Keeping in touch, strengthening the support networks and distributing correctly the time for housekeeping are some of the actions that girls participating from the Leadership School consider important in order to achieve a healthy family life.
On march 11th 2020, same day that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a Pandemic, The Ministry of Education in El Salvador ordered the suspension of all educational activities, for both private and public sectors and since march 14th the Salvadoran Government declared national emergency which translated into a mandatory home quarantine, except for certain productive and economical sectors.
Despite that programmed activities have suffered various modifications due to the preventive measurements for the COVID19 pandemic, Plan International El Salvador keeps opening communication channels to keep in touch with girls participating on the Leadership School through the information and communication technologies (ICT).
Innovating on the use of available communicational tools has been key to reinforce the follow up to girls and adolescents. With this initiative Plan International seeks to create a virtual chain where girls and adolescents activate their leadership by communicating with girls in other communities so they can know how are they doing, if there is any gender-based violence situation and share educational messages.
The purpose of the school is to strengthen leadership and participation of girls, things that are being put into use in this emergency and lockdown situation.
Girls agree that learning spaces in the program are very important for them to keep active the communication mechanisms. “I miss my friends” said Vilma, a leader girl. “I miss them a lot. I also miss going every Saturday to my classes” mentioned Alejandra.
They think that being connected allows them to have feedback and keep them cheered up until they can go back to regular activities. “being online strengthens our support group” Flor.
Something to highlight is that communication with girls in their communities through digital media has increased. “We are always online through digital media. We always have to accept measurements that protect us, is not like we are being deprived from going out, but taking care of our health” said Nicole.
They also mention that being home gives them time to share with their families, get to know themselves better and promote respect, even approaching the subject of equality on household chores.
The participants of the Leadership School emphasize that respecting each ones space, opinions and collaborating with other are some of the actions that can prevent home violence.
Plan International El Salvador will keep doing this kind of innovative activities so this emergency doesn’t stop us from prioritizing the support and the promotion of girls rights.