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Counselling at Precious and Olives and increasing girls’ school attendance

By 5 years ago
Categories Uncategorized

Counselling at Precious and Olives and increasing girls’ school attendance

Once a week for one hour all books and pens are put aside in the always buzzing schools and all the girls of the upper standards gather together in one of the class rooms. The girls all find a place to sit on the tables, benches and floor and huddle together to create an atmosphere of trust and comfort. The counselling sessions always have a sense of cosiness and the girls all know that anything discussed in this room, stays in the room and that this is the opportunity to bring up any questions or issues they can not discuss elsewhere. And this can be quite surprising questions and issues indeed.
Volunteer Kim teaching Standard eight

The girls in the room, aging from 9 – 17, don’t always have the opportunity to discuss issues with their parents or family, like many of us could when we were their age. Some girls don’t have a mother, others are unable to discuss matters as the mother herself is not very informed due to illiteracy and some just don’t have that type of relationship with their carer or mother and don’t feel comfortable asking their mother about private matters. And this has severe consequences. One thing that GVI has become aware of is that a lot of girls do not attend school during their periods. This means girls miss one week of school each month due to a lack of understanding and what they can do to make sure their periods do not keep them from getting a proper education.

Volunteer Meredith with Standard Six 

Pads are an expensive luxury good and so they are very hard for the girls to obtain. Therefore GVI has decided to implement a ‘pad-system’: girls can get pads upon request when it is their period. A record is kept of all given out pads, to make sure we can sustain the initiative. Many pads have been given out in the past few weeks and for me this has been one of the highlights of my time here: to see with my own eyes how we can do so much with so little!

Volunteer Attie with some of Standard Five Students
By Attie Feitsma – Volunteer