GLOW (Girls Leadings Our World) Club Pigs Dig Education Project
In extremely rural villages like San Benito Poite and Santa Teresa, traditional concepts of gender roles exist. Traditionally, Mayan girls are pulled from school at age 14 regardless of whether they have graduated primary school in order to prepare them for a life of marriage and motherhood. GLOW Club is an initiative that has been active in many countries since 1995. The main purposes for GLOW Club are: to encourage young women to become active citizens by building their self-esteem and confidence, increasing their self-awareness, and developing their skills in goal setting, assertiveness, and career and life planning; and to give young girls the opportunity to develop leadership skills, increase knowledge, and make a difference in their communities.
This project seeks to assist GLOW Club girls to become more self-reliant in funding their own education through a Pigs Dig Education Project. Each of the 21 girls in the two clubs will receive a 40 pound sow that they are expected to raise with the assistance of their families in order to generate income for their education. When the sow gives birth to piglets, the girls are expected to give the first female sow to a younger GLOW Club girl. All other funds raised by the girls will only go towards their secondary school tuition and educational expenses. Through our pig pen projects in Santa Teresa and San Benito Poite, each girl will construct a pig pen to reduce the risk of communicable diseases.
The pigs have been purchased and distributed to participating GLOW club members. The girls and their families attended trainings, where they learned about proper pig maintenance and health and were shown how to build sturdy pig pens. The pigs are all healthy and growing, and a majority of them have had piglets. Once the piglets grow to full size, the GLOW club members will sell them, using the profit generated to pay for school expenses. Each of the 21 girls have registered for either high school or primary school for Fall 2016, and are excited to continue with the project. Piglets will be given to new GLOW club members, allowing the project to be sustainable and to expand. The participating families, local organizations, school principals, and village leaders are all very supportive of the initiative.
"Without this project, most of our young Mayan girls would not have made it to high school." - Angelita, Project Leader
"The pig project is teaching me how to become more responsible and will help to pay my way through high school." - Celfia, Project Participant
"The girls can now generate the funds to go to high school and contribute more to their families as well as the development of their communities. Through GLOW initiatives and the pigs dig project, village leaders and local residents have seen these young girls become more active in the villages, which is changing the mindset of how the communities see women in active leadership roles. The fact that the projects were led by local women in the villages is expanding the space of civic engagement in the communities that women didn't occupy before." - Doreen, Peace Corps Volunteer