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Using photovoice to assess the changes as experienced by participants of the La League pilot programme in Nicaragua

Nicaragua Plan International

  • personal achievements and goals

    Society told us that only women could do house chores, but now we realize that men can do them too. A real man for me is someone who is not ashamed of doing these jobs because he feels confident enough and is not bothered by what others may think. La League provided us with thoughts or ideas of equality, and thanks to La League my brother's and dads’ way of thinking has changed.

  • acceptance of yourself

    Before, I had a low self-esteem, I didn't like looking at myself in the mirror. During La League project, they taught us about self-image. I now accept myself the way I am. This has meant a great change for me because it helped me understand that if I don't love myself, I will never be happy with whom I am, so it has opened a chance for me to be happy.

  • violence to women

    In the photo I see a physically and emotionally abused woman. This women in particular is my aunt-in-law, who was battered by my uncle. But as I followed the LEEP project I felt gradually empowered and one day I felt strong enough to tell my uncle that men have no right to hit women. My mom also stood by me on that. So, whenever we saw him, we would talk about it and even my aunt began to defend herself saying the same things as I. My uncle began changing his habit of hitting her. It's meant a very big change for him, because he was an extremely male chauvinist.

  • knowledge of sexuality

    I felt embarrassed talking about condoms and sexual relationships. But I have learned to express myself about these subjects without feeling ashamed. Today I had to make a presentation about condoms in biology class and my classmates and the teacher congratulated me because I knew so much about them, and I owe that to what I was told at La League.

  • gender equality

    In La League project they gave lectures to help us understand more about each other’s rights and how we should put them into practice. This helped me a lot to make the boys at home do the same things I do as a woman. Now we all do the same chores.

In Nicaragua Plan International has been piloting a ‘sports for development’ programme. It follows a ‘sports for development’ model that takes girls’ football to a higher level as a sport, and above all, acts as a driver for girls’ empowerment. The La League programme uses football with the ultimate aim to contribute to empowering adolescent girls and young women to decide if, when and who they will marry and if, when and with whom they will have children.

To reinforce that change, Plan International Netherlands is partnering with the Johan Cruyff Foundation and ‘Women Win’ initiative to engage fathers and boys in actively supporting the girls and to develop opportunities for girls to practice their leadership and become economically independent. ResultsinHealth (RiH) was given the assignment to assess the results achieved by the La League pilot programme to identify lessons learned and document recommendations for improvement of the La League method.

One of the methods used was photovoice. This method was meant to assess the changes as experienced by the girls that participated in the programme. The results of the photovoice were fed into the larger qualitative evaluation. Photovoice (as an evaluation tool) challenges participants to reflect and discuss, provides nuance to exploring a topic, triggers memories, and leads to new perspectives. The method was chosen because of its possibility to gain insight into the effects of an intervention beyond the cognitive process related to goal attainment.

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