Empowerment Program for Village Students

  • Education
  • Community Growth
  • Youth
  • Ukraine
This project is led by Jennifer Wilson, a Volunteer from New York

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This project is aimed at implementing an art-based summer camp for the students of the only school in the village. Skills such as leadership, time-management, and critical thinking will be developed during the camp. Participants will also be exposed to gender equality and youth empowerment topics. The project will have three phases. Phase 1 will be the renovation of the school’s dance room. This room will serve as a space for the camp as well as recreational space for the kids to utilize. Phase 2 will be a training of counselors in order to ensure sustainability. The participants of this week long training will be camp counselors and junior counselors, who will be both adults and older students from the village. Participants will be trained on how to implement gender equality and youth empowerment topics into their lessons and will be briefed on how the camp will be executed. Phase 3 will be implementation of the camp and post camp activities. The community will contribute their time and other resources such as event space and refreshments for training days. Counselors and junior counselors will have learned new teaching techniques and improve their knowledge of gender equality and youth empowerment. Participants of the camp will improve the leadership, time management, and critical thinking skills. Participants will also be exposed to gender equality and youth empowerment topics that will allow them to gain both practical knowledge and self-confidence to further flourish as active citizens in the future.

Since the 2018-2019 school year there has been an art club consistently holding meetings. Due to the popular demand of the students, the club was also held during the summer months. The participants of the club are mostly female and periodically take initiative to decide on club topics and activities. There is also a student ran dance club that meets periodically. The dance club has also competed in district competitions and won them. Since the village school only offers up to grade 9, we will have former students and participants of the clubs act as junior counselors for the camp in order to serve as role models for the younger students. Teachers and parents will act as counselors for the camp. Older students in the village will act as junior counselors. Through a culturally sensitive way, a camp director will be elected. The camp director, counselors, and junior counselors will work together to plan camp objectives and activities that will most benefit the camp. The community will also need to provide various resources for the camp, such as housing for any outside trainers.

As the main purpose of this project is to train youth on various topics involving gender equality and youth empowerment, participants of the camp will be able to transfer this knowledge to other parts of their lives. Participants of the camp will be required to write self-reflections about what they learned during the camp and consider ways that they will be able to share their new knowledge and skills with their community such as presentations for the younger grades and students who did not attend the camp. The renovation of the room will be sustained through daily cleaning by the school’s custodial staff. Through this camp skills will be developed that would enable participants to replicate this camp, perhaps through a mini-camp in the winter months. The committee will also produce a camp binder that will serve as a foundation to implement similar camps in the future.

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