Monday, August 27, 2012

Camp GLOW

My very last and biggest project I did in Cambodia finished up in our very last days at site. This project was probably 6 months in the making, involved 3 PCVs 2 husbands, 2 Cambodian counterparts, 2 NGOs and 4 NGO workers. I partnered with two other volunteers and all together we brought 39 girls into Siem Reap town for four days. Most of these girls are from semi rural villages and had never been to Siem Reap, or stayed in a guesthouse before.

Camp GLOW is a Peace Corps world wide project, and ours was dedicated mostly to teaching the girls things, especially health related, that they either don't learn in the school system, or at home. We wanted to give them an opportunity to learn things that aren't widely talked about in Cambodian culture. 
The first two days we were so fortunate to work with three lovely ladies from Our Strength, located in Battambong town. These ladies, and this organization is fabulous. I can be hard to find a really great female role model in Cambodia, and these ladies were the best role models we could have asked for. They interacted with the girls and were so happy to answer all of their sensitive questions.

Our Strength taught about STDs and sexual health, healthy relationships, pregnancy, maturation, and gender and more. At first the girls were a little timid and the room was very quiet. As the days went on the girls became more and more active in the lessons, and with teach other. Our Strength had multiple Q&A sessions which allowed the girls to ask questions as they became more comfortable. My girls seemed to really like the lessons about STDs and maturation, especially about their periods.

The third day of Camp GLOW we had a wonderful woman named Pisey from The Womans Resource Center in Siem Reap come. Although in the beginning Pisey's sessions were not as interactive, the girls seemed to absolutely love the information she shared. She taught about healthy relationships, domestic violence, and goal setting. The girls had an opportunity to do some lesson planning this day and almost all of the groups decided to lesson plan about domestic violence.

On our fourth and last day at camp we were mostly on our own. We couldn't have done it without the help of my counterpart though. She helped teach them how to lesson plan for their lessons they would teach back in their villages. Part of Camp GLOW is that they have to teach people back in their villages about what they learned. 
First they lesson planned for a short lesson and gave mock lessons to each other. Then they got into village groups and started lesson planing for their actual lessons.  
We ended the Camp with certificates, picture taking, and a slideshow of pictures from the camp.

I am so glad that I was able to go out on such a fantastic note, and that I was able to see how much not only my girls, but how all of the girls loved the camp. I couldn't have picked a better group of people to work with either. I hope the new volunteers coming to our town will keep my girls club going and do another Camp GLOW with new girls next year!

See more about Camp GLOW activities here. Or about my girls educating their community here.

6 comments:

Leah said...

Sam,

Your "Things I don't want to forget" posts have been so special. Thank you for sharing! I hope you and Hal are doing well in the States... Your presence is surely missed here.

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Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

This sounds like a really great way to end things, what a rewarding and memorable experience for you!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

What a wonderful project to do before you left!

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