Where in Istmina are drugs sold? Which streets should girls avoid because there are paramilitaries or criminals on the street? And what can girls do if they are physically threatened or sexually exploited? These are fierce, terrible and sometimes devastating questions that occupy the young women participating in our project “Psychosocial Support”. But it is precisely these questions that correspond to the reality of the girls’ lives.
All of the participating girls live in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Istmina that are overshadowed by crime. Many of the families have been displaced from their villages and have ended up in Istmina. While parents are working or looking for work, their daughters often lack care and/or occupation and are therefore at risk of falling victim to violence or criminal gangs.
As part of the project, girls between the ages of 6 and 17 discuss everyday threats such as crime, drug use and sexual abuse in a playful way under the guidance of educators and social workers.
The project started in the summer of 2019 with 100 participants. The demand was huge and we are very happy that now 200 girls can participate. The individual groups last for one year, and the workshops usually take place twice a week.