It was three days filled with fun, laughter, empowerment, reading and lots and lots of storytelling. LitWorld’s revolutionary LitCamp was held in Nepal with collaboration with Rukmini Foundation and through the support of new friends at Global G.L.O.W. on September 14, 15, and 16. These camps are sponsored by LitWorld to cultivate social-emotional development in girls by building resilience and literacy skills together. The camp was guided by LitWorld’s “7 Strengths” – Belonging, Curiosity, Kindness, Friendship, Confidence, Courage, and Hope, where trained mentors created safe and supportive communities to enable children to learn how to value their own and others’ stories, become powerful readers, and use literature as a guide as they learn how to navigate their lives and tell their own stories.
Girls playing Chinese Whispers as part of a team building activity
The camp started off with the celebration of children’s day. There were 45 girls ranging from grade 6-8 who participated from six schools – Pharping Higher Secondary School, Arunoday School, Shikharapur Community School, Sri Seti Devi School from Pharping, Niharika School from Balaju and Bhaktapur English Secondary School from Bhaktapur. The main objective of the camp was to introduce the habit of fun reading among the students, while also focusing on leadership skills and team building activities with lots of creative games that fostered their skill. The reading culture in Nepal is still limited to academic textbooks, where everything you read has to somewhat be related to a certain school subject. We hoped during this camp the girls were able to see the fun side of reading while also understand the value of writing their own story and the power that comes from sharing that story.
As part of an exercise to get to know one another – LitClub of Bhakthapur (girls in blue) share hand made gifts with LitClub Sikharapur ( girls in yellow)
The camp opened with a ‘hello song’ every day, where all the participants sang and then took part in community building games where they learned more about one another. Various book reading sessions then took place, with students learning how to do a presentations using tools like chart papers, drama, songs or multimedia. Each day the participants also read a book on Litworld’s ‘7 Strengths’ and analyzed the importance of these strengths and how we can incorporate the moral of the various stories in our lives based on these strengths. The participants also wrote and shared stories about themselves or the people in their society based on these strength. Complete package of reading and power of story sharing captured the attention of whole event.
One group presents their artwork and gave explanation to their creation to rest of the camp. These presentation allowed these girls to cultivate their skills in public speaking and also boosted their self confidence.
“Bunk times”, “Heart map session’, “twe twe-Song from Ghana”, and “Treasure hunt game” were some of activities the students loved being part of. LitCamp gave an amazing platform to these girls – a space that they felt was safe enough to share their personal story and their journey. Majority of the girls who participated in this three day event come from families that have faced grave hardship and the girls have been taught to sacrifice a lot of their dreams for the well-being of her family. These girls have a lot of stories hidden in them that are true testament to their strength and their resilience. A program like LitCamp empowers these girls to share their story while also learning about the difficulty others have gone through in their life.
Campers spend some time in ‘independent reading’ – where they were encouraged to pick a book they like and to read for fun.
The girls, the mentors, volunteers and the organizers all truly enjoyed the program and shared in its successes. Rukmini Foundation is very grateful to have been involved with LitWorld to hold such an inspiring event in Nepal. It was evident how powerful something as simple as storytelling can be – as towards the end of the event, the girls all seemed to have more confidence in themselves and the story they had to tell.
Our fabulous mentors who helped make this camp a huge success. From left – Prabriti, Sraddha, Prakriti, and Ekata. Our two other mentors Manisha and Bandana are missing in this picture.
To see more pictures of this amazing program, check out this album on our Facebook Page. Give us a Like if you like what you see :-).
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