Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fionas Blog In English, Childhood and Youth Empowerment Team

The role of women in communities: a UK and Bolivian comparative.


With our partnership with Childfund, we are working with centres across La Paz which children attend after school.  These centres play an important function in society, as without them children often finish school in the morning, and stay at home or work in the afternoons; the centres provide a space for children to receive academic support, leadership training and other educational opportunities which are typically not found in the Bolivian educational curriculum. 


We are currently hosting a photo exhibition with girls who attend the Niñas San Gabriel centre based on the theme of the role of women in their community. Displaying the photos in a local art gallery, we are selling the photos to raise funds to buy cameras for the centre.  Using technology as a tool for development gives young people agency to express themselves and creates a space for voices and ideas. On a wider scale, increasing the use of technology creates a medium which crosses cultural, social and economic boundaries in order to broaden audiences, increase awareness, and give youth voices a platform to be heard.


In addition to photographs taken by the girls in their communities, we also spent a day in the Ñinas San Gabriel centre making a video where we shared our experiences of women in our communities.  The girls expressed their views on various issues: what role women play in their communities; what obstacles women are facing, and what they would change in their community.  Myself and Megan, another UK volunteer, also spoke about our communities in the UK, and the role of women.  It was interesting to see how women in different communities face different challenges, not just between Bolivia and the UK, but also within different areas of the UK.


Aside from the work in various centres, our team are working on this week's Guided Learning, where we present and discuss a different topic each week with all UK and Bolivian volunteers.  Our topic is on the role of youth in development, and it has been interesting to see where our projects, and our roles as UK volunteers, fit into the theory and applicability of youth in development in both a local and wider scale.  Learning about the unprecedented numbers of young people in the world and the exponential potential we have to impact our societies has acted as a driver for us to contribute fully to our projects here, and to continue contributing when we return home.

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