By Jeimmy Bernal
Being invited for the second time to Camp GLOW was such a rewarding experience! Finding girls who I met last year, receiving their passionate emails, and being a “model for them” was such a touching practice!
The second Camp GLOW Colombia took place last month due to the great team work of our PCVs. This was a wonderful opportunity to encourage girls in different skills, such as self-esteem and leadership. It was also a great way to support the Gender Equality initiative which has become a priority for PC Washington. Currently, each post is incorporating this initiative at its own pace.
I have been invited to give many lectures at different universities and events. However, lecturing in front of girls whose faces were full of hope, passion, curiosity, and happiness was such an emotional and challenging experience. I was invited for a second time to share with these girls my professional background as well as my personal life. Last year, I was astonished to see tears in one girl’s eyes, who identified with my life story. I tried to encourage them to keep their dreams in spite of difficulties they might encounter. I looked for her after the panel and she openly told me her story. What a brave girl! Also, another panelist, a great psychologist who was at the table with me, invited me to join her in some of her motivational lectures. She travels around the Caribbean Coast as a consultant and companies hire her to support their employees’ sons and daughters through motivational lectures and workshops.
This year, another girl felt really excited to hear that dreams can be accomplished through consistency and passion in spite of difficulties. She energetically approached me after the panel. She asked me a thousand questions about enrolling in an International Affairs program which is what I decided to focus on for my Masters. I hope she can achieve her dream in the near future! I have also received emails from some of these girls. I read lines full of dreams and passion to accomplish them. These emails leave me breathless and cheer me up after a busy workday.
Camp GLOW Colombia reminds me how much of a blessing is to have PCVs in our country to support our communities, especially our girls. I enjoyed seeing those female PCVs’ beautiful faces full of satisfaction and happiness from working hard and enjoying a whole week with these girls! Their faces clearly showed how pleased they are serving in Colombia! I also perceived how our music is already in their veins.
Thanks Peace Corps Colombia for supporting our communities! Camp GLOW has become another way to transform teenagers’ lives and promote Women Empowerment. Our girls need it!