Girl power. It was the saying I grew up with. And I believed it too – that girls can do anything and are of equal value as boys. Where we work here in Paraguay, the idea of equality hasn’t caught on as the norm just yet. But we Peace Corps Volunteers are partnering with local organizations to change that. In fact, Gender and Development is a worldwide Peace Corps initiative.
Enter, stage right: GLOW – Girls Leading Our World, a camp that has been held internationally in countries with Peace Corps posts. This February will mark the third time Camp GLOW shines in Paraguay. And I’m lucky enough to be part of this years’ planning committee.
The point of the camp? To teach girls ages 13-18 that they’re worth it! That they’re valuable! That they can do or be whatever they want to be! That they are more than the roles their society has laid out for them. Take a peak at this video from last year’s camp. It’s in Spanish, but even if you don’t understand everything they’re saying, you’ll get an idea of the positive energy.
The theme for our 3-day camp in February is “Girl Rising.” It will include motivational speakers; engaging activities on sexual education, self-expression, creativity, goal setting, value formation, gender roles and personal identity; and a chance for motivated girls from across Paraguay to gather in one dynamic space and be forever changed. They then return home and, with the help of their Peace Corps Volunteer, teach what they learned at the camp to their own community, therefore spreading the Girl Power further.
The bad news? Our local financial supporter of the camp has fallen through due to change of leadership in the organization. This means we’re on our own to raise funds to make this year’s camp a reality for the 60 participants who have already signed up for this opportunity.
If you have a little wiggle room in your Christmas budget this year (or want to make a last-ditch effort to appease Dear Santa), please unite with us in the movement towards female empowerment in Paraguay! To donate, just head over to our official donors page. Thank you, sincerely, for considering chipping in. Every little bit adds up and we and the future women leaders of Paraguay, nay – the world, thank you!