In Cote D’Ivoire, Elsie Inspires the Next Generation of Leaders
Finding confidence in yourself is crucial to building confidence in those around you. In Côte D’Ivoire, Elsie has put this belief into practice. After a few years as a GLOW Club member, Elsie was motivated to grow beyond her comfort zone, speak her mind, and use her newfound confidence to inspire other girls.
Elsie graduated from GLOW Club in 2020. Inspired by the impact her mentors had on her life, she has since become a GLOW Club mentor herself for 15 other girls in her community.
Global G.L.O.W. ‘s model is driven by the expertise of trusted local mentors like Elsie who operate our social and emotional learning-based curriculum for adolescent girls. It is through our mentors’ dedication and commitment to moving the needle on gender equality that girls around the world are equipped with the skills to build their voice, agency, and power.
Read on to learn how Elsie is building the confidence of the girls within her community as a Global G.L.O.W. mentor(translated from French and edited for clarity):
How GLOW Club Changed My Life
My name is Elsie and I am a 21-year-old Global G.L.O.W. mentor who participated in GLOW Club for the last three years. When I first joined, I was quite shy, and found it challenging to communicate with my peers in the club.
Thanks to the support I received from GLOW Club, I am now able to easily express my thoughts in front of groups of people. I’m not ashamed to speak my mind and share my ideas or experiences, even among like-minded leaders. GLOW Club equips us with the tools to become leaders and play important roles in our communities. This knowledge created a new confidence in me.
I was motivated during my time in GLOW Club to work hard at school and earn my university degree in literature. I am now looking for a job to help support myself and my family!
Why We Should Listen to Girls
One of the problems we face in my community is a low enrollment rate into school for young girls. There are still some parents who don’t want to put their daughters into school. Some young girls cannot yet read or write. Without continued schooling, they face added barriers due to arranged marriage and early pregnancy.
There are many girls who want to continue their education and don’t yet want to be married or have children; this is why I want to support other young girls as a GLOW Mentor. I know that girls have the same rights as boys.
When we listen to girls, we learn more about the challenges they face in our communities. If we don’t know the problem, we can’t help. We encourage girls to share what they think and express their needs from their family members, their school, and their community.
“When we listen to girls, we learn more about the challenges they face in our communities.”
Using My Confidence to Inspire Others
I’ve found several connections between the subjects I studied at school and GLOW Club programming. I’m often able to put these skills into practice as a GLOW Club mentor. I’ve learned how to help my friends with their public speaking and even invited them to join in the Global G.L.O.W. community.
I’ve loved helping girls identify their worth, build a strong well-being, and discover how they can contribute to their community. As a mentor, I’ve helped other young girls develop the same leadership skills I’ve gained.
We’ve also helped girls learn how to give back to their community. On one of our community projects, the girls helped clean up some dirty streets. Girls are not only seeing the world they live in through this type of activity, but other community members are curious to learn more about the work they are doing as well. The positive impact is two-fold.
Leading young girls is not always easy. Sometimes young girls can be more reserved or shy just as I was when I first joined GLOW Club. It is not always easy for girls to express themselves. Through GLOW Club training and support, we teach girls how to find confidence.
I do not want girls to be afraid to share what they think. I remind girls that as a mentor, I am there to support them. When there is a problem, we will stand by them and help them solve it. I hope that the impact of GLOW Club in my own life can serve as hope for these other young girls, too.
“As a mentor, I’ve helped other young girls develop the same leadership skills I’ve gained.”
With Your Will, You’ll Find a Way
My main piece of advice for young girls is this: no matter the opinion of others or how people might seek to discourage you, I encourage you to point your focus forward. Don’t give weight to the negativity that may surround you. Nothing can stop you from joining GLOW Club. Be willing to participate. Love the other girls around you and put them first.
Find the willingness to make things happen. If you are willing, you can do it.
Special thanks to Education and English For You, who operate Global G.L.O.W. programming in safe, small group after-school sessions for Fatima and other youth participants with trusted local mentors.
Global G.L.O.W. partners with community-based organizations in 30 countries to operate mentorship-driven programs for girls ages 10-18. Our SEL-based curriculum gives girls the tools to express themselves, advocate for their rights, and challenge the most critical barriers to achieving gender equality. Support our work at globalgirlsglow.org/donate.