Biographies

Find out more about our World Conference on Youth delegates below!

 

Hilary Clauson, Canada

In twenty years of Girl Guides, I have been offered many invaluable opportunities, including leading a group of Canadian Girl Guides on a volunteer trip to Ecuador, attending a Discover Your Potential seminar at Sangam World Centre, and representing WAGGGS at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. I am now very excited to be attending the World Conference on Youth in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

I grew up in Vancouver, Canada. Following a Master’s degree in African Studies at Oxford University (2010), I began my career with the Canadian government. Most recently, I have worked for Canada’s development agency, acting as a liaison between Canada and the World Bank Group. I then held a 2013-2014 Aga Khan Foundation Canada fellowship in Dhaka, Bangladesh, building the capacity of local NGOs to deliver early childhood development results.

I believe that Girl Guides and Girl Scouts can and must have a powerful voice in the international arena because of the magnitude of the challenges our world faces and the ability of young women to chart a better way for future generations. I look forward to using this voice at the World Conference on Youth. 

 

Stephanie Darmanin, Malta 

Having joined the village Brownie Pack at the tender age of 7, little did I know that I would end up representing WAGGGS in the Global Youth Forum, the CSW and now the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka.  I am currently coordinating WAGGGS “Stop the Violence” campaign in Malta focusing on non-formal education, raising awareness about the warning signs of violence in teenage relationships and advocacy in general.

Being a member of the Advocacy Working Group of the European Region is a golden stepping stone for me to deal with girls and young women issues, to learn about the main obstacles for girls and young women in various European countries. Through this role, I had the chance to understand and explore advocacy with the rest of the team and to realise WAGGGS’ mission of developing one’s potential. I also worked with other women NGOs on their advocacy training programme and the MEP’s lobby meeting on zero tolerance to violence against women which took place at the European Parliament in 2011.

WAGGGS has put the issue of gender equality, non-formal education, women rights and empowerment on top of its agenda and that is what I want to fight for. This event should be a concrete example of WAGGGS in lobbying for, formulating and following up the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda. Together with the other delegates and facilitators, I want to put my effort and be part of the driving force to make a better world for all youths around the world, irrespective of their background, age, colour, race, belief, sexual orientation, etc. Gender issues have always been an interesting subject for me. In fact, I read a Master in European Law and the focus of my thesis was the burden of proof in discrimination cases in European jurisprudence. 

 

Chamathya Fernando, Sri Lanka

Hi, I’m Chamathya Fernando from Sri Lanka. I’m an Undergraduate at University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka and Plymouth University, UK with National School of Business Management.

I have been involved with Girl Guiding for the past 12 years and I am currently coordinating the WAGGGS “Stop the Violence” campaign in Sri Lanka focusing on non-formal education, raising awareness and taking action to eliminate violence and empower girls and young women.

I represented WAGGGS as a Youth Delegate last year at the 57th UN CSW and as a Delegation Coordinator this year at the 58th UN CSW which was held at UN Headquarters, New York. I have also represented WAGGGS as a Speaker at the UN Women’s Stakeholders Forum.

I have been chosen as a Sri Lankan Delegate for the World Conference on Youth (WCY) and I will also represent WAGGGS and Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association at the WCY to be held in Colombo.

MDGs have benefited so many lives not just in Sri Lanka but globally, but as a person who does work on grass root level I feel that they have not benefitted everybody equally and most importantly women have been neglected. Out of all the goals I think Sri Lanka as well most countries are far behind in the third goal compared to the progress in other goals. Out of all the issues young women face today, I think violence is a critical for us and needs to be addressed immediately by governments, organizations and the society as a whole. This is definitely a negative impact of the fact that violence was missing in the third goal.

I will voice out the issues faced by 10 million girls and young women around the world as a WAGGGS Delegate and work towards a complete Post 2015 development agenda.

 

Pippa Gardner, UK

I am currently a member of our national council in the UK, help out with various events and I’m training to become a trainer. Within WAGGGS I am a Post-2015 Ambassador and I will be a facilitator at WCY 2014. I applied to attend the WCY 2014 as I have been following the Millennium Development Goals and Post-2015 process since 2010 and want to use my previous experience to enable other young people’s participation in this opportunity to influence this ongoing process. I have been part of several previous WAGGGS delegations to UN events and will bring that knowledge and experience to the delegation.

 

Umuraz Germain, Rwanda

I am a member of Rwanda girl Guides Association, I have been a guide since 2001 and during these years I have been offered many opportunities including being a leader for different posts starting from high school guiding troop, my university guiding board, my district and after I joined the national youth committee where I am currently a member. From that I have been able to work closely with girls and got to know what their concerns about the world they live in are.

Through guiding I got opportunities to attend different national and international events related to MDGs, and I have been lucky to be part of WAGGGS delegation in UNCSD Rio+20, I have also been part of Rwandan Planning Team in WAGGGS Firth World Centre pilot project (stop the violence speak out for girls rights), this month I will attend another fabulous African Region Training on female leadership, I am also a member of WAGGGS network on stop the Violence against girls and young women. I am doing land survey engineering studies and this helps me to get involved in environmental issues a lot and I feel so concerned.

Attending WCY is a huge opportunity for me because it will help me to get more involved and give my contribution to change the world into a better place, as there is still a long way to achieve the target I think that it’s my duty to add my voice to address key issues that still affecting the world and especially girls and young women.  

 

Angeli Siladan, Philippines

I’ve been known as Anj in the Girl Scouts of Philippines for the last 15 years. Since 2007, I initiated various community projects on the MDGs, health, violence against women and their children and emergency preparedness. I’m a Chief Girl Scout Medalist and now serve as a member of the National Program Committee of GSP. I'm recently involved in the participatory photography training of WAGGGS and on the process of implementing my action plan that received an OBPS grant.  

I applied to be the face of Promoting Healthy Lives and Access to Health for WCY 2014 because I’m more than ready now to bring with me years of first hand experience on this particular theme at the global level. Also, since I'm participating in the hackathon during the conference, I will be sharing my tech expertise to build a smart solution especially on health related issues.

 

Petra Stipanič, Slovenia

My name is Petra and I have been part of the Slovenian Catholic Girl Guides and Boy Scouts Association for 22 years. At first I was a Cub and Brownie leader and then I moved to the European level as a volunteer in the WAGGGS Europe office. This made me want to volunteer in WAGGGS for a longer time, and share my gained knowledge with others, so I applied for a position in Our Chalet and stayed there for 3 months as an Our Chalet Assistant. One of my biggest achievements in Guiding was being selected as a post-2015 ambassador and in this role I am trying to familiarize Slovenians with the topic of the MDGs and how to set proper goals for after 2015. In the same capacity I was also chosen to attend United Nations General Assembly and 58th Commission on the status of women where we tried to make the policies taken reflect what our members imagine in the “world we want for girls”. My fresh new role in my MO is in the Commission for active citizenship, advocacy and participation in the field of youth policy.

I will attend WCY 2014 as a facilitator so my role is going to be a bit different than the one of delegates but I hope I will manage to actively participate in discussion and promote WAGGGS visibility while facilitating sessions. My motivation to apply was a wish to participate meaningfully and not just to be an observer that can't express my (WAGGGS) vision of what kind of world we want in the future.   

 

Alice Hahn, USA

Alice joins the WAGGGS delegation to WCY as a skilled facilitator, having led youth programming on global development for the United States Institute of Peace, WAGGGS and Girl Scouts of the USA. At WCY, Alice will facilitate sessions on eradicating poverty and food security. Her global background includes events with WAGGGS in Rwanda and India alongside business experience for clients in Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and India. A longtime advocate for gender equality and women's economic empowerment, Alice has been a Girl Scout since the age of six. She is trained to delivery WAGGGS' Voices Against Violence curriculum, serves as a Stop the Violence delegate for GSUSA, is a member of her local travel committee and leads a Brownie troop. Professionally, Alice works as a management consultant in Washington, DC. 


Stefanie Argus, USA


Stefanie is a longtime Girl Scout and outdoor education professional excited to bring her passion for youth development, pedagogy, and leadership to the WAGGGS WCY 2014 delegation.  Stefanie has been a Girl Scout for 22 years and has been involved with the organization on the local, national, and global levels.  Most recently, Stefanie served as a spring 2012 volunteer at Our Chalet and also represented Girl Scouts USA at the Stop the Violence: ACTIVATE training at Sangam in December 2013.  Currently, Stefanie works with Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada as the Camp & Outdoor Specialist.  In this role, Stefanie directs an overnight Girl Scout summer camp in Northern California and has also launched regional Stop the Violence pilot programs for older girls ages 12 - 25.
Stefanie has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Education with Early Childhood Education teacher licensure and also holds a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate.
Stefanie will be serving as a Facilitator at WCY 2014.  Her belief in the transformative power of youth action motivated her to apply for the role.  Stefanie's background in non-profit work and her dedication to the issues of social justice and gender equality will inform her contributions to WCY.