ShineWOMEN with Hoa Sua School for Disadvantaged Youth

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Shine is a series of seminars that aims to empower women through inspirational, practical, and experiential methods of learning. Apart from that, Shine also offers “training” programs that develops new “trainers” that will speak in Shine seminars as well. Since its establishment in Cambridge, Australia five years ago, Shine has hosted training programs in over 30 countries, and has collaborated with over 1,000 organizations. With its focus on girl and women empowerment, Shine has branched off into two main categories: ShineGIRL and ShineWOMEN; both on improving social skills and building a strong foundation to accomplish hopes and dreams.

After attending ShineWOMEN’s training sessions, CoRE decided to partner up with Shine Hanoi to provide a course that would empower local women in Hanoi from 16th May to 24th June; specifically 20 women from Hoa Sua School for Disadvantaged Youth. These women, ages from 18-22, did not have many opportunities due to poor economic status and enrolled in the Hoa Sua School for Disadvantaged Youth to be trained in the hospitality sector. Although the Hoa Sua School increases their chances of succeeding economically, their social skills are lacking which is why they were chosen to participate in these courses.

In the beginning of the ShineWOMEN course, participants seem distant and unwillingly to trust anyone else besides their own group of friends; mimicking the reserved attitude that many would display in the real world. Whether this is due to lack of self-confidence or a defense mechanism, ShineWOMEN has three foundation concepts to abolish this attitude that will be taught over eight courses:

  • Worth – Understanding their uniqueness will allow for each participant to understand how valuable they are.
  • Strength – The power of choice and the importance of respect, identifying feelings, willpower, and values.
  • Purpose – By identifying concrete hopes, desires and dreams, it will unlock potential and talents that will allow each woman to appreciate themselves as an individual even further.

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The first three sessions focuses on making sure each individual knows that they are valuable to others, and most importantly valuable to themselves. The first step in allowing women to open themselves up to the world is for them to understand how unique they are. No one is the exact same. If one person is a copy of another, it depletes the value of both persons. When each participant understands how much value they hold, it is hard to depreciate their value.

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Seminars four and five focus on going deeper into the mind of each participant and making them understand their feelings. Here, participants understand how they process feelings by “Stopping,” “Feeling,” “Thinking,” and “Deciding,” and the Five Languages of Love to understand how they accept love. The women were given the opportunity to share any insecurity and any moments where they lost control of their feelings. Trainers do not force anyone to share, but encourage the women to share their experiences to further understand the source of their emotional distress.

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The last three seminars focus on helping each woman deal with the difficulties of life. Resilience and remembering the value of life are crucial when overcoming obstacles. Trainers remind the participants that everything in life requires a strong foundation. Hopes and dreams need to be built upon strong self-actualization and good and bad experiences in life. The main focus of these last two seminars is for participants to develop a strong sense of who they are and what they really want in life.

At this point in time, the participants of ShineWOMEN have graduated the course with a new set of skills that will aid them in socialization, and achieving and setting goals. Trainers worked over the course of eight sessions to help women realize their potential and self-worth. Before part-taking these courses, the woman participants were very reserved however, afterwards they evolved into women that had more confidence in themselves. During the graduation ceremony, many made a comment of how appreciative they are of every woman in the room. They felt that they “grew and became much more powerful women together.” Their newly found confidence was very apparent and would not waver, thanks to ShineWOMEN building the necessary foundation concepts of Worth, Strength and Purpose.