La Familia Ayara is transforming Colombian communities through hip hop. Hear how EMpower’s partnership is helping to empower adolescent girls in Director Don Popo’s own words…
In 2009 Empower started their support with us with hip hop workshops exclusive for girls. With a mixed group it was too high of a mountain for girls to participate. But we also keep the mixed groups so girls learn to have more confidence in society. Girl leaders emerged—some girls started to manage the girl network and were growing in their artist careers. Others started their own programs in their neighborhoods. Girls have the need to run their own activates—new step of EMpower program is more focused support of the activities of these leaders. Some have started to build their own organizations. Ayara keeps holding the space for those who don’t have their own space or can’t work in their neighborhoods.
One difficult thing is the girls who started with EMpower are now becoming women—now they are a little angry because they can’t get the benefit of this program because of their age. But they are neighborhood role models—girls see them and think they can become leaders too. New girls get inspiration and then there are new generations of leaders. Now we are thinking how can we support them to do their thing (instead of changing them under the protection of Ayara). Some want to do radical change others just want girls to feel comfortable. Invest in the new leadership of the hip-hop movement which is testosterone filled. So with EMpower we are generating space for women in the movement to develop themselves. Offering a calm space.
With 11 million people in Bogota there are many services that the youth need (government says there is 8 million, but displaced persons make the number much higher). In the SW we work in dangerous neighborhoods (most periphery areas are dangerous). Started in the far N of the city and also work in NW. We put the cultural center in the center to integrate youth in the city and get them out of their neighborhoods—give them new goals and way of looking at life. Mix with youth in the city who have more opportunities and eliminate barriers that exist in society.
In 2009 EMpower started their support with us with hip hop workshops exclusive for girls.
The girls who started with EMpower are now becoming women… They are neighborhood role models—girls see them and think they can become leaders too. New girls get inspiration and then there are new generations of leaders.
Interview with Don Popo, Director, La Familia Ayara
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