Hello to everyone following the Conference, I hope that I'll be able to give you an insight from this wonderful experience I'm having now. My name is Lisa, I'm 20 years old, and I'm the delegate from Association of Belarusian Guides (Belarus, Europe Region).
Yesterday, when I arrived together with some of other participants, we were immediately received by a group of wonderfully cheerful UK Guides, who helped us get to the Conference venue. At that time the words that were used most frequently by everyone were probably ‘planes’, ‘long’ and ‘tired’, which is quite understandable: some of the participants have travelled half a globe to represent their country at this important event.
This Conference is really special in the way many young women are present, and how much attention is given to us. Before the Conference we were offered to take several different roles within the Intergenerational Zone. I am looking after blogging and networking with the UPS Foundation, one of the WAGGGS' partners, to talk about the leadership experience I've had.
All in all, the first day was great fun: as soon as I got here, I started meeting and communicating with various wonderful people from different countries, energetic and enthusiastic about what we all do. Sandra, a young Olave Award-winner from the Lebanese Association said: “It's my first World Conference, and I don't really know what to expect, but I know that it will definitely be fun and interesting and I'll meet a lot of different people from all over the world.”
In the morning, after the reflections done by Girlguiding UK, it all started: the official procedures, voting and discussions. After several formalities we unanimously accepted six new Full Members to the WAGGGS family, so send your congratulations to our sisters in Swaziland, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Grenada, Cambodia and San Marino!
Today we enjoyed great inspiring short films and speeches about the centenary, the Young Women World Forum, leadership development, and, most importantly, were introduced to (this is really important) the new Vision of WAGGGS! The Vision 2020 is “All girls and young women are valued and take action to change the world.” I think it's wonderfully ambitious and sounds great!
And after that the very important part began: I, together with five more young women, was invited to address the Conference and talk about the leadership experience I had. I tried to describe the steps that helped me to get here and to become who I am. Already now I can say that it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, though it was pretty scary, to be honest: we were on stage, in front of around 400 people. But after that I've had people just come to me and say «thank you» for my speech and my story, and there is no better feeling than that.
Then, the candidates for the World Board introduced themselves and their vision for WAGGGS in the next three years, so now everyone has three days to talk to them and ask them questions. The voting for the World Board will happen on Thursday.
And this long long day is not yet finished: very shortly we are leaving for the Opening Ceremony. We were promised something really special, so I'm looking forward to that very much. Greetings from Edinburgh, take care everyone!