WAGGGS has joined forces with Generation Unlimited and UNICEF's U-Report to engage and empower girls and young women from diverse backgrounds, and spur new thinking on youth engagement.
Funded by The UPS Foundation , the ‘Her World, Her Voice’ (HWHV) programme is running across five Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting associations in Rwanda, Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico, India, and Argentina with additional projects in Belarus, Brasil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guyana, Madagascar, Montenegro, Haiti, New Zealand, Nicaragua, South Sudan and Sri Lanka.
By bringing together insights from young people through UNICEF's U-Report, and working with Generation Unlimited to advocate for meaningful youth engagement on a global and national level, we aim to bring about an equal world where all girls can thrive.
What is the Her World Her Voice programme?
The HWHV programme is about opportunity, for every girl and any girl. It is about working to give more girls and young women the life-changing chance to be Girl Guides and to engage them in meaningful learning, advocacy and governance opportunities.
What we're up to
In Rwanda, the Rwanda Girl Guides Association is developing a monitoring and evaluation framework to better understand girls’ and young women’s expectations from Guiding, and their ability to record membership and participation in projects. They are also establishing new Guide groups in primary and secondary schools where there are a high percentage of girls with disabilities. Almost 4,500 girls have been recruited from rural districts and there is an emphasis on supporting girls with disabilities to participate with 85 girls with disabilities joining so far . A leadership development event for Guide Leaders was also facilitated by a national training organisation and the US Embassy and there are plans underway to train 84 new leaders from 42 schools.
In India, the aim of the Bharat Scouts and Guides (BSG) HWHV project is to make themselves a more inclusive organisation by engaging under-represented groups and creating a space for girls to raise their voices and take action on issues affecting them and their communities. To do this, BSG are recruiting thousands of young people, aged 17 to 25 years-old into Guiding and Scouting as Rangers. 5,665 girls have been recruited into this age group and 293 leaders recruited to support them, across the 11 states. Their members will be given access to a new ‘My Rights and Me’ empowerment programme, with training on running their own advocacy projects. So far, 23 young women have taken part, with 6 Regional trainings planned for the coming months.
In Mexico, the Guias de Mexico are focusing on improving the advocacy skills of young women and their group leaders as well as the support that their organisation can provide for their advocacy projects. Another key focus of the HWHV programme in Mexico has been to reach girls within foster homes through an adapted model of Guiding. 18 new volunteers were trained in how to support such groups, 10 volunteer leaders recruited and 110 new girls have begun Guiding across 5 districts.
In South Africa, the Girl Guides of South Africa, are working on improving monitoring and evaluation processes so they can identify areas where they can involve new girls in Guiding and better retain current members. New group leaders are being trained, with a particular focus on rural areas, and new relevant programmes are being introduced by and for young women. Over 500 girls and 200 leaders have been recruited, and they have launched their U-Report partnership with UNICEF with 352 girls and young women and 72 adult leaders being recruited onto the U-Report platform so far.
In Nigeria, the Girl Guides Association of Nigeria (NGGA) is working to increase and diversify their membership, mostly in rural areas. So far they have recruited over 11,000 girls and almost 2,000 leaders! The majority of these new members come from rural locations. Staff and volunteers visit communities to introduce Guiding. To make this work successfully and sustainably, NGGA are also working on improving the Girl Guiding experience, and strengthening their organisational capacity in monitoring and evaluation and in governance.
All five of the key HWHV associations are giving young people the opportunity to make their voices heard through U-Report, UNICEF'S innovative youth-centred polling platform. The results will support evidence-driven advocacy and relevant programming for girls on the issues that matter to them the most. Over 45,000 girls and young women have been recruited to U-Report so far with the first consultation on menstruation, in India, garnering over 9,500 respondents. A multi-country climate change consultation has also taken place online, through U-Report, and offline through in-person version delivered by young women Climate Poll Ambassadors. In total, 33,523 girls and young women from 90 countries shared their voices.
Meaningful Youth Engagement
The Her World Her Voice programme has supported the work of the young women’s research team at WAGGGS, investigating the reasons for low participation of young women in national and global decision-making opportunities, and pathways towards these opportunities. As part of a communications campaign around WAGGGS’ recent World Conference, a bank of stories was created to showcase these pathways and inspire change across the global Movement. The team behind HWHV programme strives to lead from the front, with young women teams supporting the grant-making process, and entering roles as Young and Emerging evaluators, supporting with the project's evaluation. An online learning series has also taken place, with experts sharing promising models emerging from WAGGGS and other organisations on Meaningful Youth Engagement and guidance on how to take these ideas forward. Anyone in your national Girl Guiding or Girl Scouting association interested in the topic of engaging girls and young women can join the Youth Engagement Community forum to watch back the webinars.
How to join the forum
Step 1: create a YouthForesight account through the registration page
Step 2: sign on with your credential and request to join the Meaningful Youth Engagement group
In addition to the programming in Rwanda, Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico, India, and Argentina, we have provided grants to more than 14 Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting associations who are running their own smaller projects on the themes of equity, empowerment and engagement. From empowering ‘changemakers’ in Guyana, to creating a new a youth decision-making body in Brazil. Here is a snapshot of what the associations' are up to:
11 of the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting associations that we've brought into the programme have recruitment and/or improving diversity as part of their project plans. New Zealand has launched its online Guiding programme and in Madagascar, a new group of Her World, Her Voice 'Advocacy Champions' are being trained to represent girls from their rural communities,. In Ghana, girls and young women are participating in WAGGGS’ Stop the Violence campaign, and in Nicargua, six new groups have opened, with 37 new leaders trained and 69 new members recruited.
Sangam Community Project
The Her World Her Voice programme is also supporting a new community project run from Sangam, WAGGGS’ World Centre in Pune, India. The project is focused on Covid-19 relief for the local community, including practical help such as the distribution of food parcels, support booking vaccines, and running health and wellbeing sessions, particularly for girls and women.
"Because of Sangam we had very good time and we forgot all our tension. We finally got time for ourselves. The food/hygiene packs are also a very big support as they can help out families for 15 to 20 days. Sangam is a very good place and just want to say a very big thank you to Sangam and Sangam staff."