2015 classes at Circulo de Amigas
In January as part of Circulo de Amigas volunteerism program, the high school juniors and seniors, along with our college girls, were given a class in rat control by representatives of the Ministry of Health, and then went out into the surrounding neighborhoods to distribute the rat bait and put their learning into practice. This current priority is due to recent cases of leptospirosis in the community.
In February members of the staff of our partner organization, CEPS (Centro de Educacción y Promocción Sociál) came from Managua to give a class to all of our students on protecting themselves and their information on the internet and personal safety in the use of technology. The class was divided into two groups, one class for the younger girls and one for high school Juniors & Seniors and College girls. Attendance and participation were high.
Circulo de Amigas staff psychologist Flor will also be giving talks this year, to sponsored girls and on occasion their mothers, on subjects including family planning, sexual abuse, and family violence.
Several governmental and non-governmental groups also utilize Circulo de Amigas’ facilities to give classes and workshops to our Circulo de Amigas girls and their families and/or all residents of the local neighborhoods. Last year, for example, the Women’s Department of Security, a division of the police, focused on how to stay safe from modern-day slavery and human smuggling, with information and videos on current cases seen in Nicaragua.
An agreement was also reached for the local Children’s Club to give a series of monthly talks pertaining to important topics and issues in the community. They recently conducted a class in make up application for local girls including girls in our program. This is a fun way to help girls learn a new skill and gain confidence. (Many women in the states of all ages still enjoy these group make-up sessions.) The leaders then gave a talk on gender inequality and the girls and young women were given time to reflect and communicate their experiences.
Future classes will focus on the subject of sexuality and gender, with sub-topics of identity, birth control, self-esteem, and setting life goals. The Children’s Club will also be giving a monthly course on beauty, leading to a certificate, which will be open area youth and not just girls in the program, so that even those without sponsors will be able to participate. This certificate could potentially allow participants to seek jobs at beauty salons. These classes will include discussions and time for reflection and sharing, around matters of gender relations, inequality, and self-esteem.
The Ministry of Health also plans to use Circulo de Amigas’ site this year to offer classes to the wider community on STIs (sexually transmitted infections), and prostate cancer.
Finally, at the end of the year, there will be a class held in conjunction with one of the local public universities, on the theme of canine rabies.