By Amahlia Lena, 2013 Lexington Strong Camp Program Leader
Originally posted on July 11th, 2013
Full Circles Foundation Lexington began our debrief session on Monday July 8 with a successful program leader meeting. At this meeting we discussed our hopes for next year, which focus on expanding and improving Strong Camp. One aspect that we hope to change for next year is to tighten up the camper enrollment process, which was not as timely and organized as it could have been.
On our second day of debrief, the whole team gathered; this meeting included all three program leaders, our two summer fellows, and two of our volunteers. We went through and discussed each aspect of this year’s camp agenda, and commented on what we thought went well or what didn’t go so well for each activity.
Rebekah Israel was a Summer Fellow with the Raleigh Strong Camps in the summer of 2012. Since then, she has continued to work on issues related to girls’ empowerment, economic justice, and sustainability. In this entry, Rebekah shares with us her recent experiences in South Africa, where she participated in an alternative break trip that focused on gender equality, youth empowerment, and HIV/AIDS. Read on!
Hello world! My name is Rebekah Israel and I had the honor to work with Full Circles in the summer of 2012. It was an incredible experience and I feel blessed to have met all the girls of the 2012 Strong Camps. Since then, I trekked back to Washington, D.C. where I currently attend graduate school at American University. At American, I spent most of my time this past fall semester planning an alternative break trip that would become instrumental to who I am and what I want to do with my life. Alternative breaks provide students an opportunity to engage in a particular social justice issue either domestically or abroad during one of their breaks from school. “Alt breaks” usually incorporate a service component in which students work on specific project in addition to a learning component that stresses the connection of specific experiences to broader social justice issues.
FCF Joins One Billions Rising along with other Community Organizations
On February 15, Full Circles Foundation joined Cirque de Vol for an event celebrating One Billion Rising, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Seventy-five people came together to enjoy a parade/march in downtown Raleigh, speakers and performers, and a local market and non-profit fair. Part of the donations received throughout the day went to support the 2013 Raleigh Strong Camp! One Billion Rising organizer, Grayson Gant, reports that “on the day of and during the event, people were smiling at us, running through the hills of downtown to join us in our march, stomping their feet and honking their horns at us as we marched by. It was beautiful to see Raleigh come alive and I was proud to see they welcomed our approach to sharing love, joy, and our vision for a beautiful and healthy world!” Grayson says she was particularly touched by “two women who had three children with them who joined our march – one lady asked us what we were marching for and I told her – she proceeded to tell me that last month her ex had severely beaten her and broken her nose in several places- we both teared up and we hugged and I told her I was happy she was with us today- they stayed with us for the rest of the march and for the public speaking events that followed on the lawn. It felt very healing, empowering and intense.”
**Many thanks to Cirque de Vol for including FCF Raleigh in this amazing day of empowerment.**
Community members supporting One Billion Rising in Downtown Raleigh!
Partnership Highlight: Center for Human – Earth Restoration (CHER) and FCF Unite! Continue reading →
Generation Know is a program started by the members of Girls For a Change, a non-profit organization sponsored by U by Kotex. The mission of Girls For a Change and Generation Know is to end the taboo about vaginas and women’s health by empowering girls and getting them to talk. As a society we don’t talk about the vagina, we might occasionally refer to it in a degrading way in a rap song or a movie but we don’t really just talk about what it is and what it needs.
This morning through my other job with the a middle school, I viewed a screening of the documentary Finding Kind with over 600 6th and 7th grade students. Briefly, Finding Kind features two mothers and daughters who travel cross-country spreading the importance of being kind to girls from kindergarten to 12th grade. The film focuses on “the girl world,” specifically the ways in which girls bully and mistreat other girls through name-calling, spreading rumors, and essentially, lowering each others self esteem.
As spring arrives, Full Circles Foundation Lexington is gearing up for summer! We getting ready to hire two new Summer Fellows and are preparing our spring fundraiser, which will be held at Lexington’s Orange Leaf. While supporters chow on tasty frozen yogurt, FCF Program Leaders, Summer Fellows, and volunteers will be on location spreading the importance of our three goals: supporting girls’ personal health and wellness, building girls’ skills and confidence as community change-agents, and fostering girls’ appreciation for the interdependence of life on earth.
We have also been hard at work recruiting future camp participants, by meeting with guidance counselors and social workers from local middle schools. We recently found out that at least 8 campers from last summer will be joking us for our second year, and we couldn’t be more excited! We are working on developing a mentor/mentee program in which campers from last year assist in guiding new campers through FCF’s Strong Camps. Continue reading →
FCF campers Tyra and Davis and Aniah Bland, and FCF Program Leader, Toni Craige, have been selected as one of 6 projects to receive a $1,000 Fellowship though SustainUS, a youth environmentalist organization. They are working on a project to increase awareness of sustainable, reusable menstrual products. The Fellowships were awarded to 6 small-scale sustainable development projects all over the United States. For the year 2013, Tyra, Aniah, and Toni will receive mentoring and support for their project, and get to know the other fellows though conference calls and in-person meetings.
The average woman in America will spent over $2,000 over a life time on single-use, disposable menstrual products. Reusable products like menstrual cups (cost $35 and last for 10 years!), and cloth pads (you can make them yourself), are great for the environment, and for women’s wallets. They will be working to get the word out about sustainable menstrual products, and are also developing a line of reusable cloth menstrual pads to sell as a microventure to support FCF. This is an exciting and empowering opportunity – we can’t wait to see what they do with it!
Here’s some more information about the project. Sustainable Cycles is a great resource to learn more about reusable menstrual products. Please let us know if you want to know more, or be involved!
Tyra sewing reusable cloth menstrual pads at the FCF Raleigh office.
Could you be FCF Lexington’s Program Development Intern for our 2013 Strong Camps? Full Circles Foundation Lexington is currently looking for someone with an outgoing personality, great personal organization, and a self-motivated work ethic who wants to improve his/her leadership skills, work within a wonderful community, and be an important provider allowing young women to have a great summer! More information can be found on our website, including a detailed job description and schedule. We would love to have you join our team!
Additionally, applications for 2013 Summer Fellow positions in both Raleigh and Lexington are going to be open this month! Know someone who wants to have a summer filed with laughter, meaning, and female empowerment? Spread the word if you know someone who might be interested in applying! Continue reading →
Full Circles Foundation is excited to announce that applications for 2013 Summer Fellow positions are going to be open this month! Please check the FCF website soon if you are interested in applying, or spread the word if you know someone who you think might be interested in applying!
In addition to the Summer Fellow Applications, the FCF Annual holiday fundraiser hasn’t ended! The Strong Camp experience – six weeks of programming that illuminates the connections between strong selves, strong neighbors, and a strong home – has been made possible for over 100 girls in Lexington and Raleigh. This year, will you please consider making a contribution to support this coming year’s Strong Camps in Raleigh and Lexington? Throughout the year, you will be kept up to date with tales of the powerful personal, social, and economic returns that your investment is growing through our new, coordinated blog and our newsletters! 2013 is going to be the best year yet – won’t you give the gift of empowerment by joining us in growing strong girls, a fair economy, and a healthy earth
Winter Bake Sale!
We also held a bake sale fundraiser this past December in Downtown Raleigh. The event was organized by Domanique Herring. Domanique is majoring in Event Planning at North Carolina State University, and happily donated her skills to FCF’s worthy mission. Herring organized donations of artisan baked goods from bakeries all over the triangle. It was chilly, but FCF team had fun dancing to keep warm and telling passerbys about FCF. Overall, the bake sale brought in $500 towards our Summer 2013 Strong Camps!