We believe the fastest way to
better an impoverished community is to
invest in adolescent girls.
We started with the notion that if we really wanted to prevent trafficking of the most vulnerable victims in the poorest areas, we would need to instill change from the bottom up. We would need to start with young girls — empowering them to respect themselves, to value the role of women in their society and to have the confidence and knowledge to stand up for themselves.
We created the RISE Workshops to do just that.
Our Philosophy: Teach a Girl, Educate a Village
Throughout history it’s been proven: she will reinvest her income and knowledge back into her family and her community. Studies have shown that when women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.* Yet, despite her potential, less than two cents of every international development dollar is directed to her and she is more likely to be uneducated, a child bride, and exposed to HIV than a boy.
We know that girls are inherently strong, smart, and bold. Showing them that their voices are trusted, respected, and heard is a critical part of helping them stay that way — especially in the face of gender stereotypes and pressure to conform to social values that repress women. As an educated mother and citizen, a girl will break the cycle of inter-generational poverty.
Workshops: Real world education
The workshops are free to her and only a few hours after school each week. They are non-religious and tailored to be relevant and respectful to her culture. They’re hosted by a local moderator or teacher who can put the course information in cultural and social context for her. The workshops are always held in safe secure environment where she can feel free to express herself, discuss pressing issues or just get silly and have fun. All of our workshops are conducted within Hill Tribe communities in the Mae Wang region of Northern Thailand.
Curriculum topics cover:
- Basic computer skills
- Women’s health and understanding of how diseases are spread
- Human and Migrant Worker’s rights and basic laws
- Creative thinking through art and writing
- Foreign languages and learning about other cultures
- Media Literacy
- Warning signs and dangers of trafficking
- English and Thai language classes
As she participates in the workshops and graduate to the new levels, she can also eventually assist in conducting workshops for younger girls — becoming a role model in her community while learning important leadership skills and confidence.
In circumstances of abuse or lack of resources to continue her education, Daughters Rising also sets aside special scholarship funds for girls who need it. With the opportunity to earn scholarships, many parents will have a vested interest in seeing their daughters finish school and go beyond — instead of being married off too early, or sold off to pay off debts.
Future Network of Sisters: My family is global
Though the RISE Workshops are based on being an intimate safe group, the workshops are also designed to eventually be part of a worldwide Daughters Rising network. In the future we hope to be able to create participatory global assignments where she can add her voice to a journalism project, or upload her perspective to a photo essay with other girls around the world. By sharing her experiences and learning about others, she would join a ongoing dialogue that makes their class room global.
We also have future plans to create a mentor program, where she will be able to communicate with mentors in her field of interest. For example, if she dreams of a career in healthcare when she grows up, she will be able to video chat with a nurse from across the Pacific or speak to a doctor in France and get inspired. By exposing her to different views and perspectives, the RISE Workshops will expand her horizons to a world beyond their village.
Currently workshops are available in English, Thai, Karen, Burmese and Khmer.