Women’s Day and Girls’ Empowerment

On October 20, 2016 we celebrate Vietnamese Women’s Day. It is day where we show gratitude to all the women in our lives, from our mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and friends. Because of them we live a world that is nothing short of spectacular. They provide all of us with the comfort and love that is needed in this world. However, women around the world and especially young girls still face unfortunate circumstances affecting their lives. Therefore, we are obligated to provide spaces and opportunities for young girls to learn and grow.

In thought of Vietnamese Women’s Day I was able to visit the FFAV Goal events over the last two weeks across the province. The Goal events consist of games and activities that focus primarily on topics related to young girls. Topics and games range from group to group, but the common denominator among all the Goal events is the well being of the children. The objective of the Goal events is to provide young girls an opportunity to play games that when complemented with life skills education can hopefully transform their lives for the better.

imgp2180

What I was able to experience allowed me to see the positive work FFAV is doing with young girls in Thua Thien Hue Province. Their smiles, laughter, and good spirit captured my imagination that one day they are able to grow into strong, successful women that will have a positive impact on this world. The young girls cried out with laughter while playing games, and thoughtfully answered questions when posed with problem-solving situations. Throughout my experience attending the Goal events I saw all of the facilitators create safe spaces for the young girls to talk about topics without judgment. These topics ranged from menstruation, early marriage, sanitation and personal hygiene, and their personal rights. What could be uncomfortable for young girls to discuss in front of their peers and adults was evidently transformed into an open discussion for all.

The Goal events represents FFAV’s mission in providing the ability for all young girls to play and learn life skills pertaining to their social situation. Thao, the FFAV Goal coordinator told me that she feels compelled to provide young girls the opportunity to play, and with that the ability to learn new life skills. It is an option for them to have where often time’s options can be limited. For the young girls, they are allowed into a space where they can freely play with their peers and learn without scrutiny.

In a world that can at times disregard young girls and women, FFAV is taking an active role to improve the lives of young girls across the province. In honor of Vietnam Women’s Day I see the need to empower young girls for they also have a bright future that must be protected. The Goal events conducted by FFAV in cooperation with Women Win is a step forward for all to pursue the overall well-being of young girls in the province. In these instances we can see the need and potential of young girls here in the province. With this in mind, Vietnam Women’s Day is something to be celebrated here by FFAV.

Michael Dao

 

-------