The mission of Camp GLOW is to empower and educate girls and women by raising awareness about gender and human rights issues in Ukraine. Camp GLOW will accomplish this mission by partnering with Ukrainian staff and community partners in the community to lead lessons and activities on important topics such as leadership, gender equality, diversity, and healthy lifestyles. The camp will also empower girls by teaching them leadership through daily lessons on PDM. Additionally campers will learn about women’s health, specifically safe sex, healthy relationships, and about HIV/AIDs in Ukraine through lessons given by guest speakers from the community. By the end of the camp, campers will have gained a greater understanding of the topics above, as well as self-esteem and tolerance, through daily activities, lessons, and interactions with other campers and trained staff. After the camp is finished, campers will be encouraged to implement the projects planned during the camp on the topics learned with the support of PCVs, Ukrainian staff, and the partner organization. Camp GLOW will also give Ukrainian staff the opportunity to enhance their skills in communication and leadership during the camp, while also teaching a greater understanding of project planning. And lastly, Camp GLOW will work with the partner organization to help spread information throughout Ukraine on the topics of gender equality and to teach future students topics related to gender equality.
The community partner with Camp GLOW is the Ukrainian Leadership Academy. The Ukrainian Leadership Academy has the mission of preparing the next generation of Ukrainians to be leaders and active participants in their local communities. The Academy already works on teaching students topics of leadership, gender equality, and PDM, and works to help teach others in their communities these topics. The Academy currently has a strong partnership with Peace Corps and is looking to expand this into future years. Partnering with Camp GLOW provides an opportunity for the Academy to enhance their partnership with the Peace Corps as well as increase their involvement with younger students and community members who may not normally interact with their activities. The Academy will provide multiple items during the course of the camp, the first of which being space for the classroom and different large group meeting spaces that the camp will use for the different lessons and activities during the week. They will also be providing some art supplies and sports equipment that they have available for the camp to use. The Academy will also help identify potential partners from the community who could be speakers at the camp on the topics pertaining to each day. And lastly, the Academy will have multiple counselors who have successfully finished their year at the academy and are qualified to speak on the topics of gender equality be counselors who will be able to speak about both Camp GLOW and life at the Academy.
Camp GLOW was founded on the idea of sustainability. The skills which the counselors will develop, both in the training of trainers and throughout the camp, are ones which they can take into their personal and professional life long after Camp GLOW concludes. Because the Ukrainian Counselors will have the largest say in developing the lesson plans, they will be able to continue working in their own communities on these projects, as well as assisting campers after camp in community projects. With regards to the campers, they are taught not only important topical material related to gender equality, but also the skills to educate others in these subjects, allowing the educational aspect of GLOW to continue outside of the camp setting. The projects that they complete alongside the support of Ukrainian staff will ensure that topics covered will be brought back to a variety of communities around the country, creating a national chain of empowerment.