By Johannes Hangula
THE Camp GLOW (Girls and Guys Leading Our World) initiative recently hosted the ‘Think about the Future’ day at Moreson Special School in Windhoek with learners from different regions and various tribes participating in numerous life-changing activities.
Established in Namibia in the year 2000, Camp GLOW Namibia is a worldwide Peace Corps initiative aimed to increase equal distribution of leadership opportunities throughout Namibia. To accomplish this GLOW works to: empower Namibia youth; foster self-esteem, leadership, communication skills, and goal setting; and to increase awareness of healthy lifestyle behaviour.
Camp GLOW focuses specifically on girls’ empowerment, but this is not a case in Namibia because it’s targeting both female and male learners with the understanding that females can only be empowered once males also stand up for equality.
A group of 43 learners from all the regions in Namibia were offered a life-changing experience and exposed to places outside of their home community for the first time through the Camp GLOW initiative. The group of best and brightest future leaders ranging from 13-17 years respectively were brought together to create growth opportunities and lasting bonds among themselves. This group was gathered in a unique environment, and supported by Peace Corps volunteers from America and Namibia.
This was an opportunity to cultivate open-minded leaders for more progressive future as the transformative and lasting effects of Camp GLOW transcend far beyond the individual participants and undoubtedly have a ripple effect that will impact the lives of numerous youths.
At Moreson Special School campers participated in the Values Circuit which entails campers reviewing what they have discussed throughout camp as it relates to support, recognition/appreciation, and trust. Three stations were set up; each station explored on of the values; stations comprised a three-legged race, character T-shirts and a blindfolded trust walk. During this activity teams were cycling through each station, spending 35 minutes at each station.
The second activity of the day entailed 8-9 professionals who discussed their career with a small group of seven campers. Further the campers spend 15 minutes at each station before they rotated to the next station and these small intimate groups created a comfortable environment for discussion for open discussion between campers and professionals.
This group also visited the University of Namibia and the Independence Memorial Museum.
Speaking to Confidente Camp GLOW co-chair Kaitlin Schuster said: “These learners came to the camp to identify positive character within themselves and others.”
“They will learn from their fellow campers and at the end of the day they will have something to take back to their community as they will continue to work with their volunteer teachers,” she added.
Schuster: “We are educating them on issues such as stereotypes that really create a world between societies, so we want them to be aware of them and to identify a away to tackle them.”
Schuster also confirmed that at Camp GLOW they have been working with stakeholders such as FAWENA and Sister Namibia that assisted them with planning, funding and transportation, and Camp GLOW has partnered with the Moreson Special School.
One of the campers, 14-year-old Rogen Keramen from C//oaseb Senior Secondary School expressed her gratitude.
“The experience in this camp is great and we are really learning a lot from one another.”
Another participant, Virginia Frans (16) of Kasote Junior Secondary School told Confidente she felt lucky and empowered to have been part of the Camp GLOW’s Think about the Future day; and promised to start up a kids’ club in her community.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015