January 15th-19th, 2013
GLOW Swaziland is in full swing. For the past few months the GLOW team(made up of PCVs) has been planning, organizing, and coordinating a five day TOT (Training of Trainers) for Swazi woman who have shown interest in helping us get GLOW clubs started in the rural parts of Swaziland.
It took a lot of work, but we managed to successfully gather 27 Swazi women between the ages of 18-30 and trained them in topics surrounding reproductive health, goal setting, volunteerism, body image, and leadership. We met for five days at a backpackers that we rented out the entire facility. Everyday the PCV GLOW team led these educational sessions that the Swazi women participated in. The sessions that I taught were condom demonstrations and contraceptives, and leadership. For contraceptives I organized two HIV counselors who work at my local clinic to come and give a presentation to the ladies on the variety of contraceptives available in Swaziland. Surprisingly there is a large range of contraceptive options (male and female condoms, birth control pills, patches, injections, and implants), however thanks to a high stigma and a culture that doesn’t favor talking about sex or safe sex to students leaves many women without knowledge about their options. We really tried to focus not only on educating our Swazi counterparts but training them to be open-minded, approachable, and non-judgmental so girls in their communities feel comfortable coming to them to ask about contraceptive options.
|Almost ever photo I have of TOT also has this big black penis in it|
|Clinic Counselors as work!|
I had two counterparts with me at TOT. One was my host sister Nosipho here in Malindza. She has suffered from many stigmas and hardships many rural Swazi girls face and she wants to help others overcome the same reality and learn that girls can be in control over what happens to them, even after mistakes have been made. My second counterpart was Linidwe, my host sister from my training host family in Khiza. I approached her to be involved because she has been asking me of ways she can volunteer in her community, and because in several conversations she has emphasized how important it is to her that she is almost 23 years old, has a high school degree, and does not have a baby – not the reality for most girls in her community. She hopes she is a role model for other girls and through GLOW I think she can, as well as Nosipho can, make a big difference.
|Nosipho, Me, and Lindiwe|