Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Yes, We Can!


“Anything you can do I can do better.
I can do anything better than you.
No, you can’t.
Yes, I can.
No, you can’t.
Yes, I can.

Anything we can do we can do better.
We can do anything we want to do.
Yes, we can.
Yes, we can.
Yes, we can.
Yes, we can.
YES! WE CAN!”

     The tune above played throughout my head as I sat through sessions on day one of the 2-day GAD training.  GAD is an acronym that stands for Gender and Development.  The purpose of the training was to discuss issues relating to gender in The Gambia, participate in activities related to gender and development, create a plan of action to encourage equality, and take the information and activities learned back to our communities. 

     I invited Mr. Drammeh, a grade 2 teacher at my school, to attend the training with me.  I asked him to come because he has energy, enthusiasm, and an open-mind.  I found I made the right choice throughout the training as well as when we returned to Nyakoi.

Mr. Drammeh and I at the GAD training
     We discussed gender roles, family planning, working with men as partners, and more sensitive subjects like FGM/C, (Female Genitalia Mutilation/Cutting).  Mr. Drammeh and I held side discussions about each of the topics.  I absorbed every word from Mr. Drammeh, and loved having the opportunity to pick his brain about subjects that rarely come up in the school setting.

     Lightening the mood on Day 2, Mr. Drammeh and I presented the song that had been playing through my head on the previous day.  After modeling, we asked the audience to join in.  The women started off singing, “Anything you can do I can do better.  I can do anything better than you.”  The men responded, “No, you can’t,” and the song went on.  After the men sang the verse to the women, we all sang together holding hands saying, “Anything we can do we can do better.  We can do anything we want to do.”  “No, you can’t,” turned to, “Yes, we can,” making it the most glorious cheesy moment ever. J

Mr. Drammeh and I modeling the song
   
     Cat continued the fun with a game displaying gender roles.  Mr. Drammeh’s energy and enthusiasm showed as he swept the ground with a pretend baby on his back.  The smiles and laughs as men put buckets on their heads and women pretended to brew attaya made light of the differences placed between genders in The Gambia.






     When it comes to gender and development, there is much work to be done.  This is true not only in The Gambia, but across the rest of the world as well.  We ended the training singing our song with extra emphasis on, “YES! We CAN!”  Before we can make any changes, we’ve got to believe we can.  Check out the pictures below of Mr. Drammeh believing he can.











1 comment:

  1. You inspire me, Lacy. I so enjoy reading these posts and feeling the connections through you.

    ReplyDelete