In order to improve the self-esteem and positive life skills of girls (age 12-18) in the community, our program developed a culturally appropriate curriculum based on the social and emotional learning (SEL) model.
The SEL model is based on five essential components:
- social awareness
- relationship skills
- responsible decision-making skills.
Our curriculum manual is meant to guide educators and mentors on how to teach these important SEL skills as well as address the causes and consequences of cross-generational sex. Because the school environment is often a recognized and central location, facilitating these sessions with the girls as part of an after-school program can provide participants with a secure and comfortable environment in which to participate. Implementing this curriculum in schools also formalizes an effort to address cross-generational sex while giving girls and young women a safe place to discuss their experiences. The classes have been successfully implemented as an after school pilot program in five schools since March 2013. The full roll-out in 21 primary schools throughout the Ruhiira educational system began in 2014.
The curriculum, taught by female teachers who have been trained by our staff, provides activities to improve skills related to:
- critical thinking
- trauma healing
- cooperative learning
- effective communication
We have also implemented academic requirements meant to incentivize education for the girls. Therefore, in order to participate in our program, they must maintain school attendance and passing marks.