Empower 10,000 Vulnerable Girls in Uganda

 
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Empowering Girls to Achieve Their Dreams!
Empowering Girls to Achieve Their Dreams!

Just Like My Child Foundation recently celebrated its first of three Camp Girl Powers scheduled for 2015. We had the great pleasure of hosting an East Africa representative of Global Giving at Camp Girl Power, Kelly Kurz who came to see The Girl Power Project in action first hand. It was a joy to have him participate!

The camp brought together 100 girls ages 10-15 from 9 area schools. These girls spent much of last year participating in Girl Power workshops that taught them the life skills necessary to avoid early pregnancy, early marriage and disease, so that they can live healthy lives and achieve their dreams!

Camp Girl Power provides a space for girls to demonstrate and celebrate their empowerment as well as build friendships and learn how to become mentors to other girls in their homes and communities. One way in which these girls learned mentoring skills and strategies at the camp was through role models who have already started to do this critical work. The camp was facilitated by a highly skilled girls club that is led by a superstar Girl Power graduate, Nabatenzi Joan. This club illustrated an exemplary model for how The Girl Power Project is designed to spread critical, life saving information through strong and skilled older girls mentoring younger girls. Watch the Girl Power Results video to learn more about this amazing group of girls. 

This methodology is proving successful as is highlighted in the following quote from 14 year old camp participant Namiyange Jane. “I admired Joan so much! I want to be like her because she (Joan) talks about how she behaves and I know I can learn from that!"

The activities carried out at the camp event were all designed to help reinforce the training these girls have been recieving. One nail biting activity involved a group of girls lining up and tossing a clay pot to one another. The pot symbolized a girls life. Each throw of the pot represented a risky behavior, such as walking at night alone, accepting gifts from strangers, engaging in unprotected sex, etc. Inevitably the pot slips through a girls fingers and shatters into pieces on the ground. A girls life lost. The audience sighs loudly. It is heart breaking indeed. This activity becomes an important and interesting conversation starter. At first girls begin to blame one another for not being careful enough when throwing the pot. They don't want to take personal responsibility for their actions. This quickly shifts to personal blame for not paying close enough attention. Finally they conclude that the best strategy would have been to never risk throwing the pot in the first place. 

The activity that seemed to win the best metaphor award however was the candle lighting ceremony that was held at night fall after girls gave testimony of how important Girl Power has been to their lives around a camp fire. The candle lighting ceremony involves mentors lighting the candles of other girls who were once in darkness, but who now have the burning light of information. The mentors encourage girls to continue to teach other girls the knowledge and skills they have gained through The Girl Power project with this inspiring activity. It has been very exciting for the entire Just Like My Child team to experience Camp Girl Power continue to evolve! 

Just Like My Child Foundation has so much in store for The Girl Power Project in 2015, including piloting our system curriculum prototype in 5 new communities to ensure it is most effective and preparing to responsibly scale up to reach more girls. On behalf of the million girls we hope to reach through this project we wish to thank you for your ongoing support! We hope you will continue to follow our exciting progress!  

We encourage you to click on all of the links we have provided and share not only our story and videos with others who may wish to get involved, but also your story! We would love to hear about why you are moved to support The Girl Power Project! Share your stories here and we will feature our favorite in our next Global Giving report!

We extend our utmost gratitude to our partners, The Collective Heart and Feminine Power whose commitment, love, and support have helped to make this project possible.  We also wish to thank Kelly Kurz of Global Giving for trekking out to rural central Uganda to participate in camp! We welcome you back any time! 

Kelly Kurz of Global Giving Joins Camp Girl Power!
Kelly Kurz of Global Giving Joins Camp Girl Power!
Superstar Girl Power Mentors Facilitate Camp!
Superstar Girl Power Mentors Facilitate Camp!
Girl Power Project Participants Eager to Share!
Girl Power Project Participants Eager to Share!
JLMC
JLMC's Superstar Team of Girl Power Experts!
The Girl Power Project, A Million Girl Movement!
The Girl Power Project, A Million Girl Movement!

Links:

Girls cannot change their fate alone!
Girls cannot change their fate alone!

The Just Like My Child Foundation (JLMC) team has been very busy since the last update we shared with you. With news of Girl Power Project successes spreading like wildfire in rural Uganda where we have been implementing the program since 2009, several new communities have come forward eagerly requesting the project be implemented in their schools.

We understand that girls cannot change their fate alone. They need a community that stops violence and respects their human rights. That's why our local team of expert girl power facilitators and community legal voluneers are committed to laying critical ground work for The Girl Power Project by first training communities about their legal and human rights, emphasizing the benefits of empowering their girls.

One example of a highly successful community training that took place over the last quarter was held in the village of Buyuki where 100 girls are currently enrolled in The Girl Power Project. Over 80 parents, teachers and community leaders attended and fully particpated in the training. Parents reported being very grateful for the information and admitted that they were not  knowledgeable previously about the importance of empowering their children or how to manage challenges facing girls in their communities, but now feel more equipped to improve the well being of their families. Men who attended, reported learning much from the training and committed to sitting down and talking more with their children. Parents and teachers requested that the JLMC team return and continue to evaluate their progress in upholding the human and legal rights of girls within their community.

Your contributions to The Girl Power Project are resourcing a positive shift in the planet one village at a time. Team JLMC and the thousands of girls who will go on to achieve their dreams as a result of this project wish to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We hope you will continue to follow our exciting progress and be a critical part of JLMC's GIrl Power Project movement!! We encourage you to click on all of the links we have provided and share not only our story and videos with others who may wish to get involved, but also your story!! We would love to hear your story about why you are moved to support The Girl Power Project!! Share your stories here and we will feaure our favorites on our facebook wall.

We extend our upmost gratitude to our partners, The Collective Heart and Feminine Power whose commitment, love and support have helped to make this project possible.

Local Community Leaders Support Girls Empowerment!
Local Community Leaders Support Girls Empowerment!
Mothers are Equipped to Empower their Daughters!
Mothers are Equipped to Empower their Daughters!
Men Show Up for Girl Power Training!
Men Show Up for Girl Power Training!
Empowered Girls Become Healthy Mothers!
Empowered Girls Become Healthy Mothers!

Links:

Developing Critical Social Skills with Girl Power!
Developing Critical Social Skills with Girl Power!

Coming off a high point from our 2013 Camp Girl Power, the first half of 2014 has proven to be just as successful! Just Like My Child Foundation (JLMC) recently hosted a camp for 10 of our newest Girl Power trained communities. Girl Power Camps are an unparalleled opportunity for adolescent girls who have excelled in the first two phases of The Girl Power Project ® to come together with their peers to build friendships, share what they’ve learned, and dive even further into the program.

Everyone, including our facilitators and staff, agreed this camp was the best that JLMC has put on so far! It brought together over 100 girls who made the most of their time together by carrying out dramatizations, debates, small group discussions, and presentations. The girls demonstrated a high level of confidence and understanding of the curriculum, participated strongly in all activities, and had so much fun meeting new people and seeing familiar faces too!

One of the most powerful aspects of the camp is the campfire storytelling activity, where girls are given the time and space to share sincere testimonies of how Girl Power has impacted them. This activity is aimed at helping girls to understand the challenges their fellow peers have faced and how they have managed to address them. Three poignant stories that were shared amongst the camp goers that night demonstrate the power of The Girl Power Project®:

Blessing, a 13-year-old girl, was self-proclaimed head-over-heals in love with a boy, James. She was mesmerized with his romance, gifts, and sweet talk. After attending the Girl Power Project mentoring sessions, Blessing had a wake-up call and realized that love cannot be a priority right now. She understood the risks of pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and early marriage so she called the romance with James off. When he tried to get her back numerous times, she still held her ground and said no. She would save romance for a later time.

Josephine, a 12-year-old girl in elementary school, had a much older boyfriend, Dennis, who was in high school. Josephine’s brother had instigated the relationship between the two of them and helped facilitate correspondence since they were geographically separated. After her first Girl Power training, Josephine had a better understanding of what was really happening. She told her brother she didn’t want to be with Dennis anymore, but he insisted that she stay with him because of the money and gifts she was receiving. Josephine still held her ground and called off the relationship.

Every morning 10-year-old Evelyn walked to elementary school and the same motorcycle taxi (boda) driver came by and asked if she wanted a ride. The driver never made her pay. One day, the driver stopped before dropping her off and asked her for sex, saying “you thought I always take you for nothing in return?” Evelyn said no to this man and decided to walk home instead of finishing the taxi ride.

Girls who attend the Girl Power trainings are taught about the danger of receiving gifts and a man’s typical motive for giving them within their context. Girls at this campfire understood that taking money, food, and candy were risky and threatening gifts, but Evelyn's story awoke many of the girls and even teachers at the camp who didn't know that gifts of free rides could lead to a dangerous situation. 

The camp not only provided girls with a chance to share their life stories and come together as a collective whole to address issues they face in their communities, it provided a chance for a handful of parents to better understand the Girl Power Project. When talking to the parents at the camp, they gratefully expressed sincere appreciation for boosting their girls’ confidence and teaching them important social survival skills. Many parents wished they had this training at such a critical time of crossroads as an adolescent but were so happy their daughters would learn and pass the information down to their children. It was a truly spectacular event!

We want to send a special thanks to the Plan International Uganda Team for traveling several hours from the capital city to witness The Girl Power Project ® in action in our rural communities. We truly appreciate you being part of such an important day in the lives of our girls and in the project as a whole! And also much appreciation is owed to our phenomenal Ugandan team who tirelessly executed this camp in a new village! We extend our utmost gratitude to our partners, The Collective Heart and Feminine Power whose commitment, love, and support have helped to make this project possible.

We especially want to thank all of you who have given what you can to make this camp possible! Every little bit helps! We hope you will continue to follow our exciting progress and be a critical part of JLMC’s Girl Power Project movement! We encourage you to click on all of the links we have provided and share not only our story and videos with others who may wish to get involved, but also your story! We would love to hear about why you are moved to support The Girl Power Project! Share your stories here and we will feature our favorites on our Facebook wall!

Girl Power Builds Confidence and Assertiveness!
Girl Power Builds Confidence and Assertiveness!
Incorporating Drama to Share Girl Power Skills!
Incorporating Drama to Share Girl Power Skills!
Listening, Learning and Growing through Girl Power
Listening, Learning and Growing through Girl Power
Peer Mentors Take New GP Participants Under Wing!
Peer Mentors Take New GP Participants Under Wing!
Future Fathers/Husbands in Support of Girl Power!
Future Fathers/Husbands in Support of Girl Power!

Links:

Peer Mentor, Florence Facilitates Camp GP 2013!!!
Peer Mentor, Florence Facilitates Camp GP 2013!!!

Just Like My Child Foundation (JLMC) recently held its second annual Camp Girl Power in rural Uganda!! The camp is an unparalleled opportunity for adolescent girls and boys who have excelled in the first two phases of The Girl Power Project ® to come together with their peers.

We are proud to announce that Camp Girl Power 2013 was successfully facilitated by the project’s superstar 2012 graduates! Just two years ago these girls could not look our team in the eyes or shake our hands because of an ingrained culture of submissiveness, which puts girls in this context at great risk for sexual violence. We are thrilled to report that we witnessed these same young ladies, now Girl Power peer mentors, stand up boldly with microphones in hand leading Camp Girl Power for over 100 of their peers with confidence and determination!! It was an incredible success and we applaud their courageousness and leadership!

The two-day roll up your sleeves camp provided a space for Girl Power participants to celebrate their social survival skills and demonstrate what they’ve learned. It brought together over 160 adolescents who made the most of their time together by carrying out dramatizations, debates, small group discussions and presentations. In the evening they all settled in around the campfire to give personal testimony to the positive impact The Girl Power Project has had on their lives and the lives of those around them.

The participants graduated as Girl Power Peer Mentors on the second day of the camp and got the special treat of receiving their credentials directly from Vivian Glyck, Founder and Executive Director of JLMC! Girl Power Project Participants who shined extra bright amongst the group of superstars received backpacks filled with learning materials for the upcoming school term. St. Joseph Magogo, one of JLMC’s schools, was honored with a gift of a goat for being an exemplary supporter and model of Girl Power.

The camp concluded with a phenomenal dance performance and ballad from St. Joseph Magogo featuring 15-year-old Timyra Joi, an extremely talented young American singer, who bravely traveled with JLMC to Uganda to see The Girl Power Project in action first hand! You may recognize Timyra from NBC’s The Voice.

We want to acknowledge our amazing team of Ugandan colleagues for pulling off an astonishing Camp Girl Power, which required impeccable orchestration, and the fulfillment of hundreds of details to make sure the program was effective, fun, and most importantly, that the kids were safe, cared for, and had a life-changing experience.

Special thanks to Timyra Joi for braving the unknown at such a young age and to CNN ireporter, Chris Morrow for trekking across the world with us to capture this important event! Team JLMC is so grateful and proud to have hosted both of them and we hope the memories last them a lifetime!

We especially want to thank all of those who have dug into their pocket books to make this camp possible!! We hope you will continue to follow our exciting progress and be a critical part of JLMC’s Girl Power Project movement!! We encourage you to click on all of the links we have provided and share our story and videos with others who may wish to get involved!

We extend our continuing gratitude to our partners, The Collective Heart and Feminine Power whose commitment; love and support have helped to make this project possible. Together, we are doing amazing and essential work!

Vivian Glyck Presents GP Certificate to Justine!!!
Vivian Glyck Presents GP Certificate to Justine!!!
Timyra Joi with Peer Mentor Joan at Camp GP 2013!!
Timyra Joi with Peer Mentor Joan at Camp GP 2013!!
St. Joseph Magogo Performs Dance at Camp GP 2013!!
St. Joseph Magogo Performs Dance at Camp GP 2013!!
Camp Girl Power Participants Receive Reusable Pads
Camp Girl Power Participants Receive Reusable Pads

Links:

Building Life Long Friendships through Girl Power!
Building Life Long Friendships through Girl Power!

Members of The Girl Power Project™ in rural Uganda have been hard at work gearing up for Just Like My Child Foundation’s (JLMC) second annual Camp Girl Power!

The top ten performing peer mentors who graduated from the camp last year are busy organizing logistics and activities as they will be the facilitators of the camp for the first time this year! This responsibility provides a chance for them to further practice thier leadership and communication skills. The JLMC team is eagerly anticipating what is sure to be a phenomenal camp program developed by these now seasoned participants.

Throughout the course of 2013, the newest members of the Girl Power Project™ have displayed improved assertiveness, willingness to contribute in group discussions, presentation skills and peer cooperation. They have reported being very excited to attend the camp for the first time where they will get an opportunity to demonstrate their new found skills in front of participants from other schools, compete for top prizes and graduate as peer mentors themselves. It is no wonder the enthusiasm after word quickly spread last year about what a great time the camp turned out to be!

We want to include you in the fun as well, so be sure to tune in soon for our upcoming report on Camp Girl Power 2013!! We hope you will continue to follow our exciting progress and be a critical part of Just Like My Child Foundation's Girl Power Project™ movement!!

We extend our continuing gratitude to our partners, The Collective Heart and Feminine Power whose committment, love and support have helped to make this project possible. Together, we are doing amazing and essential work!!

Peer Mentors Make Plans for Camp Girl Power 2013!
Peer Mentors Make Plans for Camp Girl Power 2013!
Peer Mentors Put Leadership Skills into Practice!
Peer Mentors Put Leadership Skills into Practice!
Mentors Share Ideas and Communicate Effectively!
Mentors Share Ideas and Communicate Effectively!
Peer Mentors are Ready to Facilitate a Fun Camp!!!
Peer Mentors are Ready to Facilitate a Fun Camp!!!

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About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

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Organization

Project Leader

Vivian Glyck

San Diego, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Empower 10,000 Vulnerable Girls in Uganda