"This movement is changing me!”

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My name is Vanessa. I'm 19-years-old and am a new Girl Guide! I joined the movement in January 2021. And even though I entered the movement older, at 18 years old, I entered at the perfect age because there are many meaningful things that I want to do, and the Movement is giving me the opportunity and resources to do them. It’s been amazing.

Through Her World, Her Voice (HWHV) programme, I was taught about leadership and encouraged to lead my own advocacy project with a group of young women. The first step was building a team so Sol, my HWHV team leader, helped me contact Guides from other districts. During our first team meeting, I shared my knowledge about the Sustainable Development Goals, and we went through each goal asking what we can do to help. The one that spoke to us the most was on good health and well-being, SDG 3.

We started researching the subject more and discovered that stereotypes affect how we look after ourselves as girls and as women. The HWHV team had recently run a survey with Guides which showed that this is a topic that lots of other Guides in our association care about too. This was great confirmation to us that we are doing something to really help.

Our main objective is to have a positive impact on teenagers by raising awareness about physical and mental health as well as good nutrition. We are now in the middle of planning a big national online event and a series of activities. We are so excited about this project and we’re working on it even during holidays as we are passionate and committed towards carrying it out successfully.

The Her World Her Voice partnership is incredibly important for young women. It’s providing many opportunities to increase their soft skills and to empower them to step out of their comfort zone and dare to try new things. It is motivating them not to give up and to work to make this world a better place. These opportunities give us a voice to say what we think and propose solutions to big social problems such as gender inequality. They give us the tools that we need to create real change that lasts; and they are the means to fulfil our important mission as a movement – building an equal world where all girls can thrive!

“I am so proud to speak of the goodness this programme has done for me.”

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My name is Keamogetswe Seutloadi and I am 18 year-old student from Bloemfontein in the region of Free State Orangia, South Africa.

My journey with the Her World Her Voice programme started as a very emotional journey.

I started the programme at a very low state as I had recently lost my grandfather, and I was also very new to Guiding. I had just been brought back into it by my friends and my mentors. They wanted me to continue to embark on the journey I'm destined for, and like true sisters they recognised my potential– even when I did not.

Thanks to Guiding and the HWHV programme for getting me back into it, I’m now in a much better place. I am much braver, stronger and more confident than I was before.

The programme really is hugely important for young women like me. It gives them a platform to voice their opinions and get them heard. And it helps us to discover communities around us and help them in the best way that we can.

For example, I’m now assisting with leading a group of Girl Guides between four and a half and six years-old. They’re called the Teddies. Being their Guide Leader is amazing, and what I love most about it is that I get to mould them and see them aspire to be the person they wish to be.

I am so proud to speak of the goodness this programme has done for me. Now my biggest hope is that we can offer the experience I’ve had to more and more girls in South Africa. It will be an emotional journey but I know it will not be one I regret.

“We see many girls with disabilities joining the movement… which they thought would be impossible.”

I am Pascaline Furaha Irakarama from Association des Guides du Rwanda (AGR), and I joined Girl Guiding 13 years ago. I still remember the first days of my Guiding journey. I had little knowledge on Guiding, and my confidence was shallow. I was afraid of taking risks, but all changed after becoming a Girl Guide because I was given the space to learn and grow.

As a volunteer, I have been involved in different Guiding activities at a national and international level. Most importantly, I was given the chance to attend trainings on Disability and Inclusion by the National Union of Disability Organizations of Rwanda (NUDOR). Having participated in this training, it has given me the skills and knowledge to cultivate inclusion in the Guiding movement. Currently, I serve as a trainer on disability and inclusion in my association, especially in the Her World Her Voice programme.

As a trainer on disability and inclusion, I took part in planning the events that involve girls with disabilities. And I have worked with the HWHV programme to deliver the training to the troop leaders and help them understand how to accommodate girls with disabilities in their troops and in society. This means a lot to me because I now see the positive changes in the treatment of children with disabilities and it gives me the courage to continue driving change.

I give special thanks to my fellow Guides who contributed to my personal growth, and to the Guiding movement for giving me the space to learn and share. With Guiding, the word “impossible” is just a word. We see many girls with disabilities joining the movement and feeling comfortable in it, something they thought would be impossible.Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Education

A group of young women in Free State were Girl Guides as girls. And now in their 20s, they’ve been encouraged to come back into Guiding through the Her World Her Voice programme and are busy leading girls!

Hear from the young women involved:

“Earlier this year, I decided that I had to come back to Guiding as I wanted to become a leader... I believe that I am a good leader because my ideas and actions influence the thoughts and behaviour of others. I believe that Kroonstad will be a better place with a leader like me in Guiding.” -- Pearl, 24 years old

“I’ve discovered that Guiding equips girls with a wide range of opportunities... For me personally, it has sparked my interests, self-improvement & also boosted my confidence.” --- Faith , 20 years old

"Right from the start I built my self-esteem”

Blessing recently joined Girl Guiding and has had the opportunity to learn about what it is to be a Girl Guide, as well as developing some practical knowledge and skills. She said she was able to learn new skills like liquid soap making. She also learned about how to manage her menstrual cycle through WAGGGS' menstrual hygiene programme and how to re-use waste materials to make handicrafts.

Blessing says: “ I am really grateful! … being a Girl Guide is fun – it has this way of making you be yourself… thank you for making me who I am today”.

"Scouting is a new world for them"

Child Ashram is an Indian orphanage for girls who were stolen, abandoned or harassed in their childhood. They have now been given a new start in life. The support offered by Guide Leader, Ms Radhika Triveni, has enabled older girls at the orphanage to be registered as Rangers for the first time.

Radhika explains, “being Rangers in the Bharat Guides and Scouts (BSG) opens up the opportunity for these girls to become trainers, leaders, and directors in BSG. Scouting is a new experience and world for them .. and the girls have already told me they feel more confident and are ready to face any challenge in making the world a better place”.

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