Promoting peace and friendship halfway around the world
One of my favorite things about serving in the Peace Corps is that even though I live halfway around the world, I am able to share my Peace Corps experience in Vanuatu through technology.
Last year, I was contacted by a Girl Scouts Juniors leader from Troops 81 and 613 in Louisville, Ky., because the girls were ready to choose a project for their Bronze Award. The Girl Scout Bronze Award is BIG—this award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve. It is a leadership adventure; it encourages girls to team up and use their special skills and interests to take action and make a difference in the world.
The Juniors had been learning about the Vanuatu culture through my blog and wanted to design a project where they could make a difference for ni-Vanuatu children. Of course, my heart smiled and I immediately agreed. They began making more than 150 bracelets with their Rainbow Loom to send to their new soon-to-be friends in the South Pacific.
I reached out to my network of friends who are returned Peace Corps Volunteers in Kentucky and two were able to attend the girls' Bronze Award ceremony on December 14. The RPCVs learned about the girls’ project, answered questions about the Peace Corps and shared their experiences serving in Tanzania.
On June 15, 2015, the final phase of the project was completed! I visited our primary school to talk about the Girl Scouts’ mission, their girls’ project and then each of the boys and girls chose their bracelet. As soon as the children saw the rainbow of colors, their eyes lit up and they began smiling from ear to ear.
Without question, this has been one of my favorite projects to facilitate. Not only was it incredibly fun to deliver to the children, but young girls gained leadership skills by using a skill they enjoyed, they shared their culture, the ni-Vanuatu children learned about America and they are now able to promote their new friendship with bracelets. This interaction promoted Peace Corps goals two and three!
A great BIG thank you goes out to the girls, Dorothy their amazing troop leader, and Kay, Judy, Alli and Duncan for representing the Peace Corps. Here’s what the boys and girls had to say:
On December 14, 2015, fifteen amazing young leaders from Louisville, Kentucky received their Girl Scouts Bronze Award because they took an activity they loved, designed and implemented an action plan where they shared a special skill to make a difference in Vanuatu!