Camp GLOW/BILD (Girls Leading Our World/Boys in Leadership Development) aims to empower ni-Vanuatu youth through a mix of side-by-side and co-educational sessions that address the way gender impacts individual and community outcomes in Vanuatu and the rest of the world. Over the course of 6 days, the camp progresses through a series of 27 separate trust- and capacity-building sessions that start with topics such as How to Be a Strong Facilitator, Public Speaking, and Team-Building, and reach intimate and more “tabu” issues including Reproductive Health, Family Planning, and Healthy Relationships. Each session is co-led by a ni-Vanuatu youth and their PCV counterpart. The local community and visiting participants contribute to camp through donations of food, labor, and facilities. By the end of camp, each youth participant will have led at least one session and be equipped with the experience and materials to lead their own camp upon return to their communities scattered on islands throughout Vanuatu. Thus, while the camp directly works with 14 ni-Vanuatu youth counterparts and up to 15 local ni-Vanuatu youth, the impact of its messages will reach a much broader group. By working with both young men and young women, the camp recognizes the collaborative support necessary from both genders to achieve gender parity for girls and boys in school, as well as women and men in Vanuatu (and a global) society.
When seeking a location to host camp, one volunteer who previously attended with a ni-Vanuatu youth counterpart suggested the committee utilize her site. Her counterpart had expressed a keen interest in helping to facilitate this year’s camp and had already shared her strong positive experience with her local community, generating further local interest. Our School in South Santo will be providing us with a venue, accommodations, food, and assistance in the implementation of the camp. Youth from the community have been invited to participate in the programs, and we expect about fifteen youth to attend. The principal and several teachers from the local primary school will be helping to coordinate the youth participants and will be involved in many of the activities. The school staff expressed an interest in helping us host a Camp GLOW/BILD at their school because they believe its message will help inspire youth within their community. The staff are engaged and enthusiastic about the camp, as well as the topics that will be discussed, and have expressed their commitment to making this project successful and sustainable.
With regards to the national community that will be reached by Camp GLOW/BILD, each trained participant of the Training of Trainers will return to his or her village with expanded skill sets and capabilities, as well as the understanding that any individual trainings they run will not be further financed by the Gender and Development committee. While each participant will be provided with stationary materials used in Camp GLOW/BILD, these materials are not essential components of the camp; different, locally-sourced materials can be acquired or made with community support, and the Training of Trainers will actively model and encourage this among participants. Participants will each receive an activity manual and will be trained to run youth-initiated leadership sessions and camps that can be easily implemented without the aid of experts, additional materials, or a set structure. This is to encourage participants to lead more camps without discriminating against resource-poor areas of the country.
On a more specific level, the school community has expressed interest in starting youth clubs for their students where they can receive instruction in the camp materials administered by the locally trained youth. In this way, the youth trained at camp can share their skills and train upcoming youth leaders to continue the cycle of empowerment.