Tagged: girls

Let Girls Learn

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so excited to share with you this amazing project that we are developing here in Madagascar for young girls.
A group of 20 Peace Corps Volunteers are planning a National Girls Empowerment Camp for the end of April 2016. Each volunteer will bring 5 smart and ambitious young girls from their respective communities to attend a 5 day Conference in the Capital city, Antananarivo. This National Girls Camp will bring together Malagasy Girls from multiple ethnicities to focus on issues relevant to adolescent girls, specifically: leadership development, self efficacy, goal setting, and life planning – which includes higher education and work.
Regional GLOW Camps have been held across Madagascar for years but never engaging multiple Malagasy ethnicities in one learning environment. This National GLOW Camp promotes the leadership development of young women, of different Malagasy ethnicities, so they can become effective leaders. In order to achieve this, youth must be aware of themselves – of their current situation and challenges, of their goals and aspirations, and of their potential for success and leadership – and be aware of the community that surrounds them. Once aware, youth will be able to analyze themselves and their communities, become knowledgeable about them, and become able to propose solutions. GLOW Camp provides a proactive environment that applies equally to individual development and social actions. Furthermore, GLOW supports and nurtures young women, providing educational opportunities, guidance and validation – all within the context of reinforcing pride in the student’s cultural background and his/her self esteem. Through this National GLOW Camp, young women- of different backgrounds- work together, support each other, learn about and promote their heritage, and develop skills and commitment to serve their community.
This project addresses the critical issue of women’s empowerment, incorporating the components necessary to encourage girls to lead healthy and productive lives. In each of our communities, girls face a variety of difficulties related to their personal and professional development due to limited resources, assigned gender roles and lack of awareness of the opportunities available to them. Girls become sexually active at a young age and often do not receive adequate education regarding sexual health, particularly related to HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. The promotion of a healthy lifestyle is essential for these girls to realize their life goals, along with the awareness of opportunities and empowerment needed to encourage them to take the steps necessary to fulfill these goals. As a result, educators, parents and community members have identified the GLOW camp as an effective tool for promoting girls’ development and community and youth development overall through the transfer of knowledge in the short-term and the cultivation of strong role models and positive behavior
change in the long-term.
How is the community the driving force behind the project?
In each of our respective communities, Malagasy counterparts will be directly involved in the selection of the girls to be involved in the camp, and all girls falling within the appropriate age group are encouraged to apply. Interested girls will complete an application that highlights their particular goals and reasons for wanting to participate in the camp. Participants will then be selected through a comprehensive process that involves several stakeholders and are believed to represent the greatest potential for personal development as well as potential to teach and influence other members of the community, particularly youth. Female chaperones from each community will accompany the girls chosen. These women are role models for the girls and can act as mentors for future life decisions, having made connections and received the same trainings during the camp. Both the PCVs and community representatives collaborated to identify priorities for youth development within each community, and camp subjects were designed to address these priorities including both health and life goals. Additionally, PCVs will work with representatives from local organizations and institutions to prepare the camp sessions with the intent to promote learning, discussion and critical thinking among the participants.
Desired outcome of the project:
The desired outcome in the long-term is to empower the camp participants and provide them with the tools necessary to achieve their life goals and to become positive role models capable of encouraging their peers to do the same. In the short-term, 100 young girls will be taught in issues relating to health, career goals and education to encourage their own personal development while building community capacity to address the issues that adolescent girls face.
Please take a look at the brochure I have attached and consider supporting this amazing project!
Follow the link below for more information on how you can make a difference now!

Girls run the WORLD!


Today we discussed gender roles in the MALAGASY community. Words like
” pounding rice, fetching water, stopping their education” we’re seen on the female side. We held a discussion about the importance women hold in their households, in their community, in the world.

Favorite quote of the day from a 13 year old girl. (Translated)

“Miss Charlotte the reason why need women is well… Boys have no idea how to take care of themselves. We are the WORLD! “




Girls Lead. Empower. Educate.

Two weeks ago I brought 4 girls from Mahanoro to participate in a GLOW camp- Girls Leading Our World weeklong camp in Tana. ( the capital). The catch being that when they come back they needed to develop their own Girls Empowerment Club.

This is a photograph taken of their first meeting yesterday! Over 45 girls showed up. My 4 outstanding Presidents of the (soon to be) GLOW Club Mahanoro held an amazing meeting. They discussed and outlined the different topics that will be discussed every week. Topics carrying from “how to further your education” to “how to properly out a condom on”, “how to avoid teenage pregnancy” … Etc. every week we will have a strong woman from the community, a doctor, teacher, mother, come and talk to the Club about her life story and her goals.

It brought tears to my eyes to see 45 girls show up and to see the leadership skills come out in my 4 presidents.

So proud of them.



Universal Beauty

IMG_7813“This is my doll Cinderella. She is pretty. She is pretty because she has yellow hair and she has light skin.” This is what my 6 year old neighbor explained to me yesterday.

The concept of beauty. How come even in the most remote places of the world, where many have no running water and no electricity, this twisted concept of beauty exists. The media, the billboards, the advertisements, the television shows- all illustrating one narrow minded view of what defines “Beautiful”.  At a young age girls are pressured to mimic what they see in the media and tabloids- going to extremes and using lightening creams, straightening their hair, changing their appearance to fit a mold of “Beauty”.

I was shocked to hear these words come out of my little neighbor’s mouth, as she in my eyes is the definition of “beauty”. Her innocence, her joy, her carefree spirit, her 6 year old smile, her giggle- all of this is true “beauty”.

Women of the world, it is our duty as women to educate our next generation of beautiful girls that beauty is universal. Beauty is found in all colors, all shapes, and all people. Beauty is more than an appearance, an image, a viewpoint. Beauty is who we as individuals are inside, what we do makes us beautiful people.

Please today take the time and tell a young girl you know, a young girl who looks up to you- that she indeed is “BEAUTIFUL”.