Fatima - KidsRights
Action developer

“Little by little we will make it happen”.

Fatima (16)
Guatemala
Theme: Education
Loves: Photography

Fatima’s libraries

Fatima lives with her mother in Guatemala. She also has two sisters, who are both fighting for human rights. With the four of them they have founded a library, in their own home! Every day they welcome 50 children. Fatima is helping them with homework, and likes to read to them. They are also organizing different activities, in which children can participate.

They set up the library to offer education, and to promote reading. Fatima, her mother, and her sisters think this is something very important. Especially in their environment, in which people live in poverty. As a result of the poverty, lots of children quit school and start working. Fatima wants to teach them that all children have equal rights, no matter if you’re rich or poor. All children are equal and have the right to for example education.

Fatima’s dream is to expand the library to other neighborhoods, so children will have more access to books. A future library she would name after her grandma, in honor of the change she has made as a women.

What is the problem?
In Fatima’s environment women do not have a voice. For example, it is expected of girls that they quit school, will not start working or studying, and will take care of their family.

But also many boys do not finish their school, but this is to start working and making money. Poverty plays a large role in this.

Fatima wants children to know that girls and boys have the same right to go to school. It does not matter if you are poor or rich, all children have the right to education.

What is Fatima’s solution?
Fatima is convinced that reading is very important to the development of children. It gives them power and knowledge about for example equality, the environment, and rights. She wants girls to be aware of the fact that they have just as many rights as boys. That they are also allowed to learn, make decisions themselves, and are in charge of their own bodies.

Fatima will do this by giving three different workshops for girls (9-13 years old):

  1. Reading stories to girls about inspiring women, to get them motivated to think about the future and studying
  2. Letting girls write, to show them and their parents what they can do: that they are smart and creative enough to stay in school
  3. Start the conversation with girls about sexuality and their bodies. They get to decide who touches them, and who doesn’t. Here they will learn why they are allowed to protect themselves, and how to do that.

What is the goal?
The goal is that girls know that they can decide themselves about their future, and take decisions themselves. They are allowed to stay in school, study, and work.

Fatima hopes that girls will start protecting themselves and their bodies. Boys can’t just touch them, if they do not want them to.

How does Fatima work?
Fatima does not only guide the activities, but also participates herself. In this way, she wants to motivate the girls to share their personal experiences. Next to that she is helping her mother with planning the workshops. Like this she is half participant, half leader.

She sees it as a challenge to get all the girls together. Lots of girls have to take care of their families, or their parents do not allow them to participate.

What does Fatima need?

  • More inspiring stories to read
  • Internet
  • A large screen

Who does she need?

  • Her mom’s help with finding sponsors, leading the activities, and printing the teaching material
  • The participating girls
  • Marleny (the librarian) that will help with the workshops
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