Girl Power comes to Micronesia

IOM Micronesia has teamed up with the Peace Corps at Camp Girls Leading Our World -GLOW, an initiative that encourages self-confidence and challenges Micronesian young women to think beyond traditional gender roles. 

The second of two USAID-funded camps finished last week, with IOM trainers setting a Disaster Response Educational Challenge, where the girls learned about how to prepare for and respond to natural disasters such as landslides, droughts, and wave inundations.

“The whole idea of this challenge was to build the resilience and awareness of young girls in the face of natural disasters,” noted Ashley Carl, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Micronesia. “It means 120 more future leaders are more equipped to assist their communities. We are really pleased to be associated with GLOW and to give these girls a chance to pick up new knowledge which will ensure their involvement in decision-making.”

The Challenge required campers to complete four main activities: starting a generator; constructing a solar still capable of transforming salt water into freshwater; relaying a message using phonetic letter code; and construct a min-landslide in a lab. One camper said with enthusiasm “I feel strong and like I could really help others in a disaster situation.”

All the girls left camp a little tired but very proud of their achievements and to ensure their ongoing learning IOM provided all of them with their complete series of colourful and engaging brochures and comics on disaster preparedness in Micronesia.

The country is made up of over 600 of small islands which stretch over 2,700 kilometres of the western Pacific. Apart from being particularly vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels, there are also risks of earthquakes, floods, landslides and storms.

For more information on IOM disaster preparedness activities visit a local IOM office, email micronesiaenquiries@iom.int or visit www.micronesia.iom.int