One of the things that I have been reflecting on recently is that I feel as though I spend a lot of time talking about how amazing the girls in the clubs are, which is 100% true. I also discuss the ways in which GSGC and The Seraphine Project are trying to help them reach their full potential. One of the aspects that we concentrate on less is the reasoning behind helping these girls. To me, it is because the girls live very difficult, “at-risk” lives. I’m not sure how often we really pause to think about what “at risk” truly means, although it is one of the most important reasons that I feel so deeply connected to supporting the GSGC girls.
Personally, I view “at risk” as as having two main components that ultimately funnel together, creating one ultimate concern. The first aspect is the challenges and threats that girls face in their daily lives. To begin, many of the girls come from extremely broken households, meaning that they likely have only one or no parent around and they find themselves having to fend for themselves or even raise their siblings. Another challenge that they face is that their families may not have enough money to purchase essential items. Feminine hygiene products, school fees, or a school uniform are just a few examples. Additionally, the girls and their families may not have enough financial capacity to have a substantial meal on the table.
Along with the examples I mentioned, some girls are subject to both physical and sexual abuse, not to mention many girls become pregnant as teens. This unfortunate reality causes so many adolescent girls to drop out of high school and in many cases begin raising children as teenagers. Teen pregnancy means that the girls are no longer able to finish their education nor pursue a career. Sadly, this is the phenomenon that so many face in their broken communities.
The second aspect of “at risk” are the challenges that girls face from their society. The biggest part of this is that girls and women are not valued within their communities. If a family has both a son and daughter, the family is historically more likely to invest in their son’s future. Many families sadly do not believe their daughter will be successful in life.
Ultimately, each and every girl living in these communities is at risk of not having the chance to reach their full potential. Without support, encouragement, and mentorship like the clubs provide it is close to impossible for these teens to thrive. More often than not, something like becoming pregnant will act as a road block, and the girls will not be able to succeed past high school and into their careers.
I ask that you all reflect on how we live our daily lives, the opportunities we have, and the resources we are given to succeed in life. Think about how much energy is put toward trying to help each of us reach our full potential. GSGC and The Seraphine Project’s main goal is to make that reality possible for every single girl we reach!
P.S.- The pen-pal program is currently running very smoothly. We have an incredible amount of enthusiasm and many more girls are wanting to become pen-pals which is so incredible. Thank you for your support! But before we can push another big expansion and match up even more girls here and in Africa, we are hoping to fine tune some logistical aspects of the program in the next month. Stay tuned and thank you all for your patience!