This week, the READY advisory committee and other community members – men, women, and youth - have been meeting in evening workshops to develop the first sessions of the READY program. We have 3 intervention development groups: (1) Building Strength in Sexuality and Relationships, (2) Building Economic Strength, (3) Building Emotional and Family Strength.
One advantage of a participatory approach to program development is that examples and activities are more likely to be relevant. Another is that people from the community know the appropriate limits in discussing sensitive issues - they know how and when to push new ideas.
Three ideas from the workshops:
#1 Challenge to use Local Resources
The economic empowerment group asked participants to list local resources and posed the question, “Are we REALLY poor?” They asked families to choose a local, free resource and to generate ideas for taking small steps to make money with that resource.
#2 Role of Fathers in Supporting Healthy Sexuality
One group presented a skit in which two young girls try to share with their fathers a song about private body parts they learned in school. One father rejected and dismissed the child, while the other took the opportunity to teach the child that sexuality can be positive within the context of a loving relationship – and after finishing school.
#3 Fish Net Illustration for Family Communication
Muhuru is a fishing community. One group worked on the session, “Building Encouraging Families.” They drew posters of two scenes in which groups of people were trying to pull in the two sides of a very large fishing net. In the first, trees were blocking the fishermen from communicating as they pulled in the net – therefore, the net was uneven and the fish escaped. In the second, the men were able to communicate easily and they caught many fish. The lesson: Families who communicate to solve problems together can reach their goals.