Boxing Out Inequality

With an adapted version of this riddle about the son who cannot be operated on by his surgeon, our health agent Smith opened up this week's youth workshop, blending the theme of gender roles with a boxing lesson for a fun summer twist on health education. 

Summertime in Restauración means we have a lot more volunteers on-site for extended stays. But it also means school is out for the local kids and many head out of town to visit family. This makes regular youth programming more challenging, despite an influx of volunteer support. 

Even with summer vacation upon us, our health agents in Restauración have shown commitment to supporting FIMRC's work. Alongside our SIHFers, they have kept busy preparing workshops like this one to engage their peers in health topics through fun and creative activities. The first session was held two weeks ago and touched on healthy relationships. 

The theme was inspired by our health agent Andi when SIHFer Nicole saw him practicing boxing with some friends one evening. Fellow SIHFer Ashley and MPH student Kristen also have taken boxing/kickboxing classes and thought this would be the perfect method to reinforce how women and men alike are able to have fun in activities that at times have been seen to favor participation of one gender over another. 

On Thursday we held the event with 10 teenagers from the community. Although the turnout was smaller than we would like, we had designed these workshops to accommodate smaller groups knowing that many people would be out of town. The small group also allowed for a lot of participation from everyone. 

Once Smith and fellow health agent José guided the befuddled participants through the riddle, we moved on to an activity discussing why we associate specific occupations and personality traits with one gender or the other. Then we shifted to the main attraction - boxing lessons led by our local health agents and visiting Summer International Health Fellows. 

All in all, the activity was a perfect example of how to keep the momentum during times when it can be more challenging to count on regular programming held throughout the year. It also is giving our health agents new opportunities to put into practice everything they have learned with us. Alongside our summer fellows, they are shifting from being active participants of our programs to facilitating workshops themselves.