For so many of us, the world can feel like such a huge place that it is hard to relate to people that live oceans away. Our new blog series, A Day in the Life, is meant to give you a detailed look at girls in Global G.L.O.W. HerStory programming across the globe so you can better understand the insurmountable barriers females still face today. This also gives us the opportunity to introduce each of the inspiring young ladies who are working so hard to drive change in their local communities.
Our first installment takes us to Andhra Pradesh, India, where HerStory partners with Holy Cross to provide weekly after-school programming for girls and a curriculum aimed at helping them become stronger individually so they can create positive change for their communities. Here, we had the opportunity to speak with four girls: Lavanya, Sandhya, Udaysri and Baabi, who all attend HerStory programming together, despite going to different schools. All of them are in government schooling, but Lavanya and Sandhya have 40 kids in their class, while Baabi and Udaysri’s class is limited to 9 students. “The upper-class people are not interested in sending their kids to government school, so our class is limited,” Baabi tells us.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your community?
A: Each of the girls’ responses is very similar. They all appreciate how the members of their community come together to help one another.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do at school? What do you enjoy studying?
A: Lavanya loves going to the library to read the autobiographies of great leaders. She enjoys studying social science. Sandhya enjoys the social aspect; sharing stories with friends and teaching them the things she learns in HerStory programming. Udaysri likes to play outdoor games like kabaddi and she enjoys studying Telugu and poetry. Baabi likes to garden (she even planted a guava tree in her school garden!) and enjoys studying the history of her country.
Q: What do you think HerStory has taught you?
A: “How to discover my strengths and how to utilize them to develop our community.” – Udaysri
Q: What do you think it’s important for people to know about HerStory?
A: Lavanya says, “HerStory is building a healthier bond between young girls and society.” Udaysri adds, “HerStory is a place for strengthening young girls and creating hope for the future.”
Q: How do you use the things you learn at HerStory in your everyday life?
A: “I use the things I learn to concentrate on my education and build a promising future even though I face many obstacles to continuing my education.” – Baabi
Q: What should people know about what it’s like to be a girl in your community?
A: “She has to face the opinion of the community that she is weak and should be depending on men.” – Lavanya
“Girls have to face the opinion of the community that they do not need an education and it is unnecessary.” – Sandhya
“To be a girl in our community is to face so many restrictions like not being allowed to go to school after primary education, and not being allowed to attend school or temple during menstrual periods. It is difficult.” – Baabi
“To be a girl in our community is like being a doll that is always controlled by others.” – Udaysri
Despite facing many challenges, these girls are so positive and driven to create change for themselves and the women in their communities, especially when it comes to ending child marriage and ensuring everyone has equal access to education. We are so proud of them and cannot wait to see what they do next.
To get involved and ensure girls like this have the opportunity to attend HerStory programming, click HERE.