heart to see these first batch of girls have to leave the center. This was a totally new experience and we learned so much from each other. Although it might’ve seemed sad for them to leave, the graduation ceremony was filled with positive speeches, dances, singing and even a self-defense demonstration. I realized how much they learned at this center and how valuable it is that we were able to be part of that journey. The whole service, for both Ariana and I, was a demonstration of all the learning outcomes, but most of all we planned and initiated and built this service together (LO3) with a small group of dedicated girls, so I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in only a year. Something like this could only be achieved with pure determination and I know that everyone in the service, including our teacher supervisors Ms. Dahlan and Ms. Kuruppu, truly cares about what we do and why (LO4).
At the center, we were the first group of young mentors, and they were the first group of mentees. Our whole collaboration with them this year was really themed around the idea of ‘new beginnings’. I’m very glad we were able to share so many memories with them and be a part of their journey.