Young Women’s World Forum 2011: A View From India

This week, more than 200 Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 85 countries are participating in the Young Women’s World Forum 2011 (YWWF). And of course, Girl Guides of Canada is part of the action, with three GGC delegates stepping out on the global stage.

While the event may be focusing on the weighty United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) of environmental sustainability, gender equality, and eradicating hunger and poverty, nothing phases our Members. Attending the YWWF 2011 is all about young women flexing their advocacy muscles and working to get things done.

Twenty-four year old Mandy Thompson is a Guider with the 37th Burlington Pathfinders and is GGC’s delegate for the YWWF at the Sangam World Centre in India. In between sessions, she had a few minutes to send us this dispatch:

“Right now I am sitting with Alejandra from Costa Rica while she journals, and we are fighting off the mosquitoes together. But it is still so hot!”

After previous sessions with the YWWF learning about advocacy, community leadership, and communication, today we travelled to a local slum. Here, we visited a program for young girls where the leaders from Sangam teach them about healthy relationships and sexual education (as many girls have little to no knowledge of reproductive health). They also learn valuable life skills, like how to sew their own clothing so that they can begin to earn income. These types of changes are beginning to change attitudes and empower girls and women here in India.”

“Despite sweltering in the heat here in India, this has been a life-changing journey – so many have so little and I will always be thankful for what I have. “

By Mary, GGC staff, with contributions from guest blogger Mandy.

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