Just Like My Child Foundation's Camp Girl Power 2012 was awesome! The kids were so impressive and inspiring, and most importantly, seemed to be having a great time. It was fun watching the kids pour out of the taxi vans, 15 to 20 at a time, from their respective villages. All not knowing what to expect, but looking excited as they saw kids from the other schools. From the get go, there was a sense that the kids and the adults were getting into something that was totally new and different- and they did.
Whether they were dancing around a huge bonfire at night with their teachers, to the sounds of a local DJ, or holding a microphone in their hand and giving their thoughts and opinions in a room full of kids and adults.
In fact, Diana, a fourth grader, said that was the reason the camp made her feel special, because she’d “never stood up in front of my peers and spoke in front of them. It was my first time!” Early in the camp, the kids were broken up into groups- different kids from different schools- and asked to come up with examples of Social Survival Skills. Diana was one of the kids who was appointed as her group’s chair woman. She stood up, and in English, gave examples like being confident, respecting your elders, and saying no to the Boda Boda boys who promise so many things in exchange for sex. (Boda Boda is the local term for motorcycles)
It was really impressive to see these Ugandan kids expressing themselves- and showing off the fact that they’re sponges for information- and are listening, and are retaining. What was even cooler was watching the other kids listen intently to their friends. You can tell they really have an impact on each other.
Another highlight was the debate. Five girls sat opposite five boys- and they debated over whether a woman is fit to be the President of Uganda. One by one, each girl and boy took the microphone, and gave their arguments for and against. Many girls gave examples of why they thought a woman could be President. They said women are responsible, they’re not as corrupt, they outperform boys at school and they’re dominating the population. The boys and even some girls, playing devil’s advocate, said women wouldn’t be able to deal with war, and that’s how Museveni got into power. One boy said women are inferior to men. However, at one point, a ten year old boy from the crowd, called Innocence, stood up and requested to speak- and he spoke in support of the girls! He said, “If you love your mother and your sister, then you should want them to be President!” That’s when the Just Like My Child staff and a lot of the women started pounding the tables and stomping their feet!
There has been so much excitement and many smiles here on the ground at Camp Girl Power!! Everyone who participated has been thrilled to receive a certificate of achievement! Some outstanding individuals also received a diary! Two JLMC schools won a goat for being exemplary models of Girl Power!! Namumira Primary School & The Children's Academy of the Collective Heart!!!
Such great examples throughout the camp of the strides these kids have made over the year, and the culmination of a lot of work. One of the most fun aspects was the dance breaks EVERYONE was involved in between activities!
Team JLMC cannot begin to express our appreciation to all of the conscience and compassionate individuals who have dug into their pocket books to ensure this essential camp could take place. We hope you'll continue to give and be a part of Just Like My Child Foundation’s Girl Power Project movement, which is already proving to be a HUGE success!! Watch the powerful video attached featuring Monica Nyiraguhabwa our Girl Power Facilitator and share it with your friends on Facebook!
We extend our continuing gratitude to our partners, The Collective Heart and Feminine Power. Together, we’re doing amazing work!!
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