Over the past few decades, there has been an increasing need to equip and empower girls to stand up to the pressures they face each day. Aware of both this pressing need and the exciting opportunity to make a difference, Pregnancy Care Centre staff began to look at various options. In 2002, after finding no program designed to address the unique issues facing Christian girls, Jill Kulhawy, Director of Community Education at the Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre, set off to create one.
A few months later, with the help of co-creators Geri Fitch (MA, MEd, Chartered Psychologist) and Lynette Stokhuyzen (BKin); co-facilitators Keri Saskiw (BKin, BN), Jana Cate Hart (BPsych), and Arlis Gillies (BPsych); and 30 enthusiastic girls, a first draft of the Gammagirls program was designed and piloted.
The program was greeted with much enthusiasm, and since that first pilot project, the Gammagirls’ program has continued to empower both teenage participants and adult facilitators across North America. Since that time, over 2,000 Mentors have been trained and over 5000 girls have completed the program. There are programs running from Victoria to Moncton, in several U.S. states as well other locations across the world including Kenya, Thailand, Ukraine, Dominican Republic and Australia.
In response to the persistent and widespread degradation of women in our media and culture, Gammagirls seeks to not only remind girls of their value and unique purpose but to equip them with the skills needed to fight back. Our hope is that Gammagirls will remain strong throughout their teen years—and for the rest of their lives.