By Johanna (Jojo) Veit for External Relations Europe
In the bustling city of Brussels, the European Women’s Lobby hosted a feminist Summer Camp. This was an extraordinary gathering, bringing together 40 exceptional young women from various corners of Europe to tackle the pressing issue of Violence against Women and Girls.
I'm Jojo, and my experience as a facilitator at the EWL Agora was nothing short of transformative. The role of a facilitator entails a unique set of responsibilities – listening attentively, moderating discussions, and addressing topics that resonate deeply with my heart. However, the most enriching aspect of this role was to amplify voices that might not always find their way into public discussions. Often, the most profound insights surfaced during these candid conversations that unfolded between our formal sessions.
Yet, what truly touched my heart during this Agora was the opportunity to create a safe space – a space that embodies the very essence of WAGGGS. Going beyond the realms of Guiding and Scouting, I extended the reach of WAGGGS’ safe space. Which is especially important when talking about the sensitive topic of gender-based violence. Equally important to me was to create moments for reflection, mindfulness, and self-care during our morning and evening briefings.
The Agora wasn’t just an event; it was a celebration of discovering strength in collective activism and the incredible potential that accompanies it. As I watched these young leaders depart from Brussels, I couldn’t help but be moved by their determination. They left with not only newfound knowledge but also the indomitable spirit of a safe space – a touch of the WAGGGS spirit. They were ready to take on the world, breaking down barriers and working towards a future free from violence and discrimination.
My journey as a facilitator at the EWL Agora reaffirmed my commitment to our cause. It illuminated the power of young women coming together to drive change, transcending borders and forging a path towards a more equitable world.
As I reflect on my experience, I am reminded that the spirit of WAGGGS knows no bounds. It continues to inspire young women like me to be the change-makers our world so urgently requires.