During the last weekend in March, together with my sitemate, six other volunteers, and three Basotho counterparts, we held a Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) camp. Sixty-six girls, who had to write essays about the woman they most admired, attended the camp. It started on Friday and went overnight until Sunday afternoon. During this time, we had sessions about decision making, goal setting, stress management, GLOWocracy, nutrition, relationships and sexuality, and a few more. We had fun in between sessions too, dancing, singing camp songs, playing games, and just being together. One such free moment I gave out hugs to anyone wanting one (it was a little bit cheesy, but awesome!). We also had a more “fun” activity each night. Friday night was a dance party. We taught the girls a choreographed dance, and then just let loose and danced the night away. Saturday night’s activity was a campfire. We had an “I can’t” funeral, where girls wrote things they cannot, but want to, do on a piece of paper, and throw it into the fire. We followed this with camp traditions from America. We sang camp songs, Sesotho songs, and then had a special treat - roasted marshmallows!
Activities during the day were great too! My favorite activity happened on Saturday. A group in town that a volunteer works with - Face Your Fears Self Defense - came out and did a session called FLAG, or Fight Like A Girl. Girls were taught how to defend themselves against attackers. The only men allowed in the room were the trainers. After a short lesson on rape, abuse, and human trafficking, the men donned a padded suit, so the girls could realistically try out their new moves. By the end of the day, the girls were empowered, and the boys sweaty and exhausted from being beat up all day.
After giving out awards and certificates Sunday, we left exhausted, but satisfied. It was so great to be a part of such an awesome camp. We had one session about starting club GLOW, and the girls were interested! We will hold our first meeting this Saturday. I am hoping that with this club, we can do great things in the community, and have many awesome events in my two years of service.
PCV Jake donning the padded gear to help teach the girls self defense
All of the girls after the FLAG class
All of the PCVs who helped with the camp
Some girls at our campfire
Our Basotho counterparts!