Returned alumni leading a camp panel discussion
Dear friends and supporters,
Just because school is out and the weather is hot, doesn’t mean that we at Girl Determined haven’t been busy. In fact, our dedicated coordinators, facilitators, and coaches have had their hands full in recent months with summer camps and community-based events, directly engaging over 500 girls and young women.
We have completed three summer camps, each focused on a different critical aspects of general programming - peacebuilding, girls public leadership, and volleyball as a tool to develop strong girl leaders. Summer camp has proven lifelong benefits for children and young people everywhere, and for the girls in our Colorful Girls program across Myanmar attending one of our camps is a highly sought-after opportunity. Interested girls undertake a rigorous application process and are invited to attend based on their interest in public leadership, issues of peace and conflict and social change, combined with their active, regular attendance in weekly Colorful Girls sessions in their communities. All of your support continues to make these incredible camps possible.
This year the introductory-level Peacebuilding Camp welcomes girls who have completed their first full year of Colorful Girls sessions. It took place in late March and was held at a rural facility, with over 100 girls from six geographic regions of the country in attendance. The intermediate-level Girls Leadership Camp was held at the end of April with about 35 girls who had completed the full two-year program. This camp featured a special panel discussion on the challenges faced by girl leaders, monitored by several returned program alumni.
One camp participant, Ma Yadana, age 14, reported, “I discovered here at camp that peace is not something that is far away, but rather it is inside of us and starts with each one of us as individuals. When I get knocked down, I feel angry, but I will find it in myself to explain my feelings and also feel compassion with the others. Peacemakers must sacrifice and not be selfish, as we heard in the sayings from Gandhi. The source of conflict is discrimination and unless we end discrimination, we will never gain a peaceful and developed society.”
Less than a week ago, we wrapped up our first Leadership and Volleyball Coaching Camp in the temperate hills of Shan State, followed by a ‘Strong Girls in Myanmar’ public event in downtown Yangon promoting girls in sports. Both were led by a dynamic team of representatives from Girl Determined and visiting project partners Women Win and Volleyball Australia, comprising almost two full weeks of learning and sharing. This opportunity to exchange knowledge, skills, and cultures will be a memorable experience for all the young women involved, and we are excited to see how our newly trained girls and coaches take the experiences back to their communities to share, play, and grow.
Thank you for your continued generosity and support, and pease stay tuned to our social media pages to follow the latest happenings.
#JustStepsForward #StrongGirlsinMyanmar #GirlDetermined
Leadership & Volleyball Coaching Camp