This year, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the Association of Guides and Scouts of Costa Rica took a stand to put a stop to violence against women and girls.
With an aim of raising £15,000 to kickstart a Stop the Violence campaign in Costa Rica, WAGGGS put out a global call for donations to support training for 144 leaders across the country
According to WAGGGS, the best way to end violence against women and girls is to prevent it from happening in the first place – and to do that, education is key.That's why UN Women and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) jointly developed ‘Voices Against Violence’, a non-formal co-educational programme for children and youth aged 5-25 years, which focuses on educating young people about how to tackle violence.
To drive funds further, girls and young women from across Costa Rica spoke out about the issue of violence in their country, drumming home the importance of how Voices Against Violence could potentially help thousands of girls.
According to Ana Cristina Calderón Valverde, National President from Association of Guides and Scouts of Costa Rica, the Girl Guiding Movement has had a huge impact on her life, especially when times were tough.
“I knew the looks of an ill-intentioned step-father were not normal, but I did not want to upset my mother by telling her. I was a girl, he was an adult with the power to give orders, to find ways to be alone with me. I was stronger and conquered the fear, which would not have been possible if I wasn't part of the Girl Guiding Movement. Guiding empowered me and helped me flee harassment. It’s given me strength, energy and bravery.”
Following her experience, Ana is keen to make sure the same doesn’t happen to other girls and young women.
“This project will give girls and young people the tools they need to value themselves,” she says. “It will help them understand they have rights no one can take away. If they speak up, it will benefit them and everyone around them.”
The crowdfunding campaign was a huge success, raising over £17,000 to kickstart the project in Costa Rica. It was also match funded, by a group of generous donors in the USA who pledged to match all donations given to this campaign.This innovative crowdfunding campaign to Stop the Violence in Costa Rica proved that with passion, dedication and the will to empower young people to create a world free of violence against women and girls, change can happen!