Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Teaching health for the WHOLE self

Today was another Wednesday, which means we are in there actively teaching the girls life skills at the “Girls at Risk” Niger Vocational Training Centre! We love these days!

Once again all the morning class girls (Tuaregs) were super early, eager and ready to learn! We split into two groups for math and French (beginner and intermediate) and one other group broke off with 6 girls who are completely illiterate. Our co-worker Terayshad is going to work with them for the next months teaching them to write and read basic letters and to learn to write their own names. So exciting! The afternoon class was very similar except we don’t have any completely illiterate girls that we are aware of yet.

In this picture below Rebecca is working on basic math with our afternoon class. For some of the easier questions they almost launched themselves at her to be the first at the board to answer! And all those raised hands? They are SNAPPING at her. It is their version of raising your hand- snap away!


  After the morning “snack break” we all got together in the main room to talk about health. We spent time talking about what makes a person healthy. As a group we brainstormed and shared ideas about what makes a “complete” healthy person. It isn’t just physical health! We told some stories to demonstrate how even if a person is in good physical shape but hates his neighbours, cant sleep because of stress, and has no education- he isn’t really “healthy” at all!


We made a circle in the centre of the board and called that LIFE (vie). All around it we brainstormed what makes us complete. We listed many physical things such as food, water, security, medical care and shelter. We talked about mental things such as education, literacy, job training and general knowledge. We talked about emotional things such as love, family and friends, and we talked about our spiritual sides of prayer, knowing and obeying God. We told the girls we aren’t only interested in their physical bodies. We want them to be whole, and that means talking about it all! So over these next months we will slowly work through all these topics and more, looking at what it means to be a safe, dynamic, thriving, healthy woman!


After we had a full circle of life goals, we decided to make it more personal and participatory! We brought out the paints and they painted a 3 foot square wall paper mural of the circle and we wrote all our ideas for health along each colored line.


The afternoon class all huddled around their art project, painting away!


And the best part, at the end of it every girl wrote her name in the middle of the “life” centre. Claiming that type of rich, full, enriched and healthy life for herself!



Oh yeah- we also got all the badges done for the girls. Now they feel really “official” and like they are a part of something big. Yay for unity!


1 comment :

Pamela Jessen said...

Chantelle, I am sooooo envious of what you're doing with your girls with this new project. I'm excited to become a prayer partner, but I wish I was there in person to help you even more.

I can sense the excitement that all your girls seem to have for learning. I will continue to pray for them all as a group, and for all the leaders/teachers as well.

Thanks for your wonderful updates. Big hugs!