“When I came to the Inspire Lab initially, I had lost all hope and was disappointed with my life and myself with all my family problems. But after I came to the Inspire Lab I was able to look at my problems with a different angle. Inspire Lab goes beyond what we learn at school and teaches us about life and motivates us to discover our vision and passions. We learn different concepts and skills every week and I was able to discover many hidden talents and interests that I didn’t even know of. Also through the lab I’ve had the opportunity to meet many inspirational mentors and facilitators. I feel like over the past year we have become a very close-knit family.” – Chathu
Without Borders is an initiative led by a group of passionate young Sri Lankans. The team follows a project-based approach with a strong focus on ensuring quality and sustainability, creating education-based community-led development models in rural communities in Sri Lanka. They work to empower girls and young women as community leaders and introduce them to innovative education and training methods.
In 2017 PAWA provided £2562 to support up to 50 girls aged 13+ from varied racial and cultural backgrounds to participate in a Without Borders project called Inspire Labs. This project was based on a year-long curriculum of 18 modules presented to the girls in the format of weekly interactive workshops. The tools and methodologies came from the Leading Change resource developed by the University of Cambridge and the Queen’s Young Leaders program. The workshops focused on four areas: gender-based violence and sex education; digital literacy and safety on social media; leadership skills including confidence building, fundraising, and project development; mentoring and networking. After the workshops, the girls were placed in local teams to develop a community impact project of their own. Selected graduate trainees of the project have also been invited to act as mentors and trainees for future participants and will work with girls in 2018.
In 2018 PAWA is continuing to support Inspire Labs by providing £5,400 for 40 girls to take part. Changes have been made to the project and the budget in light of the experience of the first year and this funding includes increased support for transport to ensure that all the girls are able to attend the workshops regularly.