February 21st, 2014

Schools out!

As teenagers and teachers across the country both breath a sigh of relief as the arrival of half-term signals a weeks well earned rest, we at the Canaan Project also look forward to the change it brings to our routine. School holidays act as a punctuation mark in our programme and offer us the opportunity to do things a bit differently.

Many of the young women we work with make few plans for their holidays so we love to make the most of this time to take them out and about as much as we can. This week was the turn of our Drop-In Lunch Clubs and inspired by the amazing scenes from Sochi, we took two groups of 15 girls to the Lee Valley Ice Centre. As always there was a real mixture of excitement and nerves on the minibuses, some girls proudly telling stories of previous experiences, some never having been and convinced it would be impossible or not sure they would return in one piece! But after a couple of hours, some coaxing and a few topples and bruises, everyone had a story to tell of how they had improved and how much they had surprised themselves.

We believe these experiences are so vital for building young women’s confidence, as they experience success where they doubted their ability. Some of them also identified the need for perseverance and patience in bettering their skills and achieving that success. Some of them learnt to trust the advice and help of others whilst others learnt to trust more in themselves.

The girls may not have been in school this week but they didn’t stop learning and our hope is that these lessons will have shaped, even a tiny bit, the young women that arrive back in their classrooms on Monday morning.