With your support, RPCV-NJ has been able to help provide funding for a Peace Corps project in Senegal. Here is an update from the volunteer who organized a week-long leadership development program for girls.
Camp Gëm Sa Bopp is a week-long leadership development program for girls between the ages of 12 and 16 years old. Through an interview process, we select those girls who show leadership ability, motivation, and a strong desire to pursue their dreams. We aspire to empower and inspire girls from central Senegal to become strong and independent community leaders who have a positive impact on their communities. By meeting other girls their own age from a wide range of backgrounds and communities, we aim to provide summer camp memories that can serve as inner resources for each participant throughout her life.
By providing this experience, we hope to open participants’ eyes to opportunities in regards to traditional norms and expectations. Girls in Senegal are less likely to receive encouragement to excel academically and to pursue their goals because of social pressure to marry early. This weeklong camp is an opportunity for forty girls from twelve different communities to learn how to achieve their full potential.
Each day is based on a certain theme, and as the week progresses, girls are exposed to topics such as Health/Fitness, Gender and Development, Environment, Communication, and Business. The themes are carefully planned to provide campers with an overall understanding of personal well-being, teamwork, leadership, and gender and development issues. Throughout the week, girls are divided into teams which rotate through activities to ensure that every girl has individual attention, interacts with a consistent group of people to develop close relationships, and gets the chance to experience every activity available at the camp.