I Want To Join The Army

I Want To Join The Army

The list is long. The young girls want to become doctors, fashion designers, teachers, pharmacists. There was one who wanted to join the army as well. These young girls have big dreams and all the enthusiasm and the drive to fulfil them. But for the moment they are at a summer camp in  Yerwada, Pune with the sole purpose of having a blast and learning a few life and leadership skills.

The young girls from Kamraj Nagar, Yerwada, Pune, assemble every Thursday; the camp began on 12 May. These camps are proving extremely useful not just to build trust and rapport within the community but also to understand the concerns of the families. We have conducted a survey among 150 household within the community to understand the education gaps, health status, vaccination, etc and plan our work according to the requirement of the community.  

The summer camp is an opportunity to interact with adolescents and young girls and provide them a safe space where parents trust them to spend some time with peers. The girls are divided into groups; the group activities are meant to build the capacities of the girls on life skills and leadership skills.

Adolescent and young girls assemble every Thursday for two to three hours to learn new things like art and craft.

The first session was held on 12 May. We were meeting adolescents and young girls first time in the community. We had some fun activities and games with an introduction. We had a group discussion on girls’ dreams and aspirations other than marriage followed with a story reading session. It was in this session that the girls cam up with their ambitions, dreams and aspirations to become independent and make an identity for themselves. These ranged from doctor to pharmacist, from teacher to fashion designer, from taking care of parents to traveling abroad on a plane. One even wanted to join the army “to serve the country”.  The girls played musical chairs and danced. Nearly 30 girls are attending this summer camp.

On one of the days a flower making session was held. Trainer Meera Joshi taught girls to make flowers from crepe paper. On one of the days, we held an art workshop, where the girls were taught to draw and paint cartoon and sketch. The idea behind the cartoon workshop was to lay the foundation for a future session on making comics or story telling through cartoons. This session was taken by Charu Chaudhary.

Overall these sessions have been providing not just new skills but also a chance to know one another better.

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