Peer Educate the girls!

Dearest reader,

Hello. Sometimes you complain about work, sometimes it gets too much, sometimes you become lazy and at times you just… have enough! Other times something happens and you secretly smile to yourself, proud of everything that you have accomplished. Today, I had one of those moments. A moment where I stepped back, watched and smiled. I whispered to myself, “I’m proud!”

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Girls doing a Peer Education session in one of the women centers in Erbil’s neighbourhoods

A while back we held a training in the Baharka camp for Internally Displaced (IDP) girls, a small (and I mean a very small) number of girls were able to get certificates and become peer educators. Today, I visited one of the women centers we support, it was a coincidence  that during the time I visited there was a peer education session. And there she was, one of the girls we trained (Huda and myself) doing a session on her own.

I loved the way she was undertaking the session. I watched the girls learn together. For some, it is the first time their opinions and views are welcomed and respected. I love the fact I can have the privilege of empowering, motivating and giving the skills to one person, who can later pass that knowledge to hundreds of others girls her age!

Here they were, the most vulnerable individuals in our society being empowered and aware on issues that most relate to them.

They are learning… and having fun at the same time. When the session finishes, they don’t want to leave.

After their session we did interviews for those who themselves wanted to become peer educators. In the interviews I realized each had a story of her own. I know very well, every girl, if educated the right way and given the right opportunities she can do great things and go a very long way in life. Sadly, in this society many of these girls come from a background where after a certain age school is no longer an option and marriage (forced) is the ideal alternative. It hurts. It really does.

Here, together, they learn about family planning, about sexually transmitted diseases; they learn how to make healthier decisions, how to look after themselves, how to deal with stress and how to communicate better with their family members. They learn from one another, they share their views about issues that affect their life the most. Above all, they discover respect, acceptance and working with one another. They come as strangers, and leave as friends.

I feel proud, and happy, but this isn’t enough…. we need to do more to brighten the lives and futures of these girls.

Love from My Nest in Kurdistan

Saz,

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