04 October 2009

What I’m Doing this year with … the Peer Educators

4 October 2009

Yesterday we finally celebrated my birthday in village – things kept being delayed because of Da E’s German friend’s visit. I invited the two students that I sent to Camp UNITE, intending to work with them a bit before we got started partying. They showed up at my house well before I was ready. In fact, I was naked, dripping wet and had a mouth full of toothpaste. So I bubbled out “Wait! I’m showering” and hurriedly put myself together, brought them a couple of chairs to sit on my porch and a couple of books to keep them occupied.
Then I scurried around packing my party bag. I spent about 4 hours the night before making banana bread – M can attest to how long baking takes here. Eventurally we set out for Da E’s house. She was out at the marche when we arrived so the students and I got to work without her.
This year I want to combine students from CEG Kovie and Lycee Mission tove into one big group of peer educators. Last year, small numbers always limited what we could do so I’d prefer to have “too many” than “too little.” Another big change this year is that I’d like the students to take a more active role planning and delivering the sessions. The group should still be able to meet and work even if I have to travel. E and D (the two UNITE kids) were very inspired by Camp and feel strongly that they should share their new knowledge with their peers. It was so cool to see their faces light up as we made a list of topics to cover and they flipped through their workbook from camp.
One of my peer educators from last year isn’t in school this year because she’s pregnant. I disagree with the policy, but pretty much as soon as a girl gets pregnant, she drops out of school. I can only hope that she’l come back next year. But it encourages me to focus even more on avoiding unwanted pregnancies in the peer educator’s group. There’s a delicate line to tread between explaining the difficulties pregnancy can cause and the fact that getting pregnant doesn’t have to mean the end of school, life, opportunities.
The club will be meeting on Friday afternoons this year – Wednesdays will be for business club at CEG Kovie. Last year football/soccer games were a big conflict on Wed afternoons. Fridays are more tricky for me, but since most teacers don’t want to teach on Fri afternoon, there are very few classes and I should be able to have good attendance.
I hope that this year I’ll be able to get a couple guest speakers in to talk to the group – especially the local nurse, maybe a university student, etc. It’s good to give the students a chance to explore their options for the future.

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