She is a 12-year-old girl who walks one hour over hilly, muddy roads to get to school every day. Her mother never attended school herself. So she makes it a priority for her daughters to get the education she never had. A diligent student, Genet is shy & soft-spoken. Before our workshop, she never thought women could be professional photographers. She thought it was a job only for men. After our workshop, when she stood up in front of her village community to share what she learned, she loudly proclaimed “girls can do anything boys can do because we are all equal.”
In March 2017, we headed to the small village of Mudula in Ethiopia. Partnering with WEEMA International, we held a 10-day workshop with girls & boys in 6th & 7th grades at Saruma Primary & Middle School. In the first week, we taught the girls. In the second week, the girls took their new found photography & presentation skills to teach their fellow male classmates. They also taught 3 adult males – a daunting, yet self-affirming task.
Through discussions about gender equality, and exercises in self-confidence & leadership skills, our students–both girls & boys–understood their self-worth & how they could be agents of change within their own communities.
“I used to have low self esteem, but not anymore.” – Genet, 12