Well it’s the end of a very tiring, challenging yet amazing week at the Pink House. After 4 hours of dance Monday to Thursday; with a 7.30am – 5.30pm working day, it’s fair to say my body’s pretty exhausted. Most of the girls who were registered turned up on the first day and the majority continued attending all week. On the 2nd day at 7.30am as I arrived at the Pink House there was a group of girls already waiting outside for the day to start which was really encouraging to see, they must have really enjoyed day 1.
On Friday we visited the homes of the girls who didn’t attend this week in the hope that this will encourage them to come next week so please pray this works!
As the girls came into the Pink House I could tell a lot of them were nervous and didn’t know what to expect, some came with friends or family whilst others were very brave and came alone.
In The Studio
It was interesting to see that the moment we got into the dance studio and begun the sessions all their nerves and apprehensions seemed to disappear. As soon as the music was on and we started the warm up huge smiles appeared on the faces of the girls. I couldn’t believe the drastic change in demeanour as miserable and nervous expressions gave way smiling and happy faces in such a short space of time which only grew as the week went on.
As the week went on I noticed that most of the girls seemed to leave their troubles and problems of life at the studio door and were using dance and the time in the studio as an opportunity to be free and express themselves in a positive way, which made me feel very privileged to see and be a part of.
Here’s a short video showing some of the girls dancing
The Rules of the House
All the staff in the Pink House thought it was important to set some clear boundaries and ground rules from the beginning, the girls responded to this very positively and came up with the rules of the house and consequences themselves.
When establishing the rules one of the girls commented on how she wants everyone to get on no matter what area they come from, this was a massively encouraging statement as in Medina there are a number of ‘rival’ communities. We have girls from all of these ‘rival’ communities attending the centre together at the same time so it was encouraging to see over the course of the week girls from different communities starting friendships and supporting one another in dance. There is still a long way to go for many of the girls in this area but we were happy to see breakthroughs like this and such cohesion in the 1st week.
The Box Room
In my last blog this room looked quite plain but I mentioned it would be filled with boxes personalised by each of the girls, after a week of arts and crafts activities it is now looking much more lively and vibrant. Throughout the week the girls have decorated their boxes, each day adding to them to make their boxes unique and personalised.
We did an activity which involved asking the girls what positive words and beliefs they associate with women and also what they hope to achieve in their lives. Below are some of the words and phrases they came up with…
“Peace” “Love” “Opportunities” “Life” “Dream” “Friends” “Beauty”
“Woman never lose a fight” “Women can change the world”
“We have Value”
“Women should be valued by men” “Woman never lose a fight” “God is faithful”
“To be a woman is to be strong and victorious and getting up when you fall down”
“The strength of will” “My dream is to be a dancer”
“Share love in its best form”
Considering that all the girls live in an environment that could really devalue their sense of self worth as a female, it was very encouraging to see that the majority of them still make connections between positivity and respect with womanhood which has really been reinforced by their time at the centre.
As the sun goes down on week 1 at the Pink House I’m very pleased to say it feels like the week has been a huge success, of course it has been challenging but I believe we have begun a life changing journey with some very special young ladies. Exciting, times ahead!
Thanks again for checking out my blog, I’ll be summarising week 2 around the same time next week. Until next time check out the Donate and Contact pages to see how you can support or get more information on the project.