Girl Empowerment and Girls’ Health Lessons

West Valley student Elly Hudson and her team’s project focused on empowering girls through exercises which encouraged them to speak out for themselves and in a group. Click on the following to read some of the girl empowerment worksheets, presentations, and curricula that they created for the project:

Her team also chose to combat one issue which chronically threatens girls’ attendance in school: myths and misconceptions about menstruation. Many village girls are taught that they should hide at home during menstruation because they are unclean. They are taught to feel shame. This causes them to miss days of education on a monthly basis, causing many to fall further and further behind as the school year progresses.

West Valley student Sofie Gmerek and her mother Lydia donated and appended copies of UNICEF’s “Growth and Changes” booklet in Khmer for each girl to read and share with her mother. This sharing can help to dispel any myths and misconceptions harbored by the family. Click here to view the booklet.

Elly contacted the Days for Girls and Too Little Children non-profit organizations and received donations of pairs reusable maxi pads for every girl. Both organizations also donated extra supplies that are set out on the counter for use in the brand new ‘girls-only’ bathroom. Each girl was also given soap that was funded with money raised by a Society for Global Citizens fundraiser. They were then taught how to care for the maxi pads by washing and drying them in the sun to kill any remaining bacteria. Click here to read the instructions for care that they created.

Note: each Doris Dillon School alumni 10th and 11th grade girl attending the Leadership Academy college prep boarding school in Phnom Penh also received pairs of reusable maxi pads and soap and were also trained on their care. The girls were vocal in their appreciation for the training and maxi pads.

(Far left) A girl empowerment group exercise. (Middle left) Girls work on a worksheet about who they are together. (Middle) Three girls at the Leadership Academy college prep boarding school in Phnom Penh receive reusable maxi pad kits. (Middle right) 8th grade girls receive reusable maxi pad kits. (Far right) West Valley student Sofie Gmerek gives a girl a reusable maxi pad kit.