The first session of A Girl of Purpose in 2020 was held under the Theme: “Our Collective Contribution to Community Development Rooted on a Purposeful Girl”. The stack fact is, empowering one girl, two or three girls and with a sustained increase in number cumulatively adds into bigger numbers over time.
If Purpose Rwanda’s target of empowering 100 girls or 200 in a year is met, the role played by the empowered girls addresses the common good of our community. Addressing the common good requires a collective effort, it does not matter where one or two girls are staying in Rwanda if their purposes are used to address unemployment problems or poverty problems, the impact they create adds up to a collective gain. Progress in community development can be attained bit by bit, brick by brick but this must be every day. This is the message the attendees of the session went home with among many uplifting ideas.
The participants discussed a number of topics including What it takes to discover one’s purpose?; Who benefits when a Girl has discovered and effectively developed her purpose? ; Contribution that Girls of our time should make to community development and nation-building through leading purposeful, positive and addiction-free life among others.
The discussion session entails increasing the confidence level of the girls in articulating ideas and their interest, empowering them to think critically and logically so as to be able to articulate their interests into needs, experiences into opportunities. Discovering one’s purpose demands a lot: it requires self-discipline and reflection, it takes self-discovery and analysis, it requires one to cast the environment in which she leaves, be able to access people’s needs and problems, one must have mentors and coaches, training, one must have an interest to network and make sacrifices, above all you need to have faith and love for others.
When a Girl is empowered, families, communities and the nation benefit in many ways: she is able to raise healthy and disciplined children who will be a future human resource of our nation, her participation in the development process remains an assurance to poverty eradication. She will no longer be a dependant but a participant, the rate at which community transformation takes root increases significantly. Developing nations suffer from a high rate of unemployment, high rate of infant and maternal mortality rates, high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, high dependence rate, among many others. A Girl of Purpose who leads a positive and addiction-free life ensures she makes a contribution to expanding the scope of employment opportunities in her country by engaging in productive activities that create jobs for the youth. She will not stop there, she will be conscious about her rights and the rights of others. An empowered girl is able to comprehend the suffering of her fellow women when their children die at birth or bellow the age of five: she becomes instrumental in creating awareness to her fellow girls because she understands their plight better. She further becomes an advocate and lobbyist to government and international institutions about the rights of girls and women.
In all that Purpose Rwanda does during A Girl of Purpose Session, the values of Purposeful living among girls in order to reach their dreams and purposes, the culture of hard work among girls, their contribution to societal development is imparted. The program further goes on “To build a Heritage of Abstaining from Premarital Sex among girls and restoring the dignity of those affected by the effects of premarital sex, teenage pregnancies, and general addictions”. It does not stop here, the program further equips girls with the skill and knowledge of making the right choices in life because any wrong choice they make affects families, communities and the nation at large.