We now have a twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook account. The reason behind the development and creation of all these social media accounts allows us to reach out to a larger group of people, and other organisations. We will be able to promote our events, and be able to contact other organisations to see inf they would like to partner and work together (potentially).
As many and almost all the T-GO will not be here next year, it absolutely vital to handover T-GO to ensure the continuation of T-GO and the Career Fair. Ben contacted us, saying he would be interested in taking over the Career Fair, and making sure that it happens next year. After a few conversations the current leadership team and Ben, decided that it would be best if he took over T-GO as a whole. Ben has now become a part of the current leadership team, and we are looking for new members that will make up the CORE team for next year. A few have shown interest, and it's great to see that T-GO will continue even after we have graduated. The pictures in the slideshow are notes from our meeting or messages we have sent out to look for new members.
While it has been great to have Ben step up to take over T-GO, there have been a few challenges that we have encountered. Firstly, we realised right away that we would need a strong core team that is dedicated and passionate about gender equality. We plan on keeping a small team with an inclusive leadership approach, when the idea of consensus takes importance over hierarchal leadership roles. People have asked if there are any "leadership" openings, and frankly i don't know how to respond, primarily because the leaders aim to create a structure for the other members, that enables them to empower themselves. Mariana and I were leaders this year because we stepped up to it, not because we were elected, but because it works. I would hope that the spirit and culture of T-GO is able to transcend into next year, and that we don't turn into a large group with a hierarchal sense of power, because the sense of community is jeopardised. I'm glad that Ben has understood how T-GO functions and want to maintain it's current culture and tradition.
Another unexpected problem we ran into was the fact that we actually need more girls in T-GO, because the people that have shown interest in being members next year are mostly boys. I didn't think we'd ever come to a point, when T-GO would need more girls to be truly feminist, because gender equality isn't solely a woman's problem. Some potential new members have expressed that it doesn't make sense for a male to lead T-GO. While I do understand that having a female leader makes the service and interaction more authentic, I believe that we should encourage males to be a part of the movement, because the fight for gender equality isn't limited to a certain gender.
I was contacted by Under the Same Sun's representative, and they enquired about internships. I gave them my contact details during the preparation for the Career Fair, and they called asking if I could help find internships or jobs for the recent graduates. I was unable to find an jobs or internships for the graduates, which led me onto think that while we did advocate for untraditional careers, we never really presented an opportunity or structure to support the students in reaching their full potential. An improvement of add-on for next year would be to hold a job fair as well, so that we are also able to directly influence change rather than stop at advocating. The logistics for this would be much harder to figure out, because it requires a lot more commitment from the professionals that will be attending the career fair.
Now that the Career Fair is over T-GO has to find another project to focus on until the end of the year. Mariana and I have decided that we will let Hana and Nadia choose the new focal point, in an attempt to transfer the leadership. The leadership transfer isn't going as smooth as anticipated, because there hasn't been a large amount of discussion or the birth and development of ideas-probably because we have only spent one session on it so far. However, if the young leaders have no concrete ideas, the older students will pitch in and we will create a project together that will be led by the grade 10's. I was having a brief conversation with Mariana in which we identified that it would be beneficial for the girls to learn how to type, use excel and word, as well as create an e-mail account, because these were things that were put up on the expectation board in the Career Fair. This project is similar to a project PROMPT executed a while ago, reviving this project will prove to be of great help to the students when they will be applying for jobs in the future.
T-GO is made up of 7 member- 5 IB2's and 2 Grade 10's- most of us will be leaving by the end of the year, and while shifting the leadership to the younger members is extremely beneficial, it will not ensure the continuation of the TAT. We plan on asking Ms.G to send out an email asking if anyone would be interested in joining and leading TGO next year.
A survey was sent out to the speakers, to get feedback from them. This feedback and the feedback from the students will help us better the Career Fair next year.
November 28th. It's here. It was an early start for most of us, we had some final things to set-up, print the pamphlets, run through the keynote and introduction. The morning was chaotic as there were a lot of behind the scenes tasks that had to be completed to ensure the career fair would run coherently. My morning started off by printing pamphlets in the english office, welcoming the speakers and schools, going through the brief opening remarks with Mariana and a few other things. Soon all the schools and most of the speakers had arrived, we commenced the Career Fair. It was quite a memorable moment because about 7 months of planning and ideas that had been on paper had finally come to life. We only had 5 TGO members present on the day, and so everyone was kept quite busy. It was a great help to have Nibwene and Alishah there to aid the TGO members with some logistical stuff.
The schedule below shows the different events that took place in the Career Fair. We had a brief moment when we wanted to change the schedule and have group A, B and C as there were a significant amount of students, however we ended up sticking to the old schedule to avoid confusion.
On the day of the Career Fair, we were hoping to have some way to capture the attendees thoughts and opinions on how and what we can improve on. To cater for this, Ms. V suggested we have a reflection board (pictured below) where the girls can post their expectations and then their thoughts on how the experience can be enhanced.
From my conversations with girls that attended the Career Fair, I learned that there was a slight discrepancy on what they expected and what the Career Fair actually was. Nonetheless, they expressed that they were extremely happy and learnt a lot in the two and a half hours. There we two workshops-microfinance and self defense- each one led by IST students. There was also time for the students to talk to various different women who were professionals in their respective fields. The careers represented were; architect, auditor, financial consultant, professional football players (the captain of the National Tanzania Football team attended), journalist and scientist. The students had about 40 minutes to move around the different career booths and ask the professionals questions. However, because of the small space in the library and the large amount of people it didn't entirely function properly as some students were unable to listen to the conversations/ask questions. In addition, the students said that they would like more time, in order to go around all the booths and get all their questions answered- something to improve next time. We spontaneously decided that we were going to have another session where the girls could ask the speakers more questions. This would take place before the closing remarks. The set-up was different as all the students and speakers were on the upper level of the library, therefore making it more of a Q and A panel.
All in all, I think the Career Fair was a great success, a lot more successful that I thought it was going be. Everyone in TGO played a significant part in making sure it went as well as it did, starting from the phenomenal keynote speech to setting up a power point with the contact details of all the speakers. It was a great day, for everyone that was a part of the Career Fair-well at least I'd like to hope it was.
The Career Fair is probably one of the biggest events that TGO has hosted, and the level of success and the magnitude of the event were a lot higher than previously anticipated. This post is going to embody the different stages of the process that TGO underwent in order to set-up and execute a career fair on November 28th. As the reflection progresses it is evident that the construction of the career fair took place at an exponential rate- not much progress in the beginning but a big surge of improvement towards the end.
When we started setting up and planning for the Career Fair about a month before the event, we encountered various problems. One of the biggest hurdles. we had was our constant shortcoming to execute projects that we spend months planning. Having 7 members in our CAS, we had eliminated the conventional idea of leadership and aimed to run a sort of inclusive and collective leadership, however, this ended in anarchy. The hour session was chaotic, with everyone yelling over each other as we debated ideas and appropriate ways of doing things- we weren't progressing. Mariana and I were frustrated because it felt like we were unable to get things done, and the deadline was approaching at a surreal pace. We had a chat with Ms.V about how we can improve the situation, she suggested we set-up different comities and allocate different people to specific committees (logistics, communication and advertising). After that, we broke down the responsibilities of all the committee to the very basic level, because we noticed that people got overwhelmed when introduced to big tasks so this was a way to make it more tangible. We let the comities decide how they wanted to split the workload and when it should be done by. The pictures below are screenshots from the google doc, to view the entire thing go here: https://docs.google.com/a/istafrica.com/spreadsheets/d/1x5k-l00zV14c0Au9mDojOpURRz2qgnJQ455WG9QZ6Vs/edit?usp=sharing
While the google doc proved to be a good platform to get everyone started and motivated about the career fair because the workload wasn't impossible to achieve, and each member had a section of work to complete. There was also an increase in the amount of people that did work outside the 1 hour CAS session, which was great! However, the google sheet wasn't able to keep up with the constantly changing demands of the workload because as we learned different things we had to change the way we approached certain tasks. In addition, the initial allocation of tasks between committee members didn't stay the same and there were some people who took-on more work even though it wasn't their responsibility. In my opinion, this showed how at some point in time it didn't matter whether or not it was someones responsibility, if it had to be done there were people who stepped up to do it. The experiences we have gone through have definitely helped us become a better team.
The audio clip reflection from nov 10 shows how we had no speakers about 18 days before the event. We were desperately scrambling across the internet to find potential speakers, contacting them and eagerly awaiting responses.
The session on Nov 10th was used solely for contacting speakers, because they were extremely crucial to running a good career fair. We had gotten a few responses, but no one was confirmed to attend the career fair-which was a bit concerning. as a group we contacted a lot of people (not an exaggeration). We used Facebook, twitter, Instagram, email, text messages to get through to different people, and only a fraction of them replied positively or replied at all for that matter. Contacting speakers was quite a fluctuating experience, because we spent several weeks with no responses and then got a lot of responses. In addition, Vicky Ntetema (our initial keynote speaker) told us 5 days before the event that she will be unable to be the keynote speaker. The good thing was that Shufaa and Nibwene will be creating and presenting the Keynote. Similarly, Sara was able to step-in and craft her workshop days before the event with a bit of help from Ms.V.
In contrast, contacting the schools was much easier because all the schools were extremely interested in attending the event and were looking forward to it. I was in direct contact with 1 school throughout the process, Ms. Gillman co-ordinated with Bethsaida for the multiple events they were going to take part in on nov 28, Ms. Gloria volunteered to keep in touch with the school in Kawe, and Alishah and Steffi were helping us contact Zanaki.
The picture below shows hoe the library will be set-up on the day of the Career Fair. The bottom floor will be dedicated to the Career Booths where each speaker (professional) will be able to set-up, and the students will be able to move around to the different booths depending on what Career draws their interest. The upper level of the library will be filled with chairs facing the wall. This space will be used for the Keynote opening by Shufaa and Nibewene, as well as Steffi and Alishah's workshop.
The document above is the pamphlet we will be handing out at the Career Fair. Each student will have one pamphlet, and it outlines the careers of the different speakers, the general theme of the workshops and the schedule of the day. In addition to the pamphlet, each student received a "goody bag" that had a pen, notebook and water bottle that they could use throughout the day. Browse through the pamphlet to view the different careers that were represented at the Career Fair.
T-Go has been a whirlwind of work and explorations, which meant that I haven't spent much time doing written reflections, but hope to encompass major moments in this end of term reflection. T-GO this year has been radically different; there's a lot less members and Mariana and I are "in-charge" of running the Community and Service. The Community and Service consist of 7 members in total, and while we initially thought this number of people would lead to a more productive environment, there have been a few problems along the way. I think as a leader I am quite inclusive, in that I like to get everyone's opinion on issues and don't dictate the situation. This trait can prove to be influential and important when finding out what the group is interested in, however, with the dynamic our CAS group possesses it can lead to several problems. Members in the CAS are quite articulative about their opinions, and a fair amount of time is spent with people yelling over each other in an attempt to get their ideas heard. The last CAS session was disastrous because we were unable to plan for the career fair to the extent that we had wanted, and ended up getting completely tired of the way things were being conducted. I think it's absolutely crucial to know when to delegate tasks out and when to assert boundaries when working with people, because with out a scaffold of sorts people tend to go off on tangents. In an attempt to make session a lot more constructive, Mariana and I plan sessions a prior to Tuesday. Pre-planning has helped immensely because we are able to get right onto work, and some sessions have actually been very productive.
There has been a lot going on in the first term in T-GO. We went to visit a school in Kawe, in an attempt to establish a partnership with them. There has been no response from the school, mainly because many of the grades are busy preparing for the exams coming up in December, so it seems like the partnership might not work out. We have also been planning the Career Fair, pictures below show the current plan for the Career Fair which is going to held in late November. Also, the endometriosis stop motion has reached more than 600 views! I know this is just a number, but it's still pretty exciting knowing that so many people have watched the video.
April 9 2015:
On the week before Easter break we met with the counsellors (Mr. Lenoue and Ms. Phillips) on our weekly T-GO session for about 30 minutes. The purpose of the session was to exchange ideas, concepts and point of views on a good sex-ed syllabus, as well as learn what the current sex-ed syllabus is made up of. In my opinion, the session was okay, because questions that were put forward by T-GO members weren't adequately answered by the counsellors, therefore making our view of the current syllabus and the reasons behind it quite vague and unjustified. Furthermore, we found out that like many academic institutions our school is pro abstinence, however, as a CAS we find it vital to equip children with knowledge therefore giving them the power to make the correct decisions. The counsellors also briefly addressed the fact that there wasn't sex-ed in high school, by saying that it was important to focus on universities and allow the children to explore that area. While this point of view is valid in its own stance, high school is a time when many experiment and try out new things, and it would be fitting to cover more sex-ed in high school that would be relevant to the students' lives. Multiple limitations need to be addressed before an exceptional sex-ed syllabus can be created; time, individual/cohort needs, cultural acceptance, admins approval and a few other factors. We learnt that the sexuality spectrum and gender identity aren't explicitly addressed in sex-ed classes but if questions do come up then they will be answered. Personally, I find it quite absurd that the sexuality spectrum and gender identity aren't addressed in classes and feel that it is vital for such topics to be covered to create a more accepting community and allow people to learn and accept themselves. Moreover, the whole idea about answering questions only if they come up is quite harmful, because if questions dont come up then areas are left uncovered, leaving the students feeling like there's something wrong with them, when in reality they simply lack the knowledge to figure out who they are. After this meeting I feel like there are many things that need to be adjusted and refined before we can create and implement a sex-ed syllabus that is effective in addressing the student's needs, while taking different cultural perspectives into account.
This is a parent survey created by T-GO: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/?sm=DJyIszdxzfztZOwLxmNCEw%3d%3d
The student survey and notes from the meeting with the counsellors will be put up as pictures.
March 22 2015:
Talking to the experts: This reflection is based on two 'expert-led' session I have attended this month.
UNESCO representative of campaigning:
Mariana and I attended a talk on campaigning as our first endomitreosis campaign could have been improved in many ways. This talk wasn't highly informative due to the lack of time, however, I learned that to conduct a successful campaign an overall issue must be narrowed down (cone like structure). It's vital to specify so that the target audience knows the point of the campaign, and the message given is straight forward and deep therefore provoking thought and potentially change. There isn't downright recipe for a perfect campaign, because depending on the issue and the issue and target audience, the structures of a campaign must be shifted to adapt the environment. A point that wasn't throughly addressed, was the bridge between campaigning and taking action, because while campaigning is great and raises awareness about an issue, it is vital to take action towards it and solve the issue. The bridge between campaigning and taking action is one that many campaigns fail to make, because while we can educate, we cannot influence the free-will of an individual and make them act a certain way. In my opinion, I think that change starts off with campaigning however, ends with initiating action and I feel like more often than not it's hard to raise-awareness to inspire action for a long period of time.
This workshop was extremely beneficial, because it answered all the subconscious questions I had about leadership. I was able to connect with other leaders in the grade and out fo the grade, to get an insight on the problems all of us collectively face. I learned about the SCARF acronym for leadership.
Status, Creativity, Autonomy, Relatedness, Fairness. I personally believe that autonomy is the most influential one to the way i lead, because i believe in equal power for everyone who deserves it. The age/grade hierarchy that comes with leadership in our school is quite limiting, even though it is slowly disappearing many leaders are still students in IB1 or IB2. I also learned that delegating isn't an easy task and have faced problems delegating myself, and end up doing all the work so that it get's done. Similar to campaigning, there isn't a recipe for perfect leadership, and it changes as time goes by depending on the people you have to lead and how passionate you are about a project. This workshop cleared my head, and has made leadership an entity that i can now begin to grasp better, by implementing the "SCARF" in T-GO, and potentially inspiring others from the passion i have for feminism (that is if they aren't passionate about the issue already, which most of them are).
March 17 2015:
The introduction of the new project has been made to the whole CAS and they do agree that there is a lack of sex-ed in the school, and some of them have not had sex-ed in the past 2 years! We have also found out that sex-ed in our school is very basic, and needs to keep up with contemporary culture in order to effectively cater for the students, topics like homosexuality and gender identity need to throughly discussed, and new teaching methods need to be used. The construct of the lessons also needs to be changed, a there are only 18 PSE classes in a whole year, which is surprisingly low when compared to the information that needs to be covered. Ideas proposed revolved around, having a separate sex-ed class with smaller groups to initiate further discussion and abolish the group pressure, that is apparent in lager groups. It is also essential to get rid of the stigma revolving around sex-ed, so that children can talk about it freely and their questions can be addressed. As a CAS we created an ideal syllabus, and it was interesting to see how well the ideas merged together (refer to picture to see the syllabus we created).
Sara and I also went out and talked to Mr. Lenoue to introduce the current project and get the counsellors input on what they would like in the future sex-ed syllabus vs. what it includes now. We learned that there isn't a concrete syllabus, and that teacher have to make up their own classes. I am currently talking to Mr.Lenoue and we are trying have a meeting with the counselling department, Ms.Wood and Ms.Gillman (refer to picture).
As the aim of the project is to create a new sex-ed syllabus that would fit the student's needs, we have begun crafting surveys for both parents and students (refer to picture) in order to obtain their opinion on what they believe is an optimum syllabus (refer to picture). A large problem with online surveys is that getting people to fill them out is extremely difficult, and if people dont fill them out the basis of the syllabus will be based solely on the opinions of the T-GO members. It might be more effective to either conduct the survey during PSE time or schedule and extended HomeRoom for the survey to be completed (as it is an issue that impacts all of the students and influences how well equipped they are are with knowledge as individuals).
February 13th 2015:
February has been a complete blur, with unsubstantial CAS sessions that have limited how far we can get with our projects. There are multiple things that have occurred since the last reflection and I will attempt to re-collect the events and epiphanies a fair amount of time after they have happened.
Our initial focus with sexual harassment and potential plans of working with a local school, as well as the side-project with the MS kids, have been abandoned for now because of the lack of response from the chosen target audiences. Firstly, the local school runs on a different system, in which a year runs from Jan-Dec rather than our Aug-June year. The mismatch of the school schedules meant that the local school was holiday (summer vacation) when we wanted to initiate the project, and are currently settling into the year. Furthermore, communication with the school has been very minimal and fragmented, because the principal is pregnant and is unable to communicate with us, therefore leaving us with no point of contact (as there doesn't seem to be a new principal they has taken over). The sexual harassment and self-defense project, were great projects because they were both culture specific and did more than simply raise-awareness about the issue, but actually equipped the girls with skills to defend themselves helping them in their life. The sexual harassment project, would also enable T-GO to work with a different group of people, and acquire new knowledge and skills while sharing our skills. However, there have been multiple limiting factors that have put this project on hold and have forced us to change our focus to keep the group engaged and functional.Personally, I have experienced problems when working with local schools before, specifically with the organisation and starting up a partnership. I think this is due to the cultural differences in a code of conduct, as generally in Tanzania, there is a very calm demeanour when it comes to interacting with others. On the other hand, our CAS is quite straight-forward and forthright about the interactions so that we have more time to actually conduct the lessons. The cultural clash proves to be an issue a lot of times, as a mid-ground needs to be established so that both parties are happy with the progress that is being made.
The MS forum was also unsuccessful, as no one showed up despite the bulletin announcements. Our plan of having a MS focused session either bi-weekly or monthly has been deserted due to the lack of response from the target audience. The lack of appropriate advertising could have resulted in the lack of response, because the event was shared in the bulletin and it wasn't entirely clear what it was for. Furthermore, thinking back to middle school, I think it would be quite intimidating to share my problems with a bunch of HS girls that I barely know. It would have been better it we would have used Ms.Parks girl club as a point of reaching out to the MS students and starting of a relation with them, to ensure that this project has a higher chance of being successful.
We have changed to focus for the term towards the sex-ed syllabus in our school, because we have identified a need of more sex-ed as well a more teaching methods and an increased variety of knowledge (including homosexuality and gender identity). The leaders had a brainstorm session in which we came up with several issue we could focus on, however, the ones that attracted the most attention were FGM and the sex-ed syllabus. We ended up choosing the sex-ed syllabus because it would be a more efficient project and wouldn't require any collaboration (we haven't been too successful at this before).
Jan 25 2015:
Quick Check in as there is a fair amount of progress being made:
Firstly, the communication with the school has remained minimal as their number cannot be found and we are still in the process of re-obtaining it. While the project with the school is at a hold, T-GO is working with the MS students (Ms.Park) session that we have been planning. The session with the MS kids will focus on problems and concerns they have regarding their life and we shall try to assist them and give them "professional" advice since we made it through the treacherous middle school alive. The session is going to take place this wednesday on the 28th of Jan after school.
As march-endomitriosis month draws nearer, i think it is absolutely vital to re-boot the campaign and further raise awareness about it because the first time wasn't quite as effective as hoped. One of the main improvements of the campaign itself would be to advocate the issue to a larger audience, specifically local people as health care options are quite limited in rural Tanzania. In order to reach a larger audience, it would be best to play the stop motion on the local TV station (but translate the video to swahili so that it is appropriate for the audience), I have already contacted ITV-a famous new channel- and am awaiting their reply. Furthermore, while raising advocacy is the first step in any Community Action, it is equally important to take action and attempt to better the situation. For the endometriosis campaign, it would be heavily beneficial to have a diagnosis station set up for women to come and get checked, while this would be a great, the logistics are quite tricky to figure out and require severe organisation. I am currently figuring out the amount of time a specific check up needs, and what clinics/hospitals could potentially offer it.
Personally, I feel like re-booting the campaign is essential for T-GO as a CAS, even if it doesn't involve the entire team because it will allow us to take upon new challenges and go beyond simply raising advocacy. Ever since the beginning of T-GO advocacy has been the main focus, and (in my opinion) limits us to what we can do and creates a somewhat repetitive process in which action isn't really initiated, but rather simply exists in the background. There is a lot of work left to be done, since february is a chopped up month.
Jan 13 2015:
The focus on sexual harassment and violence was continued in this session. We watched a couple of videos regarding sexual harassment and domestic violence, then tried to define what it was and where, who and when it happens. Ms.Gloria and Shufaa are keeping in contact with a school called Ukwamaji, and they have asked for us to go an meet them face to face so that we can continue with the partnership is both parties agree. Communication with this school is also quite rough and not as well directed, this could be due to a cultural difference in the way things are executed. The Tanzanian culture is very laid back and while this has its own benefits, it can be a limiting factor when trying to establish a sustainable and effective partnership. However, it is possible for both our school and their school to adapt and create a unique partnership that will suit both cultures as well as get work done.
While Mariana, Shufaa and I work on creating a partnership with the school, Cecilia, Sara and Abi are working on the session we will have with the Ms.Park’s MS girls club. This session Abi brought in questions they had written down for us, and we read them aloud in order to figure the kind of questions they had, and we were able to split them up into 4 categories; school, friend drama, boy drama and racism. We will be having a session with the girls soon, and our plan is to make it an interactive sessions so that they are also involved in the discussion.
THE ENDOMETRIOSIS STOP MOTION IS DONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9m3Hvxv8fQ We might be use this stop motion to reboot the campaign in March (endometriosis month) and work in collaboration with ribbon initiative. Personally, i feel like it would be good to set up check up sites with doctors from IST clinic, so that anyone interested can get checked for endometriosis.
December 10th 2014:
For this term we have had some tremendous achievements because we actually effectively planned and event and executed it marginally well. Looking back, I feel like the largest contributor to this success has been an ensemble like setting in T-GO, as while we have leaders we aren’t specifically leading the session have a fair amount of time dedicated to discussions as a group. In order to further diminish any authoritative powers that leaders could potentially possess, we asked the members of the CAS to do a bit of reflection and list some concerns/ areas of improvement or any other thoughts they have on T-GO. There has also been a new system developed-technology box- in order to keep everyone focused on the task at hand, as many were getting distracted by phones and iPads. The technology box has worked quite well as we are able to get more done in the same time with a lot more people engaged.
We have also altered the schedule fairly and have been quite flexible with it, so if there isn't a need to continue CAS until 3:45, then we end it early and the leaders stay back to plan out the next session. However, if more time is needed to complete a session then we take that time and don't cut sessions short. The flexibility helps us design effective sessions and makes CAS more than just boxes to tick, but rather a structured form of community action. In all entirety the flexible schedule doesn't confine us to a method of execution that is perceived to be effective, but rather allows our CAS to structure a session in a way that suits their needs.
After each session the leaders stay back to plan the next session and create to-do lists so that we know were we stand and things that need to be done for the next time we meet. Spending about 15 mins after each session has enabled us to create structures sessions and get things done in time, leading to a better run community action. The time spent of planning is quite small however the session have improved significantly, reflecting the importance of planning and putting in the extra effort to make a better journey in which ideas and thoughts become action.
As our first campaign for endometriosis has come to and end, we have to select a new direction for the community action and start to focus on another issue. For the next project we will be focusing on sexual assault and harassment because this issue is quite prevalent in our everyday lives, and we feel like it will allow us to contact a local school and share out thoughts on this issue. One of the important aspects of sexual assault and harassment is to identify where it comes from and what causes it as well as how to protect oneself against such attacks. We had Sara Jensen come into demonstrate some karate moves as she has been practicing it for multiple years and is one of the leaders for the self-defense class in school. Sara came into our T-GO and we had a small tutorial of the different moves we can conduct in order to protect our selves. The plan after december break is to contact one of the local schools and have a similar session with them. Our previous partnership with Oysterbay Secondary school wasn’t entirely effective due to multiple communication errors. Despite the school being the ‘perfect’ school for a partnership as they were close by and spoke english fluently, the partnership wasn't entirely effective and sustainable, partially since the girls at the school thought that they were only part of a project so no real connection was established.
From the beginning of the year I feel like the activity has drastically changed, as in the beginning we were unsure of what we were doing but now are slowly getting a forthright sense of direction that we need to head towards. The most influential part of the development of T-GO has come from having simple conversations with people and learning about the wide range issues and skill, firstly it was Shufaa educating us about endometriosis, and now Sara will help us execute the self-defense sessions. The connections and progress made through chatting with people reminded me of Rakesh Rajani’s talk we received before induction; how talking to different people can enable you to change the person you are and get and exposure to new things. We have decided to structure T-Go by projects and not semesters/terms, and we attempt to do a project per term.
We have also been approached by Ms.Park and the MS girl group she is running, as she would like us to go int and talk to the middle school girls and answer the questions they have since we have gotten through the ever so terrifying middle school. In my opinion, this is a great opportunity as it will allow us to connect with members of other grade levels and be helpful to member of the IST community. Abigail and Cecilia are talking to Ms.Park about the logistics.
This week is endometriosis week! While it was initially planned for the week of 3rd November, we realised that it wasn't a full week and thursday and friday we off days, therefore we changed it to this week. In order to raise awareness about serious health disease it is we have been posting a fact everyday on the daily bulletin, we will also be conducting 2 flash mobs/skits (1 in the courtyard and 1 in the canteen area) to directly contact the target audience. We have already performed the skit in the courtyard and while we were performing the main line that started off the skit was “MY VAGINA HURTS”, and while this statement is meant to capture attention it also got a fair amount of laughter. Throughout the performance there were a couple of insensitive comments made by the audience such as “she’s pregnant!”, and the audience’s reaction to our skit clearly mirrored the taboo associated with menstruation and puberty. While the skit was effective and it led to several people asking about the disease and how to get checked, the audiences’ first hand response to it was quite stereotypical. Watching the skit being performed and viewing the audience’s response with it made me realise that in order to get equal rights for women, much more needs to be done than simply making laws as entire mindsets need to be altered to cause sustainable change. As a Community Action we aim to openly talk about issues regarding gender, in order to encourage others to feel free to talk about it and stop viewing it as a “provocative” topic.
Link for flash-mob/skit video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpblAP8XYH4
The stop motion was initially supposed to be ready now however it isn't as we tried filming it in school however it didn't really work out due to the bad lighting. Mariana and I then concluded that the stop motion had to be done elsewhere, and as i have previous experience with making stop motions I have been making the stop motion. And due to the high school play being put up soon, which means long rehearsals, its hard to manage my time and devote a fair amount of time to the stop motion in order to make it effective and aesthetically pleasing. Since the stop motion will not be done for endometriosis week, the plan for sharing the video is to upload it to Youtube and show it in PSE classes or have it as a re-boot of the campaign in endometriosis month (march).
Over the past few sessions we have been working on the stop motion- story boarding, scripting and filming. These skills are not too new to me, but this time we are trying to switch between video and animation and this is new for me. All of these stages have been quite challenging because I have had to work in a group and there can be a clash of ideas and we have to try and find a median point. I am leading the stop motion group and its also a challenge to equally allocate tasks when stop motions cannot be worked on by too many people at the same time The time frame is also proving quite challenging because I usually have an ample amount of time when I make animations but this time there is a huge time constraint. Furthermore, endo-metriosis is an issue that I'm kind of passionate about and not completely passionate about and this makes it harder to make a stop motion that depicts the whole disease and does justice to it. However, I do acknowledge that it is an apparent problem that needs our attention and it will be best to take action.
Because of multiple tech complications regarding learning outcomes on ManageBac, i was unable to update the CAS reflection. Therefore this reflection will comprise of all the events, epiphanies and progress that has taken place since the beginning of the year. At the start of the year, T-GO didn't really have an aim or direction to head towards, we knew that we wanted to target something regarding gender equality, issues specific to women and target the spectrum of human rights, therefore our first 2 CAS sessions were quite broad exposing the 'leaders' and the others members to potential projects and areas of focus. However, our area of focus was quickly determined by a conversation I had with Shufaa-a class mate- during the IB induction. She wanted to focus on endo-metriosis, which is condition that is specific to women as there are certain cells that begin to grow on the outside of uterus wall causing immense pain during menstruation. Shufaa came into a session and introduced this topic to us, and we realized that it is a great idea to get into because many suffer from it, but don't know about it and consider it to be regular period cramps. We did a fair amount of research on this topic as a group learning about the disease and ways we could advocate it to the IST community (our current target audience). Our vision for this project was to have an endo-metriosis week in which we would raise awareness about the issue using several mediums. We were thinking of making uterus shaped cookies, a uterus shaped collage and conducting a scavenger hunt to inform the public about this issue, however we soon realized that we would need more than that and that we would need to advocate more than once. As of now, we plan to make a short film (comprised of animation and movies), creating a flash-mob and conducting a drop-in check up at the IST clinic for anyone who wants to get themselves checked. Our plan of action is to split up into 3 smaller groups, each trying to achieve one of the three goals.