Camp Zaedno Napred (Together Forward) began in 2000 as a way for motivated Roma youth from throughout Bulgaria to build leadership skills, self-esteem, and to find ways to overcome the extreme cases of discrimination that many of them face. Since that time, over 240 Roma youth have participated in the camp. Many of these youth have gone on to start youth groups of their own, further their education, and to become more active members of their community. This summer, Foundation Napredak, a Bulgarian NGO which facilitates the camp, looks to do much of the same, selecting 40 Roma youth to participate in the eight day event. Also, eight former campers will return as leaders, giving them the opportunity to take on more responsibility and to give younger campers an exceptional example of a successful, responsible, and educated Roma youth.Read Final Report
The goals of Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) are to: increase young Bulgarian women’s civic engagement; to foster young women’s self esteem, leadership skills, communication skills, goal-setting and decision making abilities; and to increase the young women’s awareness about current issues such as drug abuse, sexual health, eating disorders and the dangers of human trafficking. Camp GLOW 2008 is requesting $11,889.10/15,812.51BGL
Camp GLOW 2008 is a collaboration between two American Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs), GLOW NGO, Open Door Resource Center and the 15 member 2008 Planning Committee to teach young girls about leadership. Camp GLOW is a seven-day experience conducted in English, and includes activities, games, large and small discussion groups, medium-sized workshops and seminars, guest speakers, and a community service day. As a previous camper has said about her experience at GLOW: “It was great being surrounded by such wonderful people, who helped me with my emotional development and thinking. GLOW helps young girls set their life goals and go for them. GLOW makes a girl’s soul and mind head for the dream, and makes it part of the reality. Thank you!”
Each session at camp is geared towards increasing the young women’s awareness about current issues such as drug abuse, sexual health, eating disorders as well as other current issues such as Anti-Trafficking awareness. Materials are provided in the campers’ manuals including prevention tactics, treatment and resources for local and national organizations that specifically deal with these issues. The girls are encouraged to ask questions in their groups or to individual leaders throughout the duration of camp and are also given the opportunity to ask their questions anonymously by placing them in a box. At the end of camp, we have a special session where Counselors and Junior Counselors answer these questions (after going over them with the leadership team).
Every year we include a community service component at camp. All participants wear their Camp GLOW t-shirts as they participate in this day. Last year during a trip to a retirement home in the city of Veliko Tarnovo, two participants were interviewed by the local media and were on the news that very night. Through this service, the girls have an organized, hands-on view of a possible way that they can become involved in their own community. After returning from our field trip, we do an informational session on community service and local fundraising. Most of the participants have mentioned that this session helped them understand how to start helping by giving them the tools to start similar efforts at home. Former campers lead these sessions and share their experiences as well as answer questions. If the girls need further assistance, they are encouraged to come and speak with us individually.
The camp is set up so that previous campers act as counselors and junior counselors for small groups of five campers. Prior to camper arrival, these counselors undergo an intensive three-day training session on peer counseling, mediation, communication, and facilitation. A small group of outstanding former counselors, called assistant counselors, train the 20 young women under the supervision of a Bulgarian leadership training expert. With the help of these assistant counselors, the counselors and junior counselors lead medium and small group workshops, assist with camp logistics and provide encouragement and support to all campers during Camp GLOW. During the year, junior counselors and counselors are expected to help with grassroots fundraising efforts in their communities as a part of their acceptance requirements. The idea is that the C’s and JC’s attend camp for free but have the opportunity to contribute constructively to the implementation and sustainability of GLOW. Since grassroots fundraising is still a foreign and unreliable concept in Bulgaria, we put this money towards purchasing materials for camp instead of towards the room and board of these young ladies. Materials can be improvised in emergency situations and we do not wish to revoke the privilege of attending camp if one or more of the young lady fails to raise the necessary funds for her participation. Previous fundraising events include: Bowling fundraisers, bake sales, martenitza sales (red and white string bracelets celebrating the beginning of spring) greeting card sales and soccer tournaments. The girls work with friends in their community to obtain these funds locally and to spread the message of Camp GLOW and get other members of the community interested in the initiative.
As well as the funding raised by the C’s and JC’s, all campers pay a registration fee of 75 Leva which goes directly to the cost of making and printing the counselor and camper manuals and towards the cost of the nightly events that take place at camp. Any leftover money goes towards the room and board of the assistant counselors.
Throughout the year, PCVs, GLOW NGO, and Camp GLOW Assistant Counselors plan all aspects of the camp. At the camp itself, the Peace Corps volunteers and Assistant Counselors serve primarily as advisors and allow the majority of camp activities to be conducted by the Bulgarian counselors and junior counselors. They work in the background--setting-up for workshops, speakers, and activities; dealing with logistics; cleaning-up; and acting as role models and mentors for the campers, junior counselors, and counselors through non-formal interactions. This year we will be increasing the PCV's skill transfer to the Bulgarian Assistant Counselors by reducing the number of PCV’s to 3 and increasing the number of A.C.’s to 7 in order to increase the sustainability of Camp GLOW.
Every year, a new group of PCV’s assume responsibility for Camp GLOW. Four years ago, we began the transition of Camp GLOW responsibility to Bulgarians by including the NGO Open Door Resource Center (in Veliko Turnovo) as observers. Three years ago we took the next step, by having staff members from the NGO and counselors serve on the committees, providing hands-on skills transfer. This year, like last year, the camp will have two co-directors, one being a PCV and the other a staff member from the Open Door Resource Center who also is the chairwoman of GLOW NGO.Read Final Report
The 2008 Camp Zaedno Napred (Forward Together)will unite 40 Roma high school students, 8 Roma youth leaders who participated in last year’s camp, and influential community members of Roma origin to share experiences, exchange ideas and debate issues in an open forum. The camp will be 8 days long, with a 2 day long pre-seminar to prepare for the camp. This camp will give the youth the tools to understand their dynamic roles in society and to deal effectively with the challenges that they and their community face. The camp will equip promising youth with information, leadership skills, and optimism to develop and improve their lives and their community. Session topics will include human rights, ethnic integration, Roma history and identity, leadership skills, community responsibility, sexual education, discrimination and human trafficking. Social and government leaders will be brought in to discuss these topics, share their own experiences and talk about minorities’ roles in society. Knowledge of self and cultural identity will help participants define their roles as future leaders and help their community find an effective voice in Bulgaria’s democracy. Participants will be encouraged to put their newly acquired skills into practice immediately as they return to their communities and start youth groups and/or work on community projects. Through the involvement of Roma organizations and community members from other cities, Foundation Napredak will build upon their pre-existing network of valuable contacts.
Project organizers request $12,974.38 to cover travel, lodging, food and materials for camp staff members, participants and guest speakers, as well as fees for staff members.Read Final Report
The 3rd Annual Roma Day Camp for the Naiden Gerov School will allow students to interact with people from various backgrounds, acquire life skills education, and the opportunity to be active and creative. During a span of 3 weeks, 80 students, 12 teachers and 15 American volunteers will be united to fulfill and assist some of the many areas of need for the overwhelmingly marginalized Turkish Roma minority group, which makes up the majority of the school’s student body and the neighborhood surrounding the schools.
Some of the needs and issues addressed through these camps are constructive use of time, self esteem and identity awareness, problem solving and leadership skills, sex education, human trafficking, and alcohol and drug abuse.
The three separate camps are organized into three separate weeks in order to appropriately cover grades 3 to 11. The first two camps will take place at the primary school. The first camp will commence the first Monday after the last day of classes for the primary school. The same will happen for the second camp, though it will take place at the secondary school. Both weeks the students will come to their appropriate school in the morning and meet with volunteers and the teachers. The days will be split into time segments for recreational and team building games both outdoor and indoor, arts, crafts, face painting, t-shirt designing and a time for informative sessions. We will meet from 9am to 3pm.
For the third camp we will take the 9-11th graders out of Plovdiv to a camping area called Zdravets. It is approximately 40 minutes outside of the center of Plovdiv. This will give the youth an opportunity to go outside of their neighborhood and the city of Plovdiv into a remote location where they can gain a different perspective on their community, their selves, and nature. This gives us the chance that we can work more in depth and comfortably in team building skills and life skills sessions without interruption. These grades are the most vulnerable for dropouts and teen pregnancy and parenthood. The few that do go on to finish their 12th year they will be faced with the possibility of attempting to enter a new role in their society. This can be a great time to have a captive and comfortable audience to discuss these issues and decisions.
In order to reach our goals and accomplish the activities planned for these students, we need 2,456.40 BGN equaling $1,697.22 US Dollars.Read Final Report
Camp Zaedno Napred (Together Forward) began in 2000 as a way for motivated Roma youth from throughout Bulgaria to build leadership skills, self-esteem, and an important support network. Since that time, over 200 Roma youth have participated in the camp. Many of these youth have gone on to start youth groups of their own, further their education, and to become more active members of their community. This summer, Foundation Napredak, a Bulgarian NGO that facilitates the camp, looks to do much of the same, selecting 40 Roma youth to participate in the eight day event. Also, eight former campers will return as leaders, giving them the opportunity to take on more responsibility and to give younger campers a role model from their own community.Read Final Report
GIRLS LEADING OUR WORLD
Camp GLOW Bulgaria was founded in June, 2000. This week-long camp experience is held each summer in Veliko Turnovo. The camp is conducted with the goals of fostering leadership, teamwork, self-esteem and expanding knowledge of contemporary issues facing young women. Young Bulgarian women ages 14-18 from all communities interested in increasing their confidence and self-awareness,and in building cross-cultural bridges are invited to apply.
Camp GLOW exists primarily through the generosity of our donors and the collaborative efforts of the GLOW NGO, the Open Door Resource Center and American volunteers. Please consider making a donation, which goes directly to funding the camp, allowing the opportunity for 70 young Bulgarian women to participate each summer. With your help, we will be able to ensure that Camp GLOW continues to be a successful program in Bulgaria.Read Final Report
Camp GLOW Bulgaria was founded in June, 2000. This weeklong camp experience is held each summer in Veliko Tarnovo. The camp is conducted with the goals of fostering leadership, teamwork, self-esteem, and expanding knowledge of contemporary issues facing young women. Young Bulgarian women ages 14-18 from all communities, interested in increasing their confidence and self-awareness, and in building cross-cultural bridges, are invited to apply.
Camp GLOW exists primarily through the generosity of our donors and the collaborative efforts of the GLOW NGO, the Open Door Resource Center, and American volunteers. Please consider making a donation, which goes directly to funding the camp, allowing the opportunity for 70 young Bulgarian women to participate each summer. With your help, we will be able to ensure that Camp GLOW continues to be a successful program in Bulgaria.Read Final Report