I have exciting news. This August, I will be taking part in a Peace Corps led summer camp for girls in Benin called Camp GLOW, and I’d like to ask you to consider making a donation to help make this possible. (I am also in the planning stage of a village chicken-raising project and will hopefully have information up about donating toward that within the next few months, but this is my first request!) My role in Camp GLOW will be leading some of the educational sessions and bringing girls from my village to participate. Roughly a dozen other volunteers are doing the same. Lisa Hembre, a second-year volunteer who is in charge of the camp this year, wrote the following description of the camp with information at the end on how you can contribute. Thank you in advance for any support you can give!

What is it?

Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) is a week long camp for exceptional girls, selected by Peace Corps Volunteers, to come together and learn how to be leaders among their peers and receive education about important health and social issues affecting their communities.  Camp GLOW is a Peace Corps initiative that started in Romania in 1995 with the purpose of promoting female empowerment.  The program came to Benin in 2004 and has been widely successful; current volunteers are encouraging and educating promising young females all across the country.

What do we do?

Throughout the week, girls will live on a university campus and attend sessions that target vital public health concerns, emphasize the value of education, focus on developing life skills, and encourage creativity and critical thinking.  Topics include: finding safe drinking water, sexual health, study skills, career planning, leadership, entrepreneurship, creative writing, and domestic violence.  At the end of the week, girls will collaborate with their volunteer to discuss the ways they can bring what they have learned at camp back to their villages.

Why do we do it?

Most of the girls who attend Camp GLOW will have never before stepped foot on a university campus.  They will have their first experiences with touching a keyboard, picking up a paintbrush, and being told that it’s not OK for a husband to hit his wife.  The girls will be mentored by adult Beninese women who have been selected for the exceptional example they set as professional, progressive women as well as older girls (junior mentors) selected from last year’s camp as outstanding participants.  Most importantly, the girls will be surrounded by positive encouragement.  They will not be hit, they will not be constantly sent out for chores, and they will be reminded that they are special and valuable.

How can you help?

Camp GLOW is financed through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP).  The project is posted online where friends and family of participating volunteers can come together to collectively finance the demand. Please follow this link: and search our project number: 13-680-015 or my last name: Hembre.  You can read project details and contribute with your credit card directly through the site.  If you have any additional questions concerning the budget or activities of the camp, please feel free to contact me (  If you are interested in sending supplies that we would like to use, but do not have access to in Benin, please contact me as well.

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4 Responses to GLOW

  1. John Swanson says:

    Heidi, we are looking forward to seeing you when you are home in July. We’ll be home most but not all of July. Sherry and John 612-202-7336

  2. Noelle Hart says:

    Sounds like a great project. Looking forward to hearing about it!

  3. Heidi, this opportunity sounds amazing! You’re absolutely the right candidate. Congratulations!!

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