How a Junior Mentor from Mozambique is Using Her Own Experience to Change the Lives of Girls
Rosita is a 23-year-old junior mentor from The Grail in Mozambique. Rosita joined Global G.L.O.W. after being introduced to the program while she was living in a resource center to escape an abusive family member. The experience was so impactful that she has continued working with The Grail and Global G.L.O.W. in a mentorship capacity. She hopes to use her own experience to help change the lives of the next generation of girls. Here is her powerful story, in her own words:
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Rosita and I am 23 years old. I am simple, I have 5 siblings, I like to write and listen to music. I live with my mother, father, and siblings. I am my mother’s first daughter, but my father already had other children before he married my mother.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to write and listen to music.
What is your dream for your future?
Since I was a child, my dream was to be a nurse, but when I finished the 12th grade, I realized that I am more inclined to become a psychologist. Although I appreciate both areas, when I entered into the world of activism I realized that several girls who are victims of violence need someone to talk to and support them to overcome their traumas and that is what I want to be and do to help other girls. On the other hand, the idea of being a mentor also takes me on this path, so I have this desire to become a psychologist and thereby help many girls.
What do you want the world to know about you?
I would like the world to know my story and that although I went through several difficulties, mainly because I grew up outside my family, today I am with my family and I have my own dreams, one of them is to continue studying. I grew up in a shelter because once I left home running away from my stepfather I got lost. Before my mother married my stepfather, I lived with my maternal uncles, and then I moved into my stepfather’s house where I would live with my mother. My stepfather and I had a lot of problems, so much so that I always suffered physical and psychological violence (when I was accused of being responsible for everything wrong that happened to him). Because of that, one day, when he was about to hit me, I ran away and at the end of the day, I couldn’t find my way back home. It was there that I met some girls who already lived in the center and they took me there. I found shelter and that’s where I lived for a long time until I finished my 12th grade. Today I am back in the family and I want to continue studying and following my dreams. Furthermore, as a junior mentor, I have helped my sisters in the center to learn more about their rights and to awaken in them the desire to fight for their dreams as well.
“When I entered into the world of activism, I realized that several girls who are victims of violence need someone to talk to and support them to overcome their traumas and that is what I want to be and do to help other girls.”
What is it like to be a girl where you live?
Where I live being a girl is good but very difficult. Many of us have to discover several things by ourselves, we don’t have much support from our parents. Unfortunately, our parents are not open to us to talk about things about life, especially about sexual and reproductive health and rights, and because of that, we become very vulnerable. Parents do not talk about aspects related to the girl, for example, menstruation, as they are treated as taboo.
Tell us about a challenging time in your life that you overcame. What helped you get through that time? Did anyone support you?
The most difficult moment was when I had to face the dark streets of the city, and I was almost sexually assaulted, especially after seeing one of my friends being sexually assaulted. When I was living in the center, which is a semi-open center, that is, it does not have a boarding system, sometimes I went out with my sisters from the center. Once, because it was already late at night, we had to take shelter in an abandoned house that was in the center of the city. This was the worst moment, mainly because one of my sisters was sexually abused and I was unable to do anything to help her. That situation left me in shock and traumatized. To overcome these traumas and shock the facilitators (aunts) at the center helped me a lot and gave me the support I needed, and today, although I don’t like to remember what I went through on that day, I feel that I managed to overcome the trauma.
How did you get involved with The Grail and Global G.L.O.W.?
I was introduced to The Grail when I was still living in the center. The group of women from The Grail always carried out recreational activities with the girls. In 2019 I met the Grail mentors who were going to implement the Global G.L.O.W. curriculum there and with the activities they implemented, I became increasingly interested in mentoring work.
What do you like about Global G.L.O.W.?
It is difficult for me to say for sure what I most like about Global G.L.O.W. because everything that is done inspires me. From the curriculum approach to the implementation of activities. I really like the activities that Global G.L.O.W. presents, they are activities of mutual growth and are interactive, which makes all the girls in the group, including the mentors, give more of themselves, one learning from other, and that inspires me.
What made you want to become a junior mentor?
Through the activities that The Grail did in the center, I learned a lot about myself, and with the help of these activities I learned to express myself better, and that I noticed even at school. Seeing all the changes in me, I decided to use mentoring as an instrument to help other girls so that they also discover the potential that is in them. And it is through mentoring that I allow myself to learn more and teach what I know.
“I decided to use mentoring as an instrument to help other girls so that they can also discover the potential that is in them.”
What do you like about being a junior mentor?
Honestly, I like absolutely everything about being a junior mentor. I like to be learning from other mentors, I like to be with the girls and pass on my knowledge to them, etc. I see a way to help them, just as the mentors helped me and continue to do so.
What have you learned from being a mentor?
So far, although it has not been long since we started the activities, one of the things I highlight about having learned as a mentor is flexibility. Have the flexibility to prepare the sessions, understand what the curriculum says and what is expected of me, and then implement the activities with the girls.
What advice do you give younger girls in Global G.L.O.W. clubs?
They should not look at what Global G.L.O.W. is doing as a mere activity, but that they look as a source of knowledge, a mirror that reflects their image. May they take this opportunity to learn as much as they can and one day be able to mentor other girls.
“[Girls] should not look at what Global G.L.O.W. is doing as a mere activity, but as a source of knowledge, a mirror that reflects their image.”
What is your wish for women and girls where you live?
My wish is that they all become strong and optimistic women, and never lose their self-esteem. Never be afraid to fight for their dreams and rights.