Equipping young women to advocate for themselves and their communities

The Zonta Club of Colombo IV and Without Borders Sri Lanka partnered for Inspire Lab, which equips young women from at-risk backgrounds to advocate for themselves and to become trailblazing change agents within their own communities.

The project reaches women in rural areas of Sri Lanka where violence is rampant. Most children from these at-risk communities have experienced some form of abuse, ranging from parental neglect to sexual or drug abuse. Without Borders approaches these issues through a learning perspective and gives young women a new set of skills and mindsets to create a safe, healthy and happy life for themselves and those in their community.

With a US$5,000 grant from Zonta International, Inspire Lab was designed in a well-structured manner. The two-day session focused on sexual and reproductive health and emotional well-being, gender-based violence prevention and design thinking, a process in which the girls designed a community impact project followed by a group presentation.

During Inspire Lab, 200 young women, ages 15-20, learned about identifying different emotions and reacting to them accordingly, understanding changes in their body, making healthier choices, gender-based violence and the legal framework, how to prevent gender-based violence, confidence and creativity, and understanding problems and how to effectively solve them.

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