G.I.R.L.S (Girls In Real Life Situations)

A Peacemaking Project by Lovelind R.

What is the injustice we are solving?

Imagine a world where young girls are fearless, brave, confident, and full of self-love; where young girls grow up to be strong and unstoppable women, and have the knowledge of their own self-worth; where women and girls know they can rely on their friends, family, and community while taking the steps towards making their dreams come true. The problem is the fact that we are only imagining such a world. Our team project will be addressing the social deconstruction and physical, mental, and emotional abuse that young girls are enduring. In order to succeed in our Challenge, we will provide a safe space to heal and teach healthy ways to cope with their feelings of injustice through community, art, and music. The goal is to bring young woman and girls together to show that abuse against us won’t break our spirits. We will teach girls not only how to overcome, but how to rise above it all.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of The mental or internal distress that is the result of emotional,physical,mental abuse and online stigma of how girls should look, act, and think.
we will address the bad coping skills and feeling lonely also the feeling of being unloved
by Showing Girls how to build up their self esteem so they can learn to love themselves the way they are,teaching healthy coping skills,also bringing in a sense of community among the girls.

Our Project Plan:

Goals

  • Girls will be able to create their image of superwoman on a jacket calling it their power jacket.
  • Learn how to write about their feelings and put it in the format of a song or poetry.
  • Learn calming techniques
  • Learn new ways to develop self-esteem

We will increase my / our compassion by...

We will increase our compassion by listening to other about their stories and practicing empathy.

How will you show courage?

To show that our own abuse that we endured in the past fuels us to fight for the healing of other young girls. Also by telling our stories and showing that our past may have shaped us but it doesn’t define us. To stand up for the right of girls to feel safe and comfortable in their own skin.

How will you collaborate with others?

We will contact the local organizations for Donations, We will invite other women to take part in our project event, and asks young girls how they would like to learn about self-esteem and healing techniques.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

There will be a survey at the end of the event, a meeting with everyone who will take part in the project to give feedback.

Key Steps

  • Make a note of supplies needed
  • Find a location for event
  • Create budget plan
  • Write a letter to local Organizations about donations
  • Set date for event
  • Make a Flyer
  • Sent an agenda for event
  • Task volunteers with jobs for day of event
  • Make goody bags for participants to take with them
  • Set date for final meeting
  • Make a survey for feedback of event to learn how we can make the next event have a greater impact

Reflection:

How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?

The project deepened the understanding of the injustice by how all the girls were inspired and took away the tools to help them when they are going through tough times.

How did your community change as a result of your project?

My community changed in the way of parents and younger girls feeling more confident. The parents feeling like there is something in the community that is helping girls with self-esteem and resiliency.

How many people were impacted by your project?

16

Explain how you came up with the number of people impacted by the project?

The number of girls that took part in the program.

How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?

I learned that this is a need in the community. I had many girls tell me that they felt inspired to write and do art as a way of Resiliency.

What did your team learn?

I learned that I need to formulate a better plan. I learned that girls will engage with you if you are transparent with them. I learned that for donations there needs to be enough time for companies to respond.

What challenges did your team overcome?

I had to overcome not having enough funds because I did not account for shipping cost. I overcame a lot of my team leaving the project and having to get volunteers to help. I overcame my fear of everything going wrong. I also overcame not having the right address and getting there late.

How have you involved others in designing, carrying out, or expanding this project?

I reached out to a few non-profit organizations about partnering with them and possibly making it part of their after-school program curriculum.

What advice would you give to someone starting a peacemaking project?

Plan ahead and always have a back up plan for your back up plan. Reach out to nonprofit organization in your town. They are very excited to see the youth taking active roles in their own community.

Our Updates:

Date/time/Place

Lovelind R. 2 May 2018 19:55

Here are some pictures from the event.

Lovelind R. 22 May 2018 11:00 The event happened on the 19th and it was a great turn out here are some pictures.

Comments:

Fish S. Peace First Staff
7 June 2018 9:07

Hi Lovelind!

Congratulations on finishing your peacemaking project! I’m on the Peace First team and wanted to say thank you for your amazing work and for taking time to share about your work.

Below you will find some feedback based on your Reflection, which we hope will help you to celebrate your incredible accomplishment and reflect on how to grow and develop your project in the future:

Lovelind, I'm so inspired by your awesome work with G.I.R.L.S.! Here are just a few things that inspire me:
-Your courage in continuing your work even as others lost interest and you faced challenges
-Your willingness to collaborate with other organizations in the community to bring your work to life (and your advice to peacemakers about how important this is!)
-And of course your compassion for the girls you've worked with.

After reading your reflection, I want to know more about the sessions! What did the girls who took part in the program do? Were you able to get some data (through surveys, quotes, etc) about what they learned or how they felt? If you could share this, I know it would be helpful to other young people working on similar issues.

I'm so excited that you want to keep going with this work and turn it into a nonprofit. I think the first steps will be working on revising your curriculum based on what you learned in your first session, building a team to help you, and building relationships with schools and nonprofits where you can start offering it over the summer and fall. We want to support you with all of those pieces -- let us know if you want to brainstorm ideas! (I can think of a few New Haven nonprofits that would love your work.)

We hope you will stay in touch and keep us up to date as you continue your work to create change!

Fish  

Adrian B. Peace First Staff
9 March 2018 14:54

Hi Lovelind,

Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.

The mini-grant process is also a space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below:

Strengths:

I love the way you're using courage to talk to girls who are abuse survivors and give space for healing, creativity, and joy. This is such an important topic to bring to light, and the creative activities you have planned will only help support that process!

It's so important to build up coping mechanisms for abuse survivors, and I love that you're involving your community and focusing on young survivors so that they don't feel alone and have the space to express themselves. Thanks so much for this work!

How to make your project even more awesome:

I'm curious about what your timeframe is for this plan--I see some great details, but we need to make sure that the project will be completed by May 31 for the purposes of the mini-grant. When are you planning to do this work?

I also am curious about the root cause you identified: "the bad coping skills and feeling lonely also the feeling of being unloved." Is this a cause of abuse, or is it a result of abuse? I encourage you to think deeply about what the root causes of abuse are, so that your project can be even more effective. Check out this toolkit for doing that work: https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/test-project-3/dashboard/understand-injustice

Really excited to hear more! Keep up the phenomenal work. Congratulations and best of luck with your project!

Best,
Adrian  

Lovelind R.
22 February 2018 16:20

Sounds good, thank you for all the help and guidance.  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
22 February 2018 10:43

Sounds good. Here's the deal - you work with a teacher to reach out to middle schools, I will connect you with the Boys and Girls Club, Squash Haven, and the library. Sound good? :)  

Lovelind R.
21 February 2018 17:02

Hello, my team and I have agreed that it would be in the best interests of the project to move ahead with a place that has the out reachability to get kids and parents attention. We would be very grateful if we could get in contact the schools, library, boys and girls club, and Squash Haven to plan a meeting or even talk over emails, to see if we could work together. Thank you so much for your help.  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
20 February 2018 9:03

Sounds good. Let me know how I can help!  

Lovelind R.
17 February 2018 14:45

WOW ok, thanks, this helps, I have a meeting with my teammate coming up and we shall discuss all these ideas and see which one we feel will work best for our project. Thank you again, this really helps a lot.  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
16 February 2018 13:21

You are in luck -- I used to work in New Haven as an educator and youth organizer! :)

Here is my thought: it will probably be much easier (and maybe more effective) for you to teach to an existing group of students rather than having to bring a new one together on your own. So, teaching this in a middle school classroom, or to a group of students in an after school program, etc. What do you think?

If that's the route you want to go down, I'd start by working with a teacher or principal at your school and asking if they could connect you with teachers/principals at a middle school in New Haven to see if you could work with a group of girls there. (If there's not anyone in your high school you feel comfortable asking, it would also work for you to reach out on your own!)

Alternatively, here are some other places you could reach out to that might be able to connect you with a group of girls to teach:
-Places of worship
-New Haven public library (I can connect you with someone here)
-Boys and Girls Club (I can connect you with someone here)
-LEAP (I can connect you with someone here)
-Squash Haven (I can connect you with someone here)
-Charter schools like Common Ground (can connect you with someone there)
-Solar Youth
-The YMCA

If you'd prefer to get a group together on your own, I can do some brainstorming on best ways to do that, too. Just let me know! :)  

Lovelind R.
15 February 2018 8:17

Thank you so much for the feedback. The way we plan to recruit girls is by posting flyers and reaching out to school around the Greater New Haven area. Getting help on the right way to do this would be great, we would like for there to be a great impact on the community.  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
13 February 2018 9:46

Hi Lovelind! I'm a member of the Peace First team. I noticed you've posted your insight and plan, and just wanted to offer you some feedback.

I think your insight is terrific. You identify a true and terrible injustice, and I think your idea to combat the internalized attitudes that prolong that trauma is a great one. Building a sense of self-esteem and community among girls makes a lot of sense as a solution. Really powerful!

Your plan is incredible, as well -- I love your emphasis on, and concrete plans for, compassion, courage, and collaboration. This is exactly what a peacemaking project should be -- grounded in empathy, powered by the community, speaking out for your values and telling your stories without fear. The logistical pieces of the plan are really strong as well -- it feels like you've thought of nearly everything, and in particular I love your plans to gather feedback! It seems like the activities you've planned will be engaging, empowering, and connected to your goals.

My only question is -- how do you plan to recruit the girls to participate in your sessions? Is that something we can help with?

I'm really, really inspired by this project. Keep up the great work, and let us know how we can help! We're happy to offer feedback, tools, and mentors -- and you should definitely consider applying for one of our $250 mini-grants!  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
23 January 2018 16:45

Lovelind, I LOVE IT! What a powerful and insightful statement of the problem at hand. Creating safe, positive, and creative spaces sounds like a great way to build up girls' self-concept and break the cycle of social deconstruction.

Now that you have an idea, do you need help turning it into a plan? We have a series of planning tools at peacefirst.org/resources that you can use -- and we're happy to answer questions, too. Where do you need the most help right now?