Igniting Women's Empowerment Through Physical Activity and Civic Engagement

  • Community Growth
  • Education
  • Health
  • Women & Gender
  • Youth
  • Moldova
This project is led by Hannah Schluter, a Volunteer from Illinois

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Igniting Women's Empowerment Through Physical Activity and Civic Engagement is a proposal aiming to target females in the local commune and a neighboring village to develop sustainable healthy lifestyle behaviors through a variety of physical activity initiatives and active civic engagement projects. Community women will be directly involved in fostering a holistically healthier community among multiple generations of women, enabling them to thrive in their present and future personal, academic and economic endeavors. Furthermore, conducting parallel activities in both communities will hold project participants accountable to one another to reach health and wellness goals. Results of our needs assessment survey confirmed the largest community health problems to be a lack of physical activity, insufficient extra-curricular activities for students, and a lack of community infrastructure for sports activities. Our proposed project seamlessly addresses all of these issues.

In order to educate on healthy lifestyles and self-esteem, various seminars, health campaigns and civic engagement activities will be conducted. Ongoing sports competitions, events and clubs will also take place. Our project aims to encourage the formation of healthy relationships with others who share a similar desire to sustain a healthy lifestyle. We aim to instill a love of physical fitness, while serving as a healthy model for these communities at large. Many students and school staff have previously expressed an interest and desire for more extracurricular activities and to increase their personal physical activity levels in a more formal manner. When asked on our needs assessment survey which positive health behaviors and changes they would most like to see in the school community, the majority of respondents indicated they would like to see increased physical and mental health, including sports activities, extracurricular sports activities, competitions and games. Thus, the survey results clearly back these oral claims.

Furthermore, our communities are not simply the driving force behind this initiative - they are the main individuals involved in its implementation. Our school directors have assembled a strong team of interested teachers, and at least 11 school staff members have already volunteered their time to help lead the various activities detailed in this project. This means teachers will be directly involved in leading various impactful initiatives such as self-esteem and physical activity seminars, health and awareness campaigns and competitions, physical activity clubs, as well as civic engagement and community service activities. Student leaders in our health clubs, student council members and the community family nurses and doctors will also be utilized as resources to help garner support from their respective peers, family and friends.

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