Youth Sister Circles
What is the Youth Sister Circle?
Sometimes young people can feel like they are stuck on a never-ending rollercoaster. The expectations they have for themselves, as well as the pressures of fitting in, growing up and planning a future, can make it hard for them to cope. Being a teenager in general isn’t easy. As a teen, life can get pretty stressful and emotional. As a parent, it can be a crazy roller-coaster ride! Some girls can deal with these problems on their own, but some experience a higher level of distress. Many of the children I work with are surrounded by loving, caring adults, yet find it difficult to get the support they need because they are growing up in a time and culture that radically differs from the experience of the previous generation.
This is where I come in. I'm a school teacher, wellbeing coordinator, youth mentor and mother. I have been helping young people develop life skills, form their own identity, express their emotions in a healthy way, set boundaries, increase their understanding and love of Islam and learn how to manage some of the stresses that come along the way.
My youth sister circles are safe spaces for young girls to come together, to share without fear, be listened to, and support one another. In these circles, advice is given and criticism, judgments, and comparisons are left out.
Why should my daughter join the circles?
Most adults remember high school days as times of awkwardness due to our changing bodies and hormones that made us feel different and out of place. We can chalk it up to “just the teenage years” — we all go or “grow” through it. But imagine if we had a safe and intentional space to explore those feelings, or to process our problems, our insecurities, fears, and doubts.
I especially see this, now. I’m seeing how very different the world is from when I grew up. In some ways, the pressures on young girls are the same, and in other ways, they are more intense with social media. It is crucial that girls and young people be provided the tools to navigate all of the social and emotional stresses of living in the world today. This is what lead me to my current work. Through my own growth and experiences, my passion was born. I create these safe and fun spaces for teen girls to discover how to have a healthy body image, navigate social media, understand their thoughts and feelings, communicate their boundaries clearly, be able to resolve conflict, and grow in their abilities to be resilient leaders who know their innate worth and value. A place where they can feel truly seen, heard, and accepted without judgment.
Research shows that by supporting women and girls we change the world, and through my work with women and teen girls, I believe this to be true. I believe that through Youth Sister Circles, we can greatly enhance our daughters’ lives and prevent young girls from developing negative beliefs about themselves through social pressures and our fast-paced modern culture. Our girls need a safe and sacred space to share what’s really going on inside their hearts and minds, so they can feel empowered and confident in who they are and who they are becoming. The result of participating in one of our circles will have your daughter feeling confident to be herself and stand up for her values and truths.
Circle details: location, duration, investment cost, time, etc.
The circles will take place in two locations: Penny Appeal in Belmore and AIH in Edmondson Park.
Belmore location (Thursday evenings 6pm-7.30pm): for girls in year 6 - year 12. A maximum of 20 girls can join this circle.
10 fortnightly sessions: the dates of the circle are - Jul 28, Aug 11, Aug 25, Sep 8, Sep 22, oct 13, oct 27, Nov 10, Nov 24, Dec 8.
AIH Edmondson Park: (Wednesday evenings 6pm - 7.30pm): for girls in year 6 - year 12. A maximum of 20 girls can join this circle. 8 fortnightly sessions: the dates of the circle are - Aug 3, Aug 17, Aug 31, Sep 14, Sep 28, oct 12, Oct 26, Nov 9.
Investment cost for the circles: $120 for the 10 sessions in Belmore, and $96 for the 8 sessions in Edmondson Park. 10% of each registration will be donated to the organisation that will be sponsoring the location of these circles.
* Belmore Circle will not run during the term 3 school holiday.
What will be covered in the circles?
The circles will begin with indentifying our intention, purpose and ground rules of these fortnightly gatherings. Following that, each participant in the circle will introduce herself and name a few of her goals that she would like to accomplish by the end of our 10 sessions. The focus of the first session will be on the Female Muslim Identity.
I will also ask the girls what it is they would love to learn and experience from these circles. I then personalise each session based on their wants and needs.
The aim of these circles is to:
Encourage genuine self-expression and voice
Develop healthy relationships and identities
Counter harmful gender stereotypes that distort female identity and self-worth
Develop healthy emotional coping and decision-making skills
Generate awareness and accountability
Empower girls to pursue their full potential
Topics of discussion will include: Women in islam, purpose, healthy friendships, accountability in islam and fulfilling the obligations, anxiety management, positive body image, healthy self-esteem, sexualisation and its impact, peer pressure, the ideal muslimah and more.