These daily updates were written by participants at the Sangam event.
Our Chalet event daily updates are also available.
13 March 2012
The final preparations
Today has been a busy day for the Planning Team who arrived at Sangam early in order to take care of all the final preparations for the WLDP Young Women Leading for a Greener Future event that is about to start tomorrow.
At the same time participants started arriving and were able to spend their day connecting with each other and with the Sangam family. In the evening some games were played to help them to get to know each other. Participants already started to think about how they can reduce their ecological footprint and what they would need from policy makers to do so. After this everybody went to sleep in order to get up early for a full day on Wednesday, when the event starts!
|Planning Team at the front gate of Sangam wearing the traditional Punjabi suits in green – the event colour.||Participants showing some ideas to reduce their ecological footprint.|
14 March 2012
A Greener Future: getting started
As we paraded into the seminar hall with 39 different country flags, we realized how many countries are represented at Sangam by young women who have come together with the same aim: to save our planet.
We learned a lot about different cultures and shared experiences we’ve gained from our pre-event environmental projects. We acted out some of the best local scale environmental projects. The highlight of the day was the traditional Sangam welcoming ceremony and we look forward to the next days with anticipation.
15 March 2012
The morning of the second day of the Young Women leading for a Greener Future event was packed with sessions on knowing yourself.
In the afternoon representatives of different community organizations based in Pune - the hometown of Sangam - joined us to talk about their experiences with setting up and running green businesses and projects.
The participants had a chance to talk to each of them in smaller groups and then signed up for a visit to one of the organizations tomorrow. Be sure to check in tomorrow when we will update you on this!
Below you can read the daily update prepared for you by the HARA Patrol:
We the Sangam Participants commenced our day with yoga and a flag ceremony. After which we embarked upon a new challenge: TO EXTEND: To extend beyond our boundaries and our comfort zones. We did this with three sub-topics in mind.
The first session was “Me as a leader.” We took the time to get within ourselves: to discover our core values, attitudes, motivation and self-esteem that would help us develop into effective leaders some of which include responsibility, self-confidence, good relationships and supportive teams.
The next session dealt with the theme “Me as a world citizen.” We discussed how the actions or lack thereof in our various countries influence the environmental issues of other countries. For example, a participant from Grenada discussed the environmental issues that Tourism has on her country and suggested tourist sensitization as a solution to this problem.
Today we also had our first patrol corner- here we had time to reflect on the day and our learning’s.The third sub-topic “Me as a leader in the world” was covered by a visit from four panelists made up of four community partners; they all inspired each one of us by relating their magnificent projects of how they have caused positive environmental change in India. This was followed by an evening walk through the streets on Pune where we got a taste of true Indian Culture.
At the end of the day, we got another inspiring testimony from a film that re-energized our thoughts. We can all say that we have truly extended beyond our boundaries and our comfort zones.
16 March 2012
This morning some patrols did the water tower climb where they were able to see a great view of Sangam. Another group of us did yoga. It was an energizing and refreshing experience to get us ready for our community partner visits.
After breakfast, we visited four of the many community partners that Sangam has. They were:
Aman Setu school
This is a local school which has students who are aged 3 to 16. The school is built from mud, bamboo and recycled materials using volunteer work. One of the recycled materials is plastic bottles. The kids learn by experience. They have their own animals, pond, and garden. We had time to play games and presented Guiding and Scouting to the students. They are thinking about starting a Guiding/Scouting group at the school. They were very excited to have us at the school and were very curious to learn about Guiding/Scouting as well. We were very excited to be at the school.
They are an organization to deal with waste management and recycling in Pune. They coordinate collection of waste in two categories: dry and wet. Dry waste consists of recyclables such as paper, aluminium, plastic and wrappers. Wet waste is all food, yard waste, and items that can be composted. The wet waste is processed by verim culture or bio gasification. The dry waste is separated and sold by material. The waste pickers are independent workers who collect waste from households every morning and separate it. We went through the official slum beside Sangam to see how the collection is done. Then, we picked up some garbage in the area. Afterwards, we visited a bio gasification plant. In Pune, if a household separates their waste into dry and wet, they get a 5% rebate on their property tax.
This is a social enterprise that promotes eco-sensitive products such as edible holy powder, biodegradable plates and bowls, and recycled bags. They participate in festivals and find out what products they can use. There were two sewing machines for making the recycled bags before they are sent for printing. They use local workers and support women and physically challenged children. From the conversations we had, we learned about how the social enterprise started, and the challenges they faced along the way. We saw great passion from them.
We visited the building where they have interactive displays for children (and adults) to learn about the history of Pune, how the city grew, environmental problems, and the city’s solutions. They had colourful pictures, posters, 3D model of the water system, and a fuel pump that shows there is no more fuel after the year 2050. These displays help the public understand the problems, how they are affected by them, and what they can do to improve the environment. This place is also a platform for non-governmental organizations with environmental goals to get together and discuss their issues. Afterwards, we went to the auditorium for a presentation about the city’s environmental report. They presented facts about water, air, noise, and transportation in the city, as well as their environmental performance compared to the national standards. We also learned about their plans for their future environmental initiatives.
At lunch and in the afternoon, we shared our experiences at our community partner visits with everyone else. Then, we learned about leadership theories and how they apply in different situations. After our afternoon tea, we had our first link up with Our Chalet. We asked each other questions about our seminars and were able to say hi to the other participants. Before supper, we did leadership style questionnaires to identify the type of leader we are. This evening we will have our international fair where each participant will be able to represent typical characteristics of their country. As well, each region will be doing a presentation for others.
17 March 2012
Update prepared by the Tiger Patrol
“It gave us leadership tools and gave us problem solving ideas: How to motivate, negotiate and lead”.
Yesterday evening was the international night: The participants gave us a glimpse onto their countries’ diverse costumes, languages, amazing dances and local products.
“We saw a diverse mix of cultural tradition, and everyone came together in a variety of costumes, music and food”
Today we started the day with the personal reflection, a moment that we give ourselves every morning to go through the day’s learning’s and experiences and try to make them ours in our learning journals whilst also reflecting on the day to come.
The morning sessions focused on Leadership within WAGGGS….where we looked at the vision and mission and how we can be part of that and the actions that we can take in order to make a change.
The next session was about leadership and change in the context of environment; we looked at how different people react to change in a different way and that we as leaders need to use motivation skills and influencing skills to be able to make a change.
In the afternoon all the group went out on a cultural tour to experience the buzzing streets of Pune, and get a taste of daily Indian life.
Update from the planning team
By taking part in the Laxmi Road Cultural Tour, participants will go beyond simply learning about Indian culture, and actually experience everyday life in Indian society as they will visit markets, temples, shops, and a palace.
Participants will have the opportunity to see the day-to-day life of Indians, shopping for household, religious, and celebratory items such as spices, decorations, and clothing. They will also get to eat at a local restaurant, where they will take part in a true Indian dining experience.
During this tour participants were encouranged to use their leadership skills to support others and push each other to challenge themselves to their full extent.
18 March 2012
This update was prepared by the Gulabi ‘Pink Ladies’ patrol
‘Leadership in Action- Advocacy in WAGGGS and tools to make change happen’
Yesterday night we went on the LAXMI road tour….This was a great cultural experience and challenged our leadership and personal skills by being more open-minded. It was a great bonding experience. ‘Crowds, an Indian experience and cultural diversity” were some words used to describe the Laxmi Road tour that all participants took part in yesterday.
Most of the participants felt empowered seeing the Indian way of life and agreed that on returning home they would appreciate more of what they have in their country. Things that we normally take for granted!
We started Sunday by looking at Advocacy and what WAGGGS is doing in terms of initiatives, actions and projects. We also looked at the tools that are already available through WAGGGS that we could use for our projects.
We also looked at WAGGGS’s experience in previous international events such as WAGGGS presence at the COPs was very useful and inspirational, especially hearing it from participants that were actually there!
We then all had the opportunity to participate in a “learning café” delivered by participants like us who shared their knowledge and experience in the field of primary education, environmental engineering, green economy, culture and environment, sustainability, nature conservation, emission trade and environmental politics. Everybody gained knowledge and new information from the experience of others.
In the afternoon, we had a set of workshops based on advocacy under the headings of working with the media, partnerships, campaigning, lobbying and influencing people. All workshops were very interesting and proved to be good learning tools to help us in our project.
During the campaigning session, we created a campaign for Seal license for Eskimos which enabled us to discover how to improve ourselves in the way to make a campaign from a real experience. The participants are now empowered and willing to take back these learning’s to their member organization.
Working with media gave the participants real life skills that they can use back home with any issue they want to share to the wider world. We found all the sessions total really enjoyable, useful and also bringing out our creative abilities.
We closed the day by going through a journey on what to expect whilst working on our project… followed by an inspirational walk where we realized that we can get inspiration from various places like the people around us, famous people that made a change and our learnings.
19 March 2012
Prepared by the Nila/Blueberry patrol
What we are not able to understand during the day, we can understand while dreaming in the night.
Anna, Czech Republic
We started the day by walking through the inspirational thinking gallery and talking to each other about our environmental project ideas.
Then we mapped out concrete plans for our projects that we will implement when we get back home to our home countries. Individual projects range from small-scale unit-based activities to national projects. Projects include tree planting inGambia, segregating waste and including composting in Sri Lanka, and an environmental awareness postcard campaign in Germany.
After a trip to a local Indian restaurant for lunch, we dressed up in our traditional Indian dress for an afternoon of Indian activities and games. The activities include mehendi (henna tattoo), rangoli (Indian cultural symbol for welcoming made with colored sand), badminton, and carom (Indian board game).
It was really great to have had the opportunity to link up with the participants of Our chalet on two occasions.
This evening we had a traditional Indian Maharashtrian dinner...where we experienced a truly Indian experience by eating on the floor in plates made of leaves and no cutlery. This was truly an amazing experience.
Following dinner we had a great time practicing some Bollywood dancing. We also linked up with Our Chalet, and together we shared our project ideas with each other, we also managed to sing the event song together.
This update was prepared by the Hara Patrol
|We were feeling sad that this great event was coming to end as yet we were feeling happy and empowered to make a change.|
The evening of 19 March was absolutely beautiful. The Sangam WLDP participants got an opportunity to experience real exciting exotic Indian Culture at its best.
We proudly paraded in our newly made saris and Punjabis. For most of us, it was a great learning experience as we learnt various new things like the traditional way of wrapping a sari. We played games and got Mehendi patterns on our hands and feet.
This was followed by a traditional Indian dinner where we sat on the floor and ate traditional Indian dishes with our hands on leaf-made plates. This was followed by Bollywood dancing; the highlight of most of our day! This was a great fun!
The following morning; the last day, we got back to business. We were feeling sad that this great event was coming to end as yet we were feeling happy and empowered to make a change.
As we prepared and finalized our Action Plans, we felt very motivated, exited and full of enthusiasm to ACT. The facilitators helped us and guided our thoughts for this journey.
Sangam staff then shared with us some information about volunteer opportunities at Sangam and encouraged to take up this challenge at some point.
We also had the opportunity to share our Project plans among ourselves. After completing our project plans and event evaluations we proceeded to the closing ceremony.
As we walked out to the front garden and driveway, we were greeted by a huge, circular Rangoli….the madala which is an integrated structure organized around a unifying centre. The word "mandala" is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit, translated to mean "circle".
It was at this point that we felt both overwhelmed and motivated. The overwhelming feeling of having to say good bye to our newly-found friends was really sad but knowing that we were all about to embark on something big, something great, something exciting was absolutely motivating.
The facilitators took this opportunity to express best wishes to all the participants as each was awarded a participant’s certificate and Sangam Pin. After our closing ceremony, we proceeded to the hall to look at video summaries of our stay here at Sangam and also the community partner visits.
It was truly amazing, truly wonderful and absolutely inspiring. We the participants feel equipped and motivated and would like to extend thanks to all the planning team/facilitators and the Sangam family that made the event possible.