We’re using our network of Peace Corps volunteers and committed school counterparts to encourage girls in youth sports around The Gambia! For two weeks, we’re trekking on bikes and by running to 15 schools throughout the country. Each school has a Peace Corps volunteer and will host this program, hopefully creating or bolstering a girls youth sports team.
Section 1: Gender vs. Sex Relay Races
We illustrate the difference between gender roles by having relay races where boys sweep the field and carry water on their heads and girls run. It’s a funny way to demonstrate the differences between gender based responsibilities in the household.
Section 2: Community Role Model
After introducing the topic of gender roles, a community designated female role model has the opportunity to share her story with the students. This person has finished school and is doing business or is employed in some other way. It’s a time for students to ask questions about early marriage or teenage pregnancy and their impacts on education and employment.
Section 3: Non-Communicable Diseases
From a health perspective, why are we biking and running through the country? To show and practice the importance of exercises on the body. High blood pressure and diabetes are on the rise here, and can be prevented by encouraging girls to play football.
Section 4: Football!
The overall impact of the program is to either establish or bolster a girl’s youth sports team. Because of gender roles, sometimes girls don’t have time to go to the field. Just by opening up the field for girls one or two days a week, we can impact female students mentally and physically.
Keep track of our progress over the next two weeks and say a quick prayer for our bikes and our bodies! Stay tuned for another post about this program.