Another cool project that I’m lucky enough to help with is the planning of a GLOW camp – which stands for Girls Leading Our World. The GLOW Camp is an extensive project that will bring together 100 teenage girls from thirteen different communities in the Mid-North region of Morocco. This six-day camp will focus on encouraging and instilling leadership qualities, positive self-esteem, healthy lifestyle habits, tools to reach future ambitions, and a “can-do” attitude.
Many Moroccan girls from our communities are trapped in a mindset that their life plan is predetermined: girls are to stay in their small villages, marry young, start a family, and become a housewife. The goal of this camp is to encourage girls to abandon this flawed mentality, push gender barriers, and reflect on what they really want in life. Most importantly, we want to empower girls and lead them to realize that the above is possible, regardless of the gender stereotypes and expectations that they have been exposed to.
The impact of this camp has the potential to be huge. If every girl leaves feeling empowered, they can spread the message to their sisters, to their friends, and someday to their daughters.
We will be working alongside Moroccan counterparts and community members, some affiliated with local organizations, who will be donating their time and expertise to this project.
The camp will consist of different themes such as
- Healthy lifestyles: physical health, dental health, mental health, feminine hygiene
- Self Image and Self Esteem
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
- Arts: Encouraging creativity through painting, drawing, dance, crafts, and singing
- Goal setting
- Career Panel with successful Moroccan women
I’ll give you guys one guess as to what I’m most excited about and am helping to plan……yup, it’s the STEM day. I’m hoping to be an example myself as a successful female engineer. I’ve planned several activities (like making s’mores in homemade solar ovens!) that will hopefully inspire girls to look into STEM fields as career choices – or, at the very least, show them that girls can do these these things too, and it’s fun!
I’m personally bringing a number of amazing girls from my community that were recommended to attend by an association that helps girls without fathers and provides them with life skills and other important assistance in their lives. I’m also bringing two counterparts to help lead the programs and hopefully inspire them to help me plan a GLOW camp within our community, as I know so many girls here who would benefit. Inshallah.
Lastly, all the volunteers that have helped planned this camp are asking for a few donations to fund the camp. How will your money be used? Nearly 65 percent of our grant is contributions from our communities, including time donated by counterparts, half the food costs donated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and classroom space donated by the local Youth Center. The majority of our budget covers transportation, the remaining food costs, and supply expenses.
Donating is easy and tax-deductible. Just visit the Peace Corps website to make a quick and secure donation. If you’re interested in more information about the project–the curriculum, the organizations with whom we’re partnering, or specific budget details–I’d be more than happy to send you a copy of the grant for perusal at your convenience.
From the entire team of volunteers we thank you for helping to provide Moroccan girls with a life-changing experience by supporting the successful implementation of this program.