CONNECTING VIRTUALLY IN CAMBODIA Room to Read mentors in Cambodia held individual remote mentoring sessions with more than 6,400 girls in our Girls’ Education Program in 2021, ensuring they received the support they needed to stay engaged in their education during school closures and safely return to the classroom when schools reopened. Mentors also conducted virtual life skills lessons for secondary school students, which focused heavily on pressing challenges like gender-based violence, COVID-19 safety and early marriage. Lessons were conducted over Google Meet, recorded and shared via digital messaging apps so that all students could benefit from the discussions, even without access to the internet. TRAVELING VILLAGE BY VILLAGE IN LAOS To keep Girls’ Education Program students engaged in our life skills curriculum during COVID-19 school closures, educators in Laos collaborated with local government partners to initiate mobile life skills sessions, delivered village by village. Teachers and mentors traveled across 80 villages in the span of three months to safely facilitate in-person discussions with Girls’ Education Program participants and their families. Students received three in-person lessons, each helping to equip them with the tools needed to set goals, create effective study spaces and habits while learning at home, advocate for themselves, manage difficult emotions and remain focused on their education. LIFE SKILLS FOR EQUALITY We know that achieving gender equality is a pursuit that everyone, not just women and girls, must work toward together. We have, therefore, been working with Equimundo and local grassroots organization Gender and Development for Cambodia to develop and deliver life skills curriculum for boys through Room to Read’s Life Skills for Equality pilot project. The curriculum is specifically designed to help boys examine gender norms and attitudes that perpetuate inequality and is the result of extensive research and a thorough needs’ assessment process. In 2021, our team provided training to teachers and other program facilitators so that the curriculum can be delivered at scale.
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