OmLuxe Founder Pamela Jones , provided an unforgettable and enlightening Luxury Yoga Retreat in Marrakech, Morocco in March 2018. While there was focus on yoga, meditation, and workshops, travelers had the enlightening activism opportunity to learn and participate in a fundraiser for Project Soar.
Marrakech sits between three continents: Africa, Europe and the Middle East. As with many developing countries in the Middle East and Africa, the culture is wrought with the lack of educating young women about their rights, menstruation, and ability to lead. This is where Project Soar has stepped in to provide empowerment education to girls since 2013.
Unfortunately, adolescent girls are the most vulnerable and marginalized group on the planet today. Not only do these young women face discrimination, they are likely to be denied education, and become subject to exploitation, child marriage, and early motherhood. To combat these issues, girls ranging in ages 8-15 participate in weekly activities, which requires first that they stay in school.
Looking at the structure of their programs, it is actually much like a scouting or similar program; however, is focused on empowering girls about their rights, their value, their changing body, and how to lead others. The mission of each focus is poignant, easy to understand, yet powerful:
·Value is about confidence, high self-esteem, and respect for their own worth and potential.
· Voice is the ability to communicate thoughts clearly, resolving conflicts effectively, and advocating for herself productively.
· Body is for understanding the changes in her body, managing her menstruation effectively, and to value health and wellness.
· Rights to embrace a right to education and understanding the right to be free from exploitation, violence, or forced marriage.
· Path focuses on tools to envision her future, setting goals assertively, and easily conducting an action plan.
It all starts with local facilitators trained with all the materials necessary to launch a Project Soar program. Groups of girls then spend over 55 hours of activities in weekly workshops where they can realize their voice, value, body, rights, and path. These workshops coincide with the school year, so are about a total of 35 weeks long. When girls reach age 15, their final Project Soar year, they can go on to be a leader or part of an alumni club. Alumni work together to identify and work on addressing issues they identify.
You may have heard about this program back in 2016 and 2017, when First Lady Michelle Obama visited Morocco when filming ‘We Will Rise’ through the Let Girls Learn Initiative. The film highlighted the girls and leaders of programs such as Program Soar, who later had the opportunity to visit the White House and screen ‘We Will Rise.’ The film drew high praise and received two Golden Eagle awards and several other nominations.
Over the years, Project Soar has grown and is now partnered with many organizations, including Girls Not Brides, Peace Corps, Let Girls Learn.
For more information about the activities, opportunities, and locations of Project Soar, please visit our website: projectsoar.org/