The Girls Empowerment Camp took place this year for the very first time, 33 girls between 12 and 18 years old took part during the autumn vacation 2021 in this new project. The girls could choose between different workshops every day. They could express themselves creatively by drawing anime, spraying graffiti, dancing, and playing theater. They could learn a lot in the hip-hop DJ Workshop, as well as in the self-defense and social media workshop. Furthermore they could get involved in party planning for their group and implement their own ideas.


It all began on Monday, October 11th in Frankfurt on Goetheplatz. There, the International Girls Day was duly celebrated in the form of demonstrations for girls' rights and the "Walk of Girls." After this exciting day, the group went by bus to the Bildungsstätte Alte Schule (basa) in Neu-Anspach. The Empowerment Camp was sponsored by the Women's Department of the City of Frankfurt and the Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration.


The Empowerment Camp is intended to offer girls a space for exchange during, but also after the corona pandemic. Due to the pandemic this space could not be available for a long time. A safe place was created where they had time to get to know each other and make self-determined decisions, because what was most important during the whole camp was that the participants felt comfortable.


The empowerment aspect that everyone can lead an independent life, but also be supported in doing so, was clearly the focus of the entire camp. Social media are a big part of life for many girls, therefore in the social media workshop, the participants worked out how to use them safely and how to make good use of different platforms playfully. Not to forget they also did their own research work. They dealt with gender stereotypes and prejudices and how to recognize them. This group was also involved in documenting on the new Instagram channel (polbil_basa) throughout the camp and were able to contribute creatively.


In addition to the social media team, participants volunteered to be part of an "awareness team", which in addition to staff members took care of the girls concerns. They were peer contact persons who were concerned that each individual was heard and that their individual needs could be addressed.

Most of the workshops were offered by external instructors, as well as basa instructors. For the hip-hop DJ workshop, the DJ Fluky came especially from Berlin and shared her experiences with the girls. For the self-defense workshop, a trainer from the association “Frauen in Bewegung” in Frankfurt came and showed the girls how to behave in dangerous situations in order to protect themselves. In the dance workshop, the participants were able to learn about different dance styles and develop their choreography together with Soukaina El Adak, an actress and choreographer. Another worthwhile mention was the anime workshop, were the girls learned to draw themselves or their favourite characters in anime style, together with two instructors who are themselves passionate about making comic and anime drawings. The theater workshop offered the girls the opportunity to recognize their talent in acting and was led by Ute Bansemir, a theater pedagogue from Frankfurt. The graffiti workshop was facilitated by a trainer and additionally benefited from the experiences of some girls who had already participated in a graffiti project day at basa in the summer.


Apart from the wide range of activities from which the girls could choose, they also had a lot of free time in which they could make new friends. Most of the participants came from Frankfurt, but also from the surrounding area, such as Usingen and Bad Homburg. The majority of the girls heard about the camp through youth centers for girls such as "Fema" from Frankfurt-Griesheim, "Infrau e.V." and "Mädchenkulturzentrum Mafalda".


The positive feedback from the girls suggests that the empowerment camp achieved its goal of encouraging girls in what they are good at and giving them the space to find out what their strengths are.

Report written by Leonie Bode