Through the Edinburgh Girls Project we provide a weekly safe space for girls over the 7 week course. In the project’s sessions, the girls come together and receive group mentoring to help encourage each other to make informed choices regarding their mental, physical and emotional health.
The Edinburugh Girls Project has had two sessions. The first edition ran in April and May 2017 with primary school girls in the low-socio-economic area of Wester Hailes, Edinburgh. It was conducted in collaboration with the WHALE Arts Centre and funded by the South West Neighbourhood Partnership Health Matters.
The second edition of EGP, funded by Ponton House Trust, started in January 2018 and ended in March 2018. The participants were Muslim teenage girls and the sessions were held in the Edinburgh Central Mosque.
Both the first and second edition of the EGP focused on a specific topic each week. These were related to healthy living, positive self-image and self-development. The participants explored these topics through interactive activities and discussions.
The following topics have been covered throughout the two editions of EPG so far:
- Communication and relationships
- Healthy eating
- Gender stereotype and body image
- Physical exercise
- Stress relief and relaxation
- Developing self-esteem
The engagement and feedback from participants have been very positive in both editions of the project so far. We have found EPG to be an effective way of encouraging girls to adopt good behaviours and habits which are important in order to live as a healthy young woman. Most importantly, these behaviours and habits are likely to continue later in life. The EGP has the capacity to make an impact in participants’ lives for a long time after the completion of the project.