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Leadership Institute - ADIMTU

ADIMTU works to unlock the potential of girls in the rural communities of the Mayan highlands to stay in school, direct their own futures, and become leaders in their communities.

The Leadership Institute consists of 3 projects: The Life of My Mother, Family Reading Time, and Little Sister. The projects are implemented in the rural Middle Schools of San Pedro Sacatepéquez, San Marcos, Guatemala. These projects build on one another and are implemented sequentially with 7th, 8th, and 9th-grade girls and boys. The Life of My Mother project builds trust and support between mothers and their child, through a yearlong interview that is recorded by the student in a diary of their mother’s life. The Family Reading Time project develops the reading/storytelling skills of students after which they take books home and read them with their parents and siblings building a network to support literacy and staying in school. The My Little Sister project pairs 9th-grade girls with 2nd or 3rd-grade girls that have been identified by their teachers as at risk of dropping out from school. The “big sister” helps the “little sister” with their schoolwork, reviewing school lessons and supporting their reading progress. The “little sisters” see their “big sisters” as role models and examples of success in school, while the “big sisters are able to realize their potential as leaders and change makers in their community.

We started to pilot the inclusion of boys in our projects beginning with the mother’s diaries project. This decision was made after listening to feedback from mothers and school officials, looking at how boy's inclusion on girl center projects can further change and realizing that the generations of leaders that were just formed at the Leadership Institute where still living in a “machista” environment. In addition, the school system in the region expressed strong interest in seeing boys included given the positive impacts on school retention and success for girls.

Funded by Awesome Without Borders (October 2017)