makingsenseofmacedonia:

I am already sure that Camp GLOW is one of the defining moments of my Peace Corps service. As stressful and crazy as executing a camp for 80 teenage girls can be, the chance to be there and experience it with them is an ultimate reward. 

I have not been to a camp in years. I forgot how much I love to sing and dance and be youthful. Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) is about these things and so much more—it gives young women from all different backgrounds a chance to express themselves freely in a safe, encouraging environment. Campers make new, lifelong friends and meet fellow rising leaders from throughout Macedonia, who they can identify and connect with on a deeper level. They spend a week discussing important issues, learning new skills and knowledge, and brainstorming future projects to implement in their home communities. 

GLOW is all about leadership development. We seek to support young women as they discover their own capacity to be strong leaders in Macedonia and beyond. The camp has a multi-faceted approach that includes community time spent in teams (8 campers, 2 counselors, 1 counselor-in-training); large group functions with the entire camp that showcase creativity and teamwork; and experiential courses that range from emotional discussions to fun electives.

Everyday was jam-packed with courses such as:

Cultures of the World, Relationships and Social Health, Team Building, Our Effects on the Environment, Tie-Dye, Self-Esteem and Body Image, Origami, Human Rights and Diversity, Interpersonal Violence, Learning to Lead, Public Speaking, Yoga, American Relay Races, CPR and First Aid, Stereotypes and Iceberg Theory, Nutrition, Portrayal of Women in the Media

Each night, at least five electives were offered including:

Korean, Mnemonics, Acting, Karaoke, American Line Dancing, Powerful Women in History, Comic Strip Art, Leave No Trace, Stargazing, Charades

Being on the leadership team kept me quite busy, but I was able to co-teach Card Games, Kickboxing, and Self-Defense! I was also on the team to organize Field Day, during which all the teams competed in various activities (much like an American field day competition). 

There is so much more I could say about Camp GLOW: We had an awesome Disco Night. We lit candles and shared kind words. And made SMORES! We also had a visit from the US Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission (special thanks to the US Embassy Skopje for their generous grant in support of Camp GLOW this year!) 

In summary, I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!!!

If you have any questions about Camp GLOW Macedonia or are interested in supporting this project, please contact me.

glow campglow glowmacedonia macedonia leadership women girls youth girlsleaderingourworld diversity camp peacecorps

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

"I think their favorite part of the tour though was playing on the beach because many of them had never seen the ocean before.”

A group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Namibia recently came together in collaboration with a local nonprofit organization to lead a week-long educational tour of the country for 40 at-risk youth. The tour is an annual initiative led by Peace Corps Namibia’s diversity committee aimed at providing orphans and marginalized youth — many of whom have never traveled outside of their own community — with the opportunity to explore Namibia, develop a respect and appreciation for other local cultures, and build healthy lifestyle and leadership skills. 

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

Africa Namibia at-risk youth diversity culture health leadership travel

Peace Corps Volunteer Julie Nelson shared this photo and story about making a difference in the life of one young woman in Azerbaijan:"One of my students, Shole, has personally struggled a lot in the time I’ve known her. Her parents are divorced, her mother is absent, her father lives with his new wife, and she is being raised by her grandparents. Shole is very self-conscious about this situatio
n, and although she is a gifted student, it is very difficult getting her to commit to conversation clubs or other activities because of lack of motivation. However, this spring, she seemed more upbeat than usual, and she participated in ‘Write On’ contest for the first time. Shole won first place in the 8th grade category! Even though she seemed happy at the time, I could tell that she didn’t realize the significance of this accomplishment.A few months later, Shole participated in GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Camp. I hadn’t seen her since the camp until she attended the Write On Awards Ceremony with me. It was a wonderful experience because she was absolutely glowing the entire time. She told me numerous times that she was happy and that she was thankful. Before leaving the ceremony, Shole said thank you again and that she loved me.My counterpart has since talked to her grandmother who said that Shole is very different now than she was a few months ago. Now she is driven and even wants to study and apply for the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) program!”Learn more about FLEX here http://exchanges.state.gov/youth/programs/flex.html

Peace Corps Volunteer Julie Nelson shared this photo and story about making a difference in the life of one young woman in Azerbaijan:

"One of my students, Shole, has personally struggled a lot in the time I’ve known her. Her parents are divorced, her mother is absent, her father lives with his new wife, and she is being raised by her grandparents. Shole is very self-conscious about this situatio

n, and although she is a gifted student, it is very difficult getting her to commit to conversation clubs or other activities because of lack of motivation. 

However, this spring, she seemed more upbeat than usual, and she participated in ‘Write On’ contest for the first time. Shole won first place in the 8th grade category! Even though she seemed happy at the time, I could tell that she didn’t realize the significance of this accomplishment.

A few months later, Shole participated in GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Camp. I hadn’t seen her since the camp until she attended the Write On Awards Ceremony with me. It was a wonderful experience because she was absolutely glowing the entire time. She told me numerous times that she was happy and that she was thankful. Before leaving the ceremony, Shole said thank you again and that she loved me.

My counterpart has since talked to her grandmother who said that Shole is very different now than she was a few months ago. Now she is driven and even wants to study and apply for the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) program!”

Learn more about FLEX here http://exchanges.state.gov/youth/programs/flex.html

Peace Corps Volunteer Azerbaijan FLEX State Department gender youth education Camp GLOW leadership writing

Peace Corps Volunteers Caryn Steinbrecher and Leslie W. Stewart IV organized a youth leadership camp called “Super Vacaciones” in Nicaragua. Twenty-four kids, between the ages of 7-12, participated in the camp, which covered topics including: HIV/AIDS awareness, teenage pregnancy prevention, gender roles, self-esteem development, life skills planning, leadership, and creativity. The goal of the camp was to provide students with an intellectually stimulating environment, which incorporated physical, creative, and thought provoking activities.

youth Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteers Nicaragua camp HIV/AIDS health gender leadership creativity

lwsiv:

 
For three weeks during the winter school break another volunteer and myself ran a youth-camp.  There were approximately 24 kids, between the ages of 7-12, with a roughly even percentage of boys and girls.  We met every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between the hours of 9-12pm for a total of 9 sessions. 
The cross-sector camp was a collaboration between the Health and Business sector in the department of Rivas. Covered topics included:  HIV/AIDS awareness, Gender Roles in Society, Self-esteem, Communication, Manualidades, Decision Making, Planning for the future, Leadership, and Creativity.  
súper vacaciones campamento
10 de febrero de 2012 - San Jorge, Rivas 

lwsiv:

For three weeks during the winter school break another volunteer and myself ran a youth-camp.  There were approximately 24 kids, between the ages of 7-12, with a roughly even percentage of boys and girls.  We met every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between the hours of 9-12pm for a total of 9 sessions. 

The cross-sector camp was a collaboration between the Health and Business sector in the department of Rivas. Covered topics included:  HIV/AIDS awareness, Gender Roles in Society, Self-esteem, Communication, Manualidades, Decision Making, Planning for the future, Leadership, and Creativity.  

súper vacaciones campamento

10 de febrero de 2012 - San Jorge, Rivas 

Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteer reblogs youth health HIV/AIDS gender communications leadership creativity