Eight countries across Africa have this month launched the ‘Yes! Girls Can’ campaign. The objective of the campaign is to shout out and call to action the public and the world on issues that affect girls and young women.
The 'Yes! Girls Can' campaign is one of the activities undertaken by 35 young women, aged 18 to 25, currently in a 6 month exchange programme, the Youth Exchange South to South (YESS) Girls Movement. The programme was implemented by Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Madagascar Girl Guides Associations in partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts supported by FK Norway and the work that is being done by the girls in their host countries is based around set priorities and result areas developed in close collaboration with their host associations.
In the six month program, which started in January and ends in July 2016, the participants have an opportunity to experience and work in a new country with the local community in different issues with a special focus on Membership recruitment, advocacy campaigns and communication work to increase the visibility of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting in those countries.
Each of the participating countries has designed a sub-theme of the campaign that addresses issues affecting the girls in that country. ‘Yes the girls can lead tomorrow and change the world’ is the campaign sub-theme in Zimbabwe, where participants "empower girls with leadership skills, boost their confidence and provide them with a platform to speak out on issues that affect them", said Gorreth Maria, one of the YESS Participants spearheading the campaign.
The team in Kenya focuses on the sub-theme of lifestyle, tackling the importance of nutrition and healthy diets. The campaign also looks at the preventable diseases, disability , abuse of drugs and alcohol to help improve the understanding of a healthy lifestyle, while in Rwanda, the girls chose to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals to facilitate and encourage girls to realize their role in the development of the world. The team in South Africa chose to focus on the theme of drugs and alcohol.
"There is something exciting about starting the journey as a YESS Participant. The YESS Girls Movement has opened up an opportunity that we cannot take for granted”
- Josephine, a YESS Participant from Kenya
"Our sincere wish is to do our best in the hosting countries and gain as much experience as possible. And because we have goals and support, we will definitely achieve them”
- Andile Faith, a YESS Participant from Zimbabwe
This is the second year that WAGGGS, in partnership with FK Norway, is giving young women opportunities to take part in the exchange programme as part of the YESS Girls movement. 46 women have taken part in the program since it began in 2015, and 100 young women are expected to benefit by the end of 2017.
FK Norway is a Norwegian governmental body financing two-way personnel exchange between companies and organisations in Norway and the global South – including countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and is supporting the Africa region of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to implement the YESS Girls campaign.
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