July marked KPR’s first AGU Camp since the COVID-19 lockdown. Due to government restrictions, we ran shorter, more condensed sessions over three days. This Camp’s theme was “Girlhood, Not Motherhood” and focused on avoiding adolescent pregnancies. The girls had the opportunity to discuss social factors that lead to early pregnancies and learned more about pregnancy prevention practices and methods such as abstinence, condoms, and other forms of birth control like hormonal pills, the Depo shot, and IUDs. At the end of the Camp, the girls put their knowledge to use by creating advocacy posters with the intent of helping their peers make safe and healthy decisions about their sexual health.
Lead Coach Claudine introduced the theme: “Girlhood, Not Motherhood” as well as noting the day’s topic of “My Body, My Choice.” During Opening Circle, players were asked:
Q: What does “My Body, My Choice” mean?
A: I’m responsible for my body. I decide what’s right for me, and I can do this through education
After Opening Circle, players were introduced to their first activity, “Finish The Phrase”. This gave them the opportunity to gauge their knowledge on sexual health and pregnancy prevention as a whole, while incorporating physical activity. Coaches sat down in small groups to go over the phrases afterwards, to ensure that each answer was correct, as well as expand on the facts. This activity was very effective for both the younger and older groups, and each player improved their knowledge.
The day continued with a Scavenger Hunt where players got the chance to build relationships and meet new friends. This activity proved to be a great balance between leisure and learning, while allowing players to cultivate their decision-making skills and work together toward a common goal. Finally, the players closed the day with juice and music. Dancing was a great way for the girls to build their self confidence and strengthen their friendships.
Players began with a “Deserted Island” activity where players were put into groups and asked what three items they would take from the plane that had crashed on a deserted island. Many groups debated on whether or not they would take three practical items, or include an item of leisure as a treat during difficult times. The coaches then tied this scenario back to their daily lives and asked players of a time when they would need to make an important decision, and how they can effectively work with people who have different personalities or varying opinions from their own.
“I’m always together with my siblings and we must decide who is doing what around the house. Often, it results in arguments, as we can’t agree on who should take on certain responsibilities. Through partaking in this activity, I’ve realized that I can take the lead—I can listen to my siblings and help delegate tasks. This way, we can all work together in a nice way and finish our chores quickly.” – Alia
Players then moved on to learning the theme of the day which was “I’m Informed, I’m Empowered.” and were introduced to guest speaker from partner organization FVA, Assumpta Cyuzuzo, who led an informative presentation on love and sexuality. Assumpta covered topics on sexual reproductive rights, myths and rumors surrounding sex, pregnancy causes and contreceptive methods. Her presentation was very effective in being factual and sex-postitve, and the girls felt comfortable asking different questions.
“KPI is a safe space. In our society, there is so much shame surrounding sex and there are many people, including teachers, who I’ve been worried to approach regarding this topic. Because of the shame, I used to keep quiet and felt scared to ask anyone about my body. I’m thankful to KPI coaches and people like Assumpta for leading these important conversations.” – Fillet
Lead coach Esperance kicked off the day by asking the girls if they could remember the theme of Camp and the topic of each day, as well as say it in English. Many of them loudly shouted, “Girlhood, Not Motherhood!” “My Body, My Choice!” and “I’m Informed, I’m Empowered!” in English! Esperance then told them that the topic for the last day was titled “Educate a Girl, Change the World.”.
“AGU girls are informed and empowered, and we should help our friends at school! Abstinence and making healthy decisions about sex is important, but if people must have sex, we need to advocate for condom use and other devices like the IUD.” – Honorine
The first activity of the day was “Between Me and You” where players teamed up together in a Jeopardy style question/answer competition. This activity was very useful for the third day of camp to gauge how much the players had learned about pregnancy prevention, decision-making, STIs, romantic relationships and the reproductive system over the course of the camp.
In the last major activity of the camp the girls had the opportunity to showcase what they learned during camp by creating pregnancy prevention advocacy posters.. This activity was a great way for the player’s knowledge to come to life as they were encouraged to express themselves and display their advocacy work through poems, drawings and other crafts. Finally, the girls finished off the day with aerobics which helped to build confidence, friendships and collaboration among each other.
Overall, KPR’s All Girls United three day camp proved to be a great way for girls to learn more about themselves, sexual reproductive health, and become more comfortable in their own bodies.
“During Assumpta’s presentation, she asked me what kind of man I need. It’s a good question, as many girls focus on those who are rich, give gifts, or pay for school fees. I know right now I need to focus on myself and my studies so I can get a good job and create a good future. As I’m doing these things, I know I’ll attract a good person into my life because I’m self-confident and empowered. I will have a partner who sees me as an equal.” – Diane