Updated Jul 13, 2020

Girl-Centered Response to COVID-19

www.maiagt.org

Jenny Dale

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Redefining education and expectations for girls in rural Guatemala using technology for remote learning and projecting their empowered voice

After a decade of establishing strong ties with the communities we work in and fostering local leadership, MAIA is in a unique position to pivot and take lead in emergency response during the COVID-19 pandemic while still putting girls first. 1. Girl Pioneers are studying from home using technology to maintain academic momentum and stay connected with educators and mentors and peers. 2. G...
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After a decade of establishing strong ties with the communities we work in and fostering local leadership, MAIA is in a unique position to pivot and take lead in emergency response during the COVID-19 pandemic while still putting girls first. 1. Girl Pioneers are studying from home using technology to maintain academic momentum and stay connected with educators and mentors and peers. 2. Girl Pioneers are becoming spokeswomen for their communities by reporting on the realities of living in a rural community amidst a global pandemic, bringing visibility with a gender-focused lens to indigenous girls and their voices. 3. Educators are receiving professional development sessions on how to adapt their teaching styles to this new, complex reality. 4. MAIA has created contextualized videos in local Maya languages on the prevention and detection of the coronavirus. We have over 100,000 views of our videos so far. 5. MAIA is sharing our video scripts with partner organizations to recreate these videos in more Maya languages to broaden our impact. 6. MAIA has partnered with other community-based nonprofits as well as the Health Ministry to create a call center to answer questions and provide resources about the coronavirus in local Maya languages.
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Stage 3: Proof of Concept

MAIA is continually inspired by the growing body of global evidence that corroborates our organizational experience. When talented girls access the right opportunity, a powerful connection is made that ripples out positive benefits in infinite ways. The uncertain reality of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a unique opportunity to experiment and try out new strategies to continue to connect Girl Pioneers with 21st-century opportunities.

Focus Areas:

Inclusive Education, Gender, Communication with Communities and 1 MoreSEE ALL

Inclusive Education, Gender, Communication with Communities and Gender-based ViolenceSEE LESS

2
Key Partners
2,000
Customers
50
Employees

Problem

As the country with the worst gender equity gap in the hemisphere, Guatemala is in need of transformational leadership. Representing roughly 25% of the population, Maya women experience levels of exclusion that make them among the most marginalized on earth. Just 10% of this population completes high school. Too often, Maya women are perceived as “the problem” as Guatemala struggles to address its many pressing challenges.

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Solution

MAIA’s solution during this pandemic is a girl-centered response where young indigenous women in rural communities in Guatemala have access to technology for remote learning, stay connected to their educators, mentors, and peers with internet access, and use their empowered voices to share their experiences with the broader community and world. Now is a crucial time for Girl Pioneers to exercise their resilience and leadership to reimagine what education can be for girls in rural Guatemala.

Target Beneficiaries

MAIA serves a group of 200 Girl Pioneers (girls born into situations of quadruple discrimination⏤poor, female, rural, and indigenous⏤who are pursuing their secondary school education (grade 7-12) in the MAIA Impact School and their families (approximately 2,000 people) representing over 40 rural highland villages in the department of Sololá, Guatemala. Indirectly impacting tens of thousands more through the educational videos and radio spots created in Maya languages.

Mission and Vision

The mission of MAIA is to empower women through innovation and opportunity. MAIA's theory of change centers on the idea that by focusing intensive, personalized services on a group of Girl Pioneers and families, they will catalyze widespread change for many. The MAIA Impact School, Central America’s first secondary school is specifically designed to connect the talents of rural Mayan girls with the opportunities of the 21st century.

Competitive Advantage

The COVID crisis has revealed unique opportunities to reimagine what education for indigenous girls in Guatemala can look like moving forward. Defying the notion that perceives Maya girls in poverty as “the problem” and instead casts them as “the solution.” Through the use of technology and an innovative team of local educators and mentors, girls can access a quality education that is no longer confined to a physical classroom.

The Team Behind the Innovation

MAIA’s most valuable asset is the local human resources. Our team is 86% female, 82% indigenous, and 34% of our local team are graduates of the program. Because we have a talented team that understands the local context and the unique challenges Girl Pioneers and their families face, MAIA is able to take swift, innovative, and effective action when a challenge arises. MAIA’s local leadership has been recognized internationally for its firm commitment to the cause of girls’ education.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

May 2020
Key Partnership
 
as part of
 COVID-19 Educational Content in Maya Languages
Apr 2020
Key Partnership
 
as part of
 COVID-19 Maya Language Medical Hotline
Mar 2020
New Product Or Service
MAIA launches remote learning for girls in rural Guatemala