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Monday 6 May – Day 1
Today was the first official day of the Stop the Violence Training Session. We discussed the 5th World Centre Pilot Project, WAGGGS’ mission and vision, and the Stop the Violence campaign. The Rwandan Girl Guides welcomed us with an extravagant opening ceremony, consisting of entertainment and important representatives of the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting movement, including government and UN officials.
In the afternoon we discussed the different forms of violence against girls being addressed in the campaign. We also discussed the causes and consequences of gender-based violence, and later we discussed the prevalent issues regarding violence against girls in each of the representing countries.
By Olave Patrol
Tuesday 7 May – Day 2
We started our day by throwing ‘snow ball’ to put away the fear for VIOLENCE so we can have a beautiful day ahead and of course a fearless future!
One of the highlight for today was the 3 powerful panelist were here to share with us
the works that they have done on ‘STV’ in Rwanda. We were all very inspired and wanting to know more so we can bring the knowledge and skills back home.
Between the games, meals, reflection and energizer, we had some serious discussion during the sessions too. One of the most controversial among them was the following statement: ‘Girls and young women who dress provocatively are in some ways responsible for any violence and abuse they may experience.’
Have you ever thought of becoming a fashion designer? Well, we were given a chance to design a T shirt for ‘What World Do You Want For The Girls’ and showcase them on the runway by difference regions. It turned out; we do have many potential fashion designers for WAGGGS. That will be very good for MOs’ fund raising by selling those creative and beautiful T shirts!
International evening is one of the most important activities in all WAGGGS’ events. We had so much fun during the international evening by tasting various foods from 5 different regions, learning traditional dance moves, badges swapping and culture exchange. At the end of the day 2, we are now a ‘Global Citizen’ in the world of Guiding!!
By 'Electric Peacock'
- Thammy from Malaysia, Amany from Egypt, Visakha from Sri Lanka, Sarah from Ireland, Alice from USA, Nini from Madagascar, Sandra from Rwanda, Amy from London
Wednesday 8 May - Day 3
We started the day with a wonderful flag ceremony graced by the Olave Patrol. After an energizer session, we proceeded to begin our official session of day which was Challenges and safety. The session was very informative. We did a SWOT (Strength, Weakness Opportunities and Threats) analysis of our projects and discussed potential questions we would receive from various sources once we embarked on our projects back home. We also drew up a training session plan and made campaign poster designs involving male support for the Stop the Violence Campaign. We cannot also forget the fact that Gabriella, a member of the WAGGGS World Board voiced her support for the 5th World Centre project and ended her key message with an explosive energizer for all of us!
The highlight of the day was the afternoon visit to the Rwanda Girl Guides Centre. We were received very warmly by the Brownies who handed each of us tiny sisal souvenirs. We then joined everybody present in song and dances after which we were given a briefing of the activities that take place at the centre. The Rwanda Girl Guides also received a monetary donation from the participants and a message of good will from the Pakistani Girl guides. We then proceeded to have a tour of the Rwanda Girl Guides Centre and later had an opportunity to visit the different display stands where we purchased various Rwandese souvenirs. It was a worthwhile visit.
When we got back to Nobleza hotel, we had a session on Action Planning in which we discussed questions on time, priorities, people and resources in relation to Fundraising. We then had a debriefing session on the visit to Rwanda Girl Guides Centre where we gave our feedback and later proceeded for dinner. It was a free evening for everybody and all activities undertaken thereafter were self directed.
- By Olave Patrol
Thursday 9 May
We awoke early this morning for a long journey to Rukira, close to the border with Tanzania. We travelled for around two and a half hours and were greeted by an amazing display of energetic dancing and singing.
We went to Rukira because there is an inspirational project between Guides du Rwanda and the local community. There are 108 girls and women who have been affected by violence in many ways. The whole community of WAGGGS should learn from the experience of such a successful partnership. Great humanitarian work has been done. As well as having an extremely positive impact on the women, the project has facilitated social reintegration for women who have been affected by violence, including the genocide.
The testimonies had a profound impact on us as we heard about the difference which Guides du Rwanda is making in the lives of these women.
A presentation was made by the local Guides in Rukira, to the Fifth World Centre staff and the representative from the World Board, of a candle symbolizing the light which has arrived in their darkness and affected them in a profound way.
Our visit was a major community event, and around 500 people from the community attended, many from the local schools. They joined us in watching energetic singing and dancing, as well as a drama performed by local people, including Girl Guides, and many speeches from eminent community members and local authority representatives. The drama was about violence within the home and sexual violence in the school, both of which are issues affecting this community. There was also a poem about different types of violence and their impact.
We travelled back, stopping for a filling lunch along the way. We then had a session on the toolkit where we designed our own advocacy campaigns, using the three-pronged approach: educate, take action, speak out. We are thinking carefully about the projects which we are going to deliver in our own organisations.
We are really grateful to the Guides du Rwanda who have enabled us to witness their successful project and many other initiatives. We are very proud to be your sisters in Guiding and your organization is an inspiration to us all and to our MOs. You are so powerful and strong in your resolve to end violence against women.
Written by Our Patrol, Queen of the Night: Layla, (Japan); Yoly, (Madagascar); Tutai (Cook Islands); Celeste (Bolivia); Pamela (Rwanda); Peters (Nigeria); Mirabel (Burundi) and Helen (UK).