Peace Corps Volunteers Support New ‘Let Girls Learn’ Effort by Educating Women and Girls around the Globe

Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide are supporting the new government-wide Let Girls Learn effort by increasing opportunities for women and girls through education. Let Girls Learn launched today to raise awareness about the need to support all girls in their pursuit of a quality education. The effort, coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development, includes $231 million in new education programs in Nigeria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Jordan and Guatemala.

Peace Corps Volunteers Support New ‘Let Girls Learn’ Effort by Educating Women and Girls around the Globe

Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide are supporting the new government-wide Let Girls Learn effort by increasing opportunities for women and girls through education. Let Girls Learn launched today to raise awareness about the need to support all girls in their pursuit of a quality education. The effort, coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development, includes $231 million in new education programs in Nigeria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Jordan and Guatemala.

let girls learn Gender empowerment USAID education

Earlier this year, five Peace Corps Volunteers from the central highlands region of Madagascar gathered in the nation’s capital of Antananarivo to facilitate a weeklong GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) camp for young female leaders from their respective towns. The five Agriculture Volunteers selected four young women each from their respective communities, ages of 13-16, along with an adult chaperone to attend the camp. The aim was to equip young Malagasy women, who show potential for leadership, with the necessary skills to make healthy life choices as well as advance their personal, professional and academic goals.

Gender empowerment Madagascar Africa Camp GLOW leadership


During GLOW Camp 2013, Armenian young women, counselors and Volunteers joined their hearts and minds. Volunteers partnered with Stepanvan Youth Center to provide an intensive camp for 40 girls ages 13-16. They participated in trainings, exercises and discussions on leadership, self-esteem, gender equality, trafficking, domestic violence, peer education and social networking. After camp, everyone will “take it back” to their local communities via regional seminars and local peer education. Junior counselors and selected campers will join with the Volunteers and partner organization to tell their GLOW story to Armenian businesses with interest in social responsibility. They will encourage corporate participation in future camps and continuing peer education throughout Armenia as a way to ensure a sustainable future for this project. Through partnership, community and participation – Girls Will Lead Our World. Their smiles tell the whole story.

 - Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Deborah Hall

During GLOW Camp 2013, Armenian young women, counselors and Volunteers joined their hearts and minds. Volunteers partnered with Stepanvan Youth Center to provide an intensive camp for 40 girls ages 13-16. They participated in trainings, exercises and discussions on leadership, self-esteem, gender equality, trafficking, domestic violence, peer education and social networking. After camp, everyone will “take it back” to their local communities via regional seminars and local peer education. Junior counselors and selected campers will join with the Volunteers and partner organization to tell their GLOW story to Armenian businesses with interest in social responsibility. They will encourage corporate participation in future camps and continuing peer education throughout Armenia as a way to ensure a sustainable future for this project. Through partnership, community and participation – Girls Will Lead Our World. Their smiles tell the whole story.

- Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Deborah Hall

Armenia Gender empowerment Camp GLOW education leadership


This photo was taken on the island of Grenada. This photograph is from Grenada's inaugural Camp G.L.O.W. (Girls Leading Our World) 2012. The mornings began with outdoor yoga. In this photo two campers are working together to achieve a partner pose.

- Peace Corps Education Volunteer Katie Moran

This photo was taken on the island of Grenada. This photograph is from Grenada's inaugural Camp G.L.O.W. (Girls Leading Our World) 2012. The mornings began with outdoor yoga. In this photo two campers are working together to achieve a partner pose.

- Peace Corps Education Volunteer Katie Moran

Grenada yoga Gender empowerment Camp GLOW

During her service, Peace Corps Volunteer Rachael Saler taught Filipino women to crochet discarded plastic bags into colorful handbags and change purses as a way to engage local communities in business ventures, and teach environmental awareness and recycling. Since the Bag-O Plastic project launched in August 2010, more than 100 women from Bago City in the Philippines have sold 200 bags, earning 63,000 pesos (about $1,500).

For each bag that is sold, the woman who crocheted it receives 80 percent of the earnings. The other 20 percent goes toward the purchasing of zipper, runners, tags, etc. Each woman collects, segregates and washes plastic bags to be crocheted and sold. Women have also begun exchanging plastic bags for rice with other merchants and started plastic-bag collection bins in local commercial areas.

Rachael, who holds a master’s degree from Columbia University and a bachelor’s from Syracuse University, credits her mother for the Bag-O Plastic idea. When her parents visited in 2009, Saler’s mother told her to consider crocheting recycled plastic bags into handbags. Rachael was so inspired by the project she extended her Peace Corps service for a third year to continue it. She completed her Peace Corps service in December 2011.

Philippines recyling artisans environment small business development Gender empowerment fashion purses Columbia University Syracuse University

"Being in the Peace Corps was one of the best things I could have done to prepare for becoming an entrepreneur, especially a social entrepreneur. Successful Volunteers are, in many ways, entrepreneurs: You learn how to do a lot with few resources, how to jump into a vague situation and create change, how to recognize opportunities, and how to build something out of nothing. I learned firsthand how powerful business can be in creating social change for women."
- Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Siiri Morley, executive director of Prosperity Catalyst, who launched a program in Haiti that provides direct support, mentorship, and training to women as they start candle-making businesses

(Source: 1.usa.gov)

Haiti artisans entrepreneurship social change Returned Peace Corps Volunteers candle making Gender empowerment

Practice Makes Perfect! 

Two students demonstrate proper condom usage on a realistic model at a “Love Your Body, Empower The Mind” gender empowerment and sexual health camp in Thailand. The local hospital graciously lent us these models to use as well as their time. An HIV/AIDS nurse came to my camp to help educate the students about HIV/AIDS, proper contraception utilization, as well as to destigmatize using a condom. The students each had a chance to practice their newfound skills.  

Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Kyle Livingston 

Practice Makes Perfect! 

Two students demonstrate proper condom usage on a realistic model at a “Love Your Body, Empower The Mind” gender empowerment and sexual health camp in Thailand. The local hospital graciously lent us these models to use as well as their time. An HIV/AIDS nurse came to my camp to help educate the students about HIV/AIDS, proper contraception utilization, as well as to destigmatize using a condom. The students each had a chance to practice their newfound skills.  

Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Kyle Livingston 

AIDS Asia Gender empowerment HIV HIV/AIDS World AIDS Day condoms education health safe sex sexual health Thailand