This past weekend, I spent time with the women of Sarilaya, a women's organization whose cause is centered on female empowerment and healthy living. They support women who earn livelihood in the rural areas, and the women and families they support grow organic foods. They have children’s centers in these rural areas to help the men and women who are out working all day. I had the opportunity of training the incredible mothers and teachers on the LitClubs curriculum, and they are preparing to launch 9 new LitClubs at the start of the new year!
Armie and Riza, above, demonstrate and practice the art of the read-aloud
What I loved about this experience the most was the opportunity to hear the stories of Filipina women. I learned so much about their daily struggles, their victories, and their strength. Their lives are centered around being good mothers, providing for their children, and caring for the children in the centers. It was beautiful to laugh with them, to listen in to their stories of resilience, and to witness their determination to create better futures.
Michelle shows off her heart map
Pam Allyn, our Executive Director, helped me put together the agenda for the LitClubs training, and we made sure that the training would be inspiring and igniting. We wanted the women to feel the essence and spirit of our LitClubs, and sure enough, the women smiled brightly as we went through each exercise, as this training became a space for them to get re-inspired and refueled as they continued their work of caring for the young ones.
Below: The Seven Strengths Translated in Tagalog
Sharing our stories together was a priceless experience. The best part about it all was the fact that we all learned something valuable from each other. I was glad I had the opportunity to create an empowering, uplifting space for us all.
When the training ended, the women took off to their next destination in their Jeepney, a common mode of transportation in our country. (They love taking photos, can you tell?) :)
-Written by LitCorps Ambassador in the Philippines, Ruby Veridiano