In addition to getting settled into my village and working at my village’s health center, I have been invited to collaborate on a new project with seven other volunteers in my region of the country.
This new project is called Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World)! Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) have been organizing Camp GLOWs for young women throughout the world since 1995. This year, Peace Corps Burkina Faso’s PCVs are working to make Burkina Faso the 23rd country to house a Camp GLOW. In addition to adding Burkina Faso to the list of host countries for Camp GLOW, we also want to make Camp GLOW even more unique by hosting Camp G2LOW (Girls and Guys Leading Our World). There is no denying that, in Burkina Faso’s patriarchal system, there is a need to empower women, but it is our belief that the only true way to empower women is to educate young men, and teach them the importance of working with women as equals.
For its inaugural year, Burkina Faso PCVs will organize two regional Camp G2LOWs—one in the Central North Region and another in the South West Region—with a total of 120 girls and 120 boys, from 30 different villages. In addition to the buy-in from the two regions, host-country nationals (HCNs) will aid in the facilitation of the camp. Camp participants will attend sessions led by PCVs and HCNs that will teach healthy living practices, the development of leadership skills, and methods of promoting gender equality by studying and discussing goal-setting, reproductive health, women’s rights, and safeguards against sexual harassment and domestic violence. By facilitating this exchange of ideas, HCNs and PCVs will help young men and young women work together as partners, and take charge of their futures by confidently asserting themselves while making responsible decisions.
Growing up in a philanthropic family and previously working with underprivileged youth in the United States, I cannot even begin to explain how close this cause is to my heart. True development starts on the ground level. With this development model in mind, we are confident Camp G2LOW will aid in the development of Burkina Faso by instilling a sense of commitment and dedication in the youth of Burkina Faso to better their communities and country as a whole. Camp G2LOW will also build the capacity of host country nationals on interactive and participatory teaching methods which will empower the camp participants even more.
In order for Camp G2LOW to take place, Burkina Faso PCVs as well as Burkina Faso HCNs must raise $20,000.00. We are off to a great fundraising start, having already received money through USAID Small Project Assistance grants. Additionally, the target communities will raise 25% of the total amount needed.
This is where your generosity can help! With your help and donations, we will be able to achieve our goal in time. Any donations, big or small, will greatly be appreciated. We will be applying for funding through the Peace Corps Partnership Program. We are hoping to raise $8,000 through the help of our family and friends. If you are interested in making a 100% tax-deductible donation, please visit: Peace Corps Partnership Camp GLOW.
I hope you all are doing well back home and I cannot thank you enough for your support!