Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World)

I am happily back in Tiflet after a few weeks of being on the road! The first half of my travels involved an 11-hour journey to a small town in the south of Morocco called Taznakht. One of my Peace Corps friends organized a camp called Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) and I joined 8 Peace Corps Volunteers and 10 Moroccan staff to help run the 4-day program. 

GLOW camps were first started back in the 90’s by Peace Corps Volunteers and since then have spread throughout the Peace Corps network as a way to educate girls on important life skills and to empower the girls to use those skills in their lives and to share with their communities. Our camp had a variety of workshops ranging from very serious topics to more lighthearted: gender roles, self-esteem, Morocco’s family code law, goal-setting, self-defense, women's health, beauty, calligraphy, rape laws in Morocco, harassment, henna, belly dancing and cinema. In between the workshops, we led them in singing, dancing, games, scavenger hunts, field trips, and did I mention dancing?

For many girls, this is often the first opportunity to leave their town and participate in a camp-like experience and it was really amazing watching them grow over the course of the 4 days, develop a sense of comfort with the group, and make lots of new friendships. For me, it was also a welcome challenge with my language skills - the camp was run almost entirely in Moroccan Arabic, and in leading some of the workshops and participating in others, I found myself talking about topics that I had not yet discussed with Moroccans. It was nice to step outside of the boundaries of typical language that I use in English classes and in day-to-day interactions. 

I left the camp feeling mentally and physically exhausted but so grateful to have had the opportunity to share this amazing experience with 45 of my newest Moroccan friends ;) Fortunately, my recovery came in the form of an awesome vacation with Justin. More on that in the next post - In the meantime, enjoy the photos from the camp!

First day of camp, getting everyone up and moving.
Homemade face masks in a beauty workshop.
A "Hands of Peace" poster that girls created.
One of the MANY impromptu dance sessions during the camp!
Girls practice moves in a self-defense workshop.
Some of the Peace Corps Volunteer staff, on field trip day.
Playing games with the girls on field trip day.
In my harassment workshop, girls wrote on slips of paper how
harassment can make them feel. In the middle, in Arabic,
it says "Everyone deserves respect."
Girls create a poster about a world without harassment.
With 2 other Volunteers, enjoying the beautiful weather!

2 comments:

  1. I love to see how other PC countries do Camp Glow. They're so important and even though I'm home my girls that I bought still message me on facebook about how they loved it. I hope those girls took a lot out of it and help spread the message!

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  2. Thanks for the comment Sam! It was really an amazing opportunity, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing what these girls will take from the experience!

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