Girls Don't Just Wanna Have Fun

Paulina Nayra
Posted August 26, 2020 from Philippines
Youth from the Leyte Sab-a Peatland
Girls from a village in the periphery of the Leyte Sab-a peat swamp forest draw their vision of the peatland.

I am writing this story because I want to connect with sisters who are implementing projects with girls and boys, too. I have been in development work for more than twenty-five (25) years and I can proudly say that my most fulfilling project is the "Empowering Girls Project" which we have implemented in 19 villages in Tacloban City more than a decade ago. We were able to reach 600 girls and educate them on life skills and on reproductive health and rights. Many of the girls were just 14 - 16 years old at that time and now they have their own careers and families. They have carved their own paths as teachers, health care workers, entrepreneurs  and yes mothers. Many of them attribute their self-confidence and "marrying at the right time" from the trainings they underwent as Adolescent Team Educators (ATEs) and learners. ATEs serve as peer facilitators who facilitate learning group sessions of girls in their respective villages. 

We are set to embark on a similar project in five (5) municipalities and 25 villages from two (2) provinces in another island. The Philippines is an archipelago composed of more than 7,100 islands and I live in an island called Leyte. The ATEs who were trained 15 years ago will play a big role in this project. However, times have changed. There was no social media, yet, that time. They were peaceful times. No pandemic. Girls and boys today are growing in a different environment where they are exposed to all sorts of information, both false and half true. And we are now in a pandemic with community quarantine protocols, no classes and no face to face meetings. Times that require a lot of resourcefulness,  creativity and technology in order to implement a project.

How are you doing your projects with girls these days? Can we share notes? Can we meet over Zoom? Can we connect the girls from our different countries? Can we start the world sisterhood while they are young? Who knows that by creating a wave of empowered girls now, we can accelerate the pace towards global gender equality. 

Girls can lead.  We are here to support them. 

Girls don't just want to have fun. They want to create a better world, too. Think Malala. Think Greta.

This story was submitted in response to Supporting Our Girls.

Comments 18

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maeann
Aug 27
Aug 27

Hi Ate Pauline, thank you for sharing this. This is the time that we should think creative projects to reach young girls, I believe there are so many things we can do for them as their adult sisters. And yes, we can actually start as early while they are young...

Paulina Nayra
Aug 28
Aug 28

Yes, would you like to meet the girls from Samar?

Wishing there’s good internet connection there so they can meet World Pulse.

Thanks Mae. Enjoy Ireland.

maeann
Sep 02
Sep 02

I hope there is good internet Te :)

Chi8629
Aug 27
Aug 27

Thank you for sharing.

Paulina Nayra
Aug 28
Aug 28

You’re welcome! How are you?
Please take care.

Huggs.

Chi8629
Aug 28
Aug 28

Okay darling sister , iam fine and you? Thank you.

Nini Mappo
Aug 28
Aug 28

Wow, 25 years in development. hat a wealth of knowledge and experiences you must have!
It is life-giving what you were able to do for those young girls, and goes to show how vital early mentoring is for girls as future leaders and contributors to society.

Keep sparkling.

Paulina Nayra
Aug 28
Aug 28

Hi Nini,
See? I’m still young. Only 25 years old.:-) in development work. Hope to serve more in the next 25 years.

Hello, Inspiring Ate Pauline,

Thank you for your 25 years of service in the development work, the road less taken. Thank you for empowering girls and boys in the Philippines! I hope you can connect with our World Pulse sisters here who are doing the same.

I really enjoy reading your posts because you write well. Please keep them coming. For sure, there are thousands of stories you can share from those 25 years! We will be learning from you, Professor!

Paulina Nayra
Aug 28
Aug 28

25 years and I haven’t scratched the surface. That’s why there should be more of people like you who is part of the journey towards gender equality Mabuhay

Hugggs.

Millynairi
Aug 29
Aug 29

Dear Pauline,
25 years, wow! I like the idea of empowering girls and the fact that you started with some when they were young and now they have their families. This is a very good initiative and I believe these girls will be able to empower other in future. Thanks for sharing.

Paulina Nayra
Aug 31
Aug 31

Oh, yes, Milly. The girls now women are excited to share their learnings and skills to empower other girls. It is quite a challenging task during the pandemic. Thanks for reading.
Please take care.
Huggs.

UCHE LIN
Aug 31
Aug 31

Very Inspiring and amazing sis Paulina! Wow! 25 years is not just days or weeks! You have instilled and inculcated a lot of virtues in them while they were at young age. They are now doing great for themselves. This singular act of yours is worthy of emulation. As the saying goes "Catch them young" You did caught a lot of fishes with your super-tech net.
let me paraphrase "Girls don't just wanna have fun"...They want to create a better tomorrow!
The project sounds interesting to me. May be we could collaborate in the nearest future.
Thank you for sharing this awesome piece!

Paulina Nayra
Sep 01
Sep 01

Yes, let’s do it Uche. It’s good to multiply ourselves through the young.
Hugggs.

Adanna
Sep 03
Sep 03

Thank you for sharing Ate Paulina and well done for all your amazing work!

Indeed, girls don't just want to have fun, they also want to create a better world too.

I really wish that someday the internet connection in Africa will be so stable that the girls can also connect and reach out to other girls in other continents from anywhere they are; sharing skills, knowledge and experiences as well as learning from each other.

Love,
Adanna

.

Paulina Nayra
Sep 06
Sep 06

Dear Adanna,
Everything starts with a dream. That will happen in the near future. It will be great to see our younger versions connecting worldwide.
Huggs.

Regina Afanwi Young
Sep 04
Sep 04

Hello Ate Paulina, congratulations for 25 years of selfless service to improve on the lives of young girls and boys. You have s beautiful heart dear.
Yes with the pandemic it had become very challenging to work . I experience that too.
What I do is train them livelihood skills which they can do at home. I have also train the girls am working with with simple digital tools which they can use to sell their products like whatsapp and Facebook and its working okay.
Starting the World sisterhood is a great idea dear.
Have a great weekend

Paulina Nayra
Sep 06
Sep 06

Yay Regina, teaching them livelihood skills is a great idea. This will be applicable to older girls, right? Btw, how old are the girls that you're training?
I will include a module on sisterhood in our training with adolescents. I will ask them to connect with at least one girl from another country. And that means, they have to be trained on digital skills. Let's keep in touch.

Hugggs.