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, New Zealand, Nicaragua, South Sudan and Sri Lanka.
By bringing together insights from young people through 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. They are also establishing new Guide groups in primary and secondary schools where there are a high percentage of girls with disabilities. Almost 2,000 girls have been recruited from rural districts and there is an emphasis on supporting girls with disabilities to participate. A leadership development event for Guide Leaders was also facilitated by a national training organisation and the US Embassy.
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, and their members will be given access to a new ‘My Rights and Me’ empowerment programme, with training on running their own advocacy projects.
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. The association is also working to ensure Girl Guides who are unable to meet due to COVID-19 restrictions, continue to be included and involved remotely. A virtual recruitment rally led by young women has also taken place, with 214 new families participating.
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.
In Nigeria, the Girl Guides Association of Nigeria (NGGA) is working to increase and diversify their membership, mostly in rural areas. Staff and volunteers visit communities to introduce Guiding and girls' participation in relevant programmes and skills development. To make this work successfully and sustainably, NGGA are 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 20,000 girls and young women have been recruited to U-Report so far with the first poll on menstruation, in India, garnering over 9,500 respondents. A multi-country climate change poll is also coming soon.
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 M&E evaluators, supporting with the project's evaluation.
In addition to the programming in Rwanda, Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico, India, and Argentina, we have provided grants to 14 additional Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting associations who are running their own smaller projects on the themes of equity, empowerment and engagement. From reaching new girls in rural areas of South Sudan and 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 14 new 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’s new online Guiding programme is launching in September, and South Sudan have already started visiting communities and engaging girls. In Madagascar, a new group of rural Her World, Her Voice Advocacy Champions are being trained to represent girls from their rural communities, and in Ghana, girls and young women are participating in WAGGGS’ Stop the Violence campaign.
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.