Today, 22 April 2021, marks Earth Day, a global day marking the need for environmental protection but also the launch of our new ‘Girl Led Action on Climate Change’ programme with the AKO Foundation.
This programme is part of our organisation-wide effort to address the world’s most pressing issue: the climate crisis, and to put girls and women at the forefront of solving it.
Working in partnership with the AKO Foundation and our Member Organisations in Benin, Lesotho and Tanzania – three of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, we will engage over 180 Guiding groups and more than 45,000 girls and young women in climate action. Girls and young women, who, despite being disproportionately affected by climate change issues, are largely excluded from the policies that are formulated to deal with them.
In Lesotho, our Girl Guides have told us that extreme flooding is one of the biggest climate challenges that those living in rural areas face. Its negative impact on agriculture is increasing poverty and causing more girls to drop out of school, with their families entering them into early marriages or encouraging them to seek work in the city instead.
Ignoring impacts on girls and women like these, as well as the climate-related solutions that they can contribute is impeding progress and wasting precious time to tackle climate change.
Our new ‘Girl Led Action on Climate Change’ programme is an important part of the solution. It will support both adaptive and mitigative measures against climate change and all importantly increase the capacity of girls and women to take on leadership roles in their countries’ climate change responses.
“Connecting girls’ education and skills development with climate change is critical to our ability to succeed in the fight against climate change, and to leave behind a liveable planet for future generations. The AKO Foundation is delighted to be supporting this project, which will enable Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to learn about and take action on climate change, leading to a lasting impact on many generations to come.”
More about this programme
We are currently working with our Member Organizations in Tanzania, Lesotho and Benin, to develop a curriculum that will empower girl-led action on climate change with technical advice from the programme’s Advisory Partners – Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Once complete, and piloted, we will share the curriculum more widely to ensure all Member Organisations interested in tackling climate change can take advantage of the programme and adapt it to their own context. A badge will also be developed to acknowledge girls’ participation in the programme and their completion of the curriculum.
For more updates on the programme please keep an eye on our website and social media, and for any programme queries, please contact: Germaine.Umuraza@wagggs.org