Bhargavi Garimella: Girl Empowerment

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Leland senior Bhargavi Garimella focused her girl empowerment work with girl students on educating girls about menstrual health and on small group discussions on problems girls were facing and how to overcome them.

During the West Valley College volunteer trip in January 2019, all girls at our school received a pair of reusable menstrual pads that were donated by the wonderful non-profit organization Days for Girls. Bhargavi talked to the girls about their use to gauge the level of acceptance by each girl and her mother. Although most girl had only used them once, if at all in the few weeks since they received them most were quite happy and felt they were an improvement over what they’d been using before. She also discussed the importance of washing them properly.

Bhargavi also led small group discussions with girls about problems they were facing. One issue that came up dealt with concerns that families would not be able to fund the cost of attending university. Bhargavi relayed this to Jim DeLong who spoke to girls about our commitment to support all girls who need financial assistance to go to university.

Leland junior Mira Karthik had held a ‘letter-writing session’ prior to this trip with over 100 girls who created hand-written and decorated letters of encouragement to girls at our school which Bhargavi and her mother passed out to each girl. Hopefully, Mira’s efforts will contribute to ongoing communication between San Jose girls and Cambodia village girls. Note: Mira held girl empowerment sessions at last February’s volunteer trip and was a key cheerleader in making the trip happen.