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Let’s Go GLOW!!!

The teamwork between the CorpsAfrica/Uganda and Peace Corps for the GLOW camp in Lira district, Nothern Uganda was a game-changer. The camp was all about boosting the confidence of young girls in school through life skills training and sharing sessions. 

Camp GLOW is an initiative by the United States Peace Corps in Uganda. It started in the country of Romania in 1995. The initiative mainly targeting girls, focuses on empowerment activities including, but not limited to, health education, life skills, career goals, sports, creative arts, and Ugandan women in leadership roles. Contributing to the CorpsAfrica initiative of Pink is Gender Equity-Women and Girls- Menstrual Hygiene and working with CorpsAfrica Juniors, the activities help the girls gain skills to lead a happy, healthy, and successful life thus contributing to Sustainable Development Goals three (Good Health and Well-Being) and five (Gender Equality). 

This year (2024) was the first-ever Camp GLOW in Uganda run by Peace Corps in partnership with CorpsAfrica/Uganda, along with Ugandan female community members, acting as counselors. The Camp GLOW 2024 was held at Bishop Tarantino College, Ngetta Village, Lira District. 150 girls between 13 to 15 years old from all over the country attended the camp. 

I think of those self-awareness and confidence sessions as little sparks that light up these young girls’ paths. For the first time for majority of the girls, had the opportunity to talk about and practice goal setting for the future, meditation and mindfulness, journaling, public speaking, and exercise.

The sessions on the normalcy of puberty and how to take care of their bodies broke walls of silence freeing many to openly share the challenges and struggles of a growing girl. The sessions helped them to draw a clear road to growing up healthy and strong. The once quiet sessions at the beginning turned into noisy, happy, and free-sharing spaces. The girls were able to open up and let go of some of the things that they felt were shameful. One of them was menstrual hygiene management which they felt they could not talk about yet the period presented with challenges such as limited to access good sanitary materials that hindered many from properly attending school. Similarly, understanding the aspects of healthy living was very important to young girls in making wise choices and decision-making about their bodies. Discussions centered on sex and waiting, HIV prevention, HIV and Stigma, HIV Truth and Myths as well as teenage pregnancies and their consequences.

Girls have knowledge and skills in making liquid soap. It was not just about creating a product of liquid soap but showing them that they could make things happen themselves. Camp GLOW is not just a one-time thing. It is a spark that ignites a fire of change in these girls’ lives. It is about giving them the tools and confidence to shape their futures and make a positive impact in their communities. These girls are ready to study hard until university so they too can one day be CorpsAfrica volunteers. The Volunteers’ dedication and passion in sharing their knowledge and time with the girls is what makes all the difference in building a brighter tomorrow for these future leaders. Let’s go GLOW!


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