Girls Leading Our World

Jordan is a male-dominated society. Girls are not afforded the same opportunities as their brothers; women don't join sports clubs, almost never leave their house without their brother or father by their side, are rarely encouraged to perfect other skills besides cooking, and, if ambitious enough to pursue a career, are either an English teacher, math teacher, religion teacher, science teacher, Arabic teacher, computer teacher, or tea lady.

As Peace Corps volunteers serving in rural and underdeveloped communities in Jordan, we are constantly confronted by the trials that hinder the advancement of young women in villages. Despite Jordan's rapid economic development and growing status as a leader in the Middle East, change does not always come easily and benefits are not always distributed evenly. Outside major metropolitan areas in Jordan, young women lack opportunities to develop skills in leadership necessary for higher education, employment, and promotion. These young women need to be motivated and introduced to techniques to overcome obstacles that previous generations of Jordanian women have not had to encounter. To further the advancement of young women, we plan to implement Camp GLOW, a leadership training camp for young Jordanian women aged 15-18. Camp GLOW challenges girls through experiential learning in a week-long summer program in July 2008 to promote the development of qualities of a successful person such as high self-esteem, motivation, impetus, flexibility, dedication, and a desire to work hard to succeed.

Camp GLOW will offer economically challenged, rural girls the opportunity to attend a summer camp, which for most may be their first chance to work and grow independently. They will be able to develop the characteristics that will make them successful and active citizens in the future. Empowerment and encouragement to explore one's personal qualities and assets will be a central theme in the sessions of GLOW Jordan 2008.

Within the Jordanian community, my three colleagues and I have raised over $2,000. I know, impressive! Unfortunately, not impressive enough. We still need $5,000 more and are turning to the kind wallets of our friends and family in Amreeka. Our project is posted on the Peace Corps Partnership website. It's tax deductible, and you can rest assured that none of your contributions are being diverted to "other expenditures." If you would like to contribute to making Camp GLOW successful, click here. If not, please use that money to treat someone you love to a wonderful sushi meal or to host a cheese-tasting party.

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