Contributed: Loren Guerin
In February 2014, the Gender and Development (GAD) Task Force, held the first of what they hope will be many Guyana Camp BRO’s (Brothers Reaching Others). For the past few years, GAD and US Peace Corps Guyana have run Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) events, which are week-long sleep away girls empowerment camps. Through the success of these, the group hoped to expand into a boys camp.
This led to the development of Camp BRO, a weekend camp with workshops and sessions for approximately 70 boys from the Linden community as a pilot program for a larger week-long camp. The Linden community went above and beyond in support of this project, including helping with recruitment of campers, running of sessions, collecting donations of equipment, and serving of food to attendees. The boys who attended camp were from schools all over the community. One of the successes of the camp was seeing some of the quietest students take center stage creating songs, and answering and asking questions. The boys actively participated and even shared their experiences with their classmates when they returned to school the next week, including showing off their artwork and already recruiting boys for the next camp.
Loren Guerin, one of the camp coordinators, wrote that “In Linden, there is not a lot of access to strong male role models for young boys in their everyday lives. Giving young men a structured safe place where they could ask questions, be silly, and meet with pillars of their community was something they wanted and needed.”