Learning Honesty and Courage
The story of a girl who learned to be frank and brave
Amal, an 11-year-old girl who lived her whole life in “El Maana”, a small village in Qena Governorate, wasn't shy to admit she often had to resort to lying until she took part in the "My Fitness is My Skill" program.
When asked: "What was the most significant improvement you have seen in your personality after finishing the program?”, her answer was contemplative, as she replied saying: "I had to lie about a lot of stuff before, sometimes when I get scared of something and other times for showing off, but now I’ve completely stopped lying and understood it’s a bad quality. "
What is really contemplative in Amal’s answer is this young girl’s ability to fully come to terms with what is seen as a point of weakness in her personality, while at the same time we, as grownups, completely deny that we sometimes lie either directly or indirectly and when we do so, it is often intentional. Meanwhile, studies have shown that children’s lying derives from their broad and boundless imagination, and also from their understanding that grown-ups have knowledge and ideas that surpass their limited capabilities. So, lying becomes their tool to keep pace with those capabilities which they see as supernatural.
Self-acceptance and coping with imperfections are lessons addressed in the program and are part of its first phase, which involves the idea of self-discovery and the answers to questions relating to this theme, such as how much girls accept themselves, and what qualities they want to improve in themselves.
Because teamwork is one of the most important life skills the program focuses on in its key objectives, Amal did not stand still in the process of improving herself only, but her efforts of change extended to influence others around her. At first, her shyness and fear of the reactions she would be subjected to were her main barriers, but, after finishing the program, her positive view of the world, became the main motive for change.
Amal says: "I’ve tried to help those around me, and when I get to know someone who tells lies, I encourage him to entirely get rid of this quality and be honest and say the truth without fear."
It is worth noting that "My fitness is My Skill" program aims to inspire young girls between the ages of 10 and 18 to take an active part in the various activities, especially sports, which will contribute to their health development, build their self-confidence, make them physically and mentally fit, and provide them with a variety of life skills such as teamwork, leadership and social engagement.
Thanks to the continued support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the collaboration of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, UNICEF was able to launch the "My Fitness is My Skill" program in the Governorates of Assiut and Qena, which targeted young girls, particularly in the rural areas, to participate in the sports activities that allow them to enjoy their right to play, entertain and acquire various life skills necessary to make them fit for their near future.