Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012 9:30 PM—Western Camp GLOW

West Camp GLOW is a GO!!  We finally got our grant approved for the Western regional Camp GLOW.  Camp GLOW is a girl’s empowerment camp that has been recreated by many Peace Corps volunteers in many different countries around the world for more than 15 years.  GLOW stands for Girls Leading Our World.  The West Camp will host 80 campers ages ranging from 12-15 and 8 female Ugandan counselors.

Camp Glow is designed to empower girls to become leaders in their communities and to become more educated, healthier citizens.  Girls will participate in a wide variety of activities, including health education, team building activities, arts and crafts, and sports.

In Uganda and many other developing countries of the world, education for females has not always been a priority.  The countries that do provide education for females only provide the minimal service, which normally does not include secondary education.  Over the years the issue of female education has been addressed in multiple ways.  In Romania in 1995 Camp GLOW was formed to encourage young women to become active citizens, harness self-awareness, and strive for their goals.  This camp was seen as a huge success throughout the international community and it was copied in many other countries including Uganda.  Two Decembers ago, in 2010, Camp GLOW Uganda was born and hosted 150 young females.

Even with the help of multiple organizations and Camp GLOW there are still numerous amounts of girls that are at high risk for teen pregnancy, early marriage, lack of school fees, discrimination towards proper education and jobs and pressured into sexual relationships.   In all regions of the country, men have a clear advantage over women in access to and control over resources while cultural practices also bestow men with more power than women in different aspects.  The view of women in Ugandan is mostly that they’re inferior and their role is to provide care of the home and be submissive to their husband.  Times are slowly changing and this of course, is not true for every Ugandan. But it is still a struggle for Ugandan girls to become empowered in their society, and at times even in their own homes and relationships. Young women especially have a difficult time breaking from these traditional female roles and lack the confidence, leadership skills and initiative to make good, healthy decisions for their future. History has proven that an empowered female is an integral part of development of a community and country.  Study after study has taught us that there is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls. 

Our Western Camp GLOW is going to be held from August 5th to August 11th in Fort Portal.  That gives us less than two months to plan.  We’ve already started but there is so much to do!  With any luck, our regional camp will be just as successful as the national camps have been 

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