Daily updates

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Here are daily updates from CSW, written by our delegates in New York. 

Skip to day: 12, 3, 4, 5, 6 


haley

Thursday 1 March: Day 6

Written by Haley (UK) and Pamela (Rwanda) 

Today we had our WAGGGS breakfast. Danielle, Haley and World Board member Wamuyu gave some excellent speeches.

Danielle talked abut how great CSW has been and all that she learnt. Haley spoke about how excited she was to come to CSW, but also spoke about some challenges she has had finding girl spaces at CSW.

Monica and Praewa got busy and got people at the CSW to add their voice to the Stop the Violence campaign by signing pledges.

Wamuyu then took to the microphone and sang Haley a special Kenyan Happy Birthday. At the breakfast our friend from the Girl Scouts of the USA and Soroptimist International came to support us.

After breakfast we all went to watch Monica talk about the WAGGGS co-hosted side event on rural violence. Next we watched Kumbukani talk about her experience on being a girl in Malawi. Both girls were excellent!

The girls were amazing, and it was great to hear them describe their life and the challenges they face in their countries through drama and song.

Afterwards, Haley, Monica and Praewa got busy and got people at the CSW to add their voice to the Stop the Violence campaign by signing pledges. In the evening we went to the Plan International girl-led event.

The girls were amazing, and it was great to hear them describe their life and the challenges they face in their countries through drama and song.

To finish the evening off we went for a farewell dinner and to also celebrate Haley's birthday! We then walked to Times Square and Haley renewed her promise as an adult leader underneath the flashing lights.


PraewaMonicaWednesday 29 February: Day 5

Written by Monica (El Salvador) and Praewa (Thailand)

Wonderful day today!

In the morning the delegates went to different sessions, such as “Empowering Rural Women in eradicating poverty and hunger”; some other delegates went to “Challenges and Opportunities on Mental Health”, where we learned the importance of including Mental Health in an Integral Medical Service.   

We all met at noon to attend Pamela’s speech. She did such an awesome job and spoke out for girls and young women in Rwanda.

We all met at noon to attend Pamela’s speech on “Voices of Rural girls” event at the Salvation Army. Everyone was so thrilled! She did such an awesome job and spoke out for girls and young women in Rwanda.

Pamela talked about the importance of non-formal education in order to provide young women and girls with leadership skills that they won’t learn at school. She informed the audience about WAGGGS' advocacy campaign “Stop the Violence”.

Then at 4pm it was time for Praewa being a speaker at the side event arranged by the UK, Thailand and Denmark Permanent Mission on Body Confidence and Body Image in the Media. Other speakers included UK Equality Minister Lynne Featherstone, National Commission for Women's Advancement, Thailand Juree Vichit-Vadakan, Denmark Minister for Gender Equality Manu Sareen, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women Lakshmi Puri, and psychotherapist and writer Susie Orbach.

It is such a great feeling seeing people smile when you were speaking. When it finished they came to shake hands and said 'congratulations!',  'your speech is inspiring', 'I love your speech!'

In her speech, Praewa also mentioned the non-formal education which is provided by WAGGGS and also got support from Lakshmi Puri  who mentioned “Stop the Violence” which WAGGGS partners with UN Women.

Praewa says: “I’m so glad for having the opportunity to speak out for girls and young women around the world at this event. I had a sore throat in the morning and was so nervous but at the end it turned out to be so awesome because everyone loves my speech!

"It is such a great feeling when seeing people smile when you were speaking and when it finished they came to shake their hands with you and said “congratulations!” “your speech is inspiring” “I love your speech!” I feel beyond happy!

"I also have to say thank you to WAGGGS and UK, Thailand and Denmark Permanent Mission for giving me this opportunity; Sophie, Andrea and Pippa for helping with my speech practice; and WAGGGS delegates at CSW 56 for supporting me!”


DanielleHaleyTuesday 28 February: Day 4

Written by Haley (UK) and Danielle (Canada)

This is Danielle and Haley reporting from New York City!

Today was such a busy day with the eight WAGGGS delegates. They all went their own ways today, which made for a very exciting debrief meeting at the end of the day. 

Sessions delegates attended today included such topics as:

  • Child marriages need to be addressed by government - rural girls want education, not marriages when they are still children
  • Rural women are facing challenges related to access to markets (they are difficult or non-existent)
  • Three of our delegates were also interviewed by the UN Foundation! They report that it  was "really fun" and "good"!! They spoke about what it is like to be a girl in their home countries.
  • A delegate was also able to connect with many Young Delegates from other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and got them to add their voice to WAGGGS' Stop the Violence campaign

We ended the day with the reception for Young Women at the Girl Scouts of the USA headquarters! There was great music, and needless to say, dance is a language all cultures can understand! Overall we had a great, and busy day!

Back to you followers. Until tomorrow, this is Haley and Danielle signing out! Good Night!!


RabebKumbukaniMonday 27 February: Day 3

Written by Kumbukani (Malawi) and Rabeb (Tunisia)

Today was the first day of the 56th Commission on the Status of Women. It was a pretty day and the delegates attended their first side events. They came back with a lot of new stories to share with each other.

They were inspired mostly by the women speakers like Susan Bradbury, the founder of the Sound Essence Project. She stated in her speech that we should "trust" and that we "have the possibility to make a great project beginning with little steps". 

day 3Today a couple of the WAGGGS delegates were also able to bring up the idea of "non-formal" education. This was interesting, as in both cases, the delegates received positive responses.  

A few of the delegates attended a session on food security. Who would have thought that a method of cooking that even Girl Guides and Girl Scouts use at camp could be adapted and used in developing countries so effectively to cook meals?

This method was introduced by Solar Cooker International, and is as simple as a cardboard box lined with aluminum. With this method, a black pot is used, and set in the cardboard box while it is out in the sun. 

How the delegates feel after today: amazing,  educated, great, encouraged, knowledgeable (just to name a few!)

The Tzu Chi USA organization introduced the "80% to 20%" method of feeding those who are in need. If we can offer 20% of our food, we will not go hungry and still be able to help those who have no food.  

In the evening all the delegates attended a busy Young Women's Caucus, where we worked on a young women's oral statement that is going to be presented in the UN sessions. Afterward, several delegates attended receptions at their government's Permanent Mission where they met their goverment's representatives.  

We want to close with a few words of how the delegates feel after today: "amazing!"... "educated"... "great"... "encouraged"... "knowledgeable"... (just to name a few!)


praewamonica

Sunday 26 February: Day 2

Written by Monica (El Salvador) and Praewa (Thailand)

Today we went to the Salvation Army for the Youth Orientation Day for preparation for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

This is where we meet other delegates who represent organizations as well, for example, Plan International (Because I am a Girl); Girls Learn International Inc, the Grail, Girl Scouts and Loretto.

The activities encouraged us to reflect on the actual situation of girls and young women from rural areas in countries around the world. 

We were inspired by the speech from Michelle Bachelet, she is the Executive Director for the UN Women and Former President of Chile, and also the speech from Kenya Ambassador Ojiambo was very inspiring too.

Afternoon session, we had the review theme session where everyone had to decide how to manage their family budget. For example, if we only earn one dollar a day, we had to decide what to spend it on for our families.

For the morning session, we got into discussion groups and talked about the primary theme which was about the resources found in the urban and rural areas. The activities encouraged us to reflect on the actual situation of girls and young women from rural areas in countries around the world. We also watched a video which showed us a day in the life of a young girl from a rural area in Malawi. The video was very touching and emotional.

We were inspired by the speech from Michelle Bachelet, she is the Executive Director for the UN Women and Former President of Chile.

Advocacy at the UN, which gave us the opportunity to think about how the youth delegates could influence the decision makers at the CSW.

Social Media Advocacy, which gave us some ideas of how to spread the word and create the right messages to right people via the media.

In the evening the delegates decided about the Day 2 activities for the Commission on the Status of Women Monday schedule.


DaniellepamelaSaturday 25 February: Day 1

Written by Pamela (Rwanda) and Danielle (Canada)

And it begins...

We knew we had a lot to learn about the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)... And to learn about how to advocate on behalf of their 10 million members... But we never realized just how much there was to think about when lobbying at a United Nations conference!  

delegatesThe delegation (from Tunisia, Northern Ireland, Thailand, El Salvador, Rwanda, Canada, Malawi and England) started off with our first adventure into the United Nations grounds! We had to get our pass to gain access for the rest of the week to the Commission on the Status of Women conference!

After queuing, we went through the motions, then we were on our way to Girl Scouting USA National headquarters for our packed full day of training!

We never realized just how much there was to think about when lobbying at a United Nations conference!

Basically, we did some role playing, and discussed scenarios we might face with government officials, and other NGO representatives (the good and the challenging). This in turn, has better equipped us the delegation to convey the message we have to share on behalf of the 10 million girls that WAGGGS represents.

We, the delegation, are very excited to be working with each other... We each bring different talents, skills and experiences to the team, and cannot wait to experience this week together! 

That is all for now, as we must get a good nights sleep! We have more training tomorrow - including facilitating many aspects of the "Youth Orientation". So exciting!!!


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