JLS 16 Day 2 – Me as an Agent of Change

The Transformers patrol reflects on day two of the Juliette Low Seminar at Kusafiri World Centre, hosted in Ghana. On day two, participants had the opportunity to explore how they themselves can be ‘Agents of Change’ followed by an engaging panel of guests who talked to them about their personal life experiences, ending the day with a film covering the issue of violence against women and girls.

Juliette Low Seminar 2016 activitySize doesn’t determine ability

Change is happening every day. Some of it is significant and some is insignificant. But change is not a one man or woman show, so those that are involved should encourage others to contribute, and contribute themselves. If you want to measure success, try to measure your happiness. Today Nadine El Achy (ex-Chair of the WAGGGS World Board and member of the Planning Team) made a great comment, she said:

“If you think that size affects your ability to bring about change, you have never been in bed with a mosquito!”

Even the smallest creatures have the ability to affect those around them. Many people are worried by change, believing that it may threaten them. They probably forget that change is inevitable, and any change must change you, so embrace it!

For me to be an Agent of Change, I must begin with myself, and then bring others into the process, overcoming any barriers together to ensure a lasting change is affected. When I return home, I will begin immediately to work with my Member Organization, community and region.

Some inspiration from local change-makers

I shouldn't just have a vision: I need to get up and actually make a change happen.

Juliette Low Seminar day 2 - panelIn the afternoon, we heard from a panel of women who worked with local NGOs and charities, who spoke to us about what they did and the challenges they had faced in pursuing their dreams. I was really inspired by them. They had clearly achieved great success in their lives, and in areas which were of particular interest to them. Seeing and hearing this, really motivated me to look inside myself, and consider how I can accomplish my aims and objectives in life, so that one day I might be the one sitting up there.

One of the speakers, Alice Amoako, had created an app which creates awareness and encourages communication among people living with autism as well as their parents and caregivers. In the past people may have put autism down to things such as evil spirits, and reacted by ostracising the individual with autism. Thanks to people like Alice, the population is being educated on a condition which affects many people, so that those with autism can live a fulfilling and happy life. She told us that life is full of challenges and there is no point trying to avoid this or escape this. The answer is to be determined, focused and to do what you love and what you know is right. I was truly inspired by her.

Change is vital

 Juliette Low Seminar Group activityIn the evening, we watched a very difficult film called ‘Half the Sky’ about  a young girl in Sierra Leone who was sexually abused by her uncle, and soon after that was thrown out of her home because her father was ashamed of her having been raped. After watching it, we felt a truer understanding of how important change is, and why it is so vital for the lives of people around the planet. In order to prevent both rape and a cruel reaction, there is a great need to change people’s mentalities.

Rape should never be shameful for the victim, and it is never their fault! We felt inspired by the brave girl in the film, who was strong enough to stand up and tell her story. If she can do it, then we certainly have the strength and ability to speak out on issues which affect girls in our community, and across the world. We are so grateful to have organisations like WAGGGS which enable young women to have strength, advocate and make a real change in our world.

- The Transformers patrol

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