The Girls - full of life, full of love
It was during the fall of 2013 that I learned about a school in Decatur, GA, just one town over from where I live that provides education to refugee girls age 11-18 . It's called the Global Village Project (GVP). http://globalvillageproject.org/. The girls who attend GVP previously lived in refugee camps in some of the most desperate, war torn areas on this earth.
Through the help of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) http://www.rescue.org/ the girls and their families make their way to the US and begin a new life
On day one the girls cannot speak a lick of English. Upon graduation they go on to receive a GED degree, submission to college or join the work force. These girls are taught to be empowered, educated young ladies who grow in leaps and bounds right before your eyes into empowered young women.
It was during the Decatur book festival that one of the GVP teachers purchased a copy of my book, The Women of Southeast Asia. Our connection and desire to help girls grow into empowered woman was instantly obvious to both of us. Almost immediately a new friendship and partnership was born.
Shortly thereafter I was invited to give a slide show of my photographs depicting women from my travels. The teacher, Daphe Hall told me that the girls would most likely be shy and demure. Well 1 hr. was hardly enough and they were anything but shy. They were full of love and laughter, raising their hands 5 at a time, edging each other out to ask questions, and share experiences and knowledge from "their country........" Their energy was huge. I instantly fell in love and knew I wanted to spend time with and help these girls.
And so a photography program at GVP was born. Our first session began in January 2014.