Young Women’s World Forum 2011: Wrap-up from Switzerland

This past week, the 2011 Young Women’s World Forum has galvanized the potential Guiding Members have to be a powerful force for change. Participants have rolled up their sleeves and gotten to the heart of how they can advocate for change – by speaking out, educating others and taking action.

Delegates from Canada and other Guiding countries have visited girls’ educational programs in the slums of India;  met with children in Mexico who are attending school while their mothers learn new skills; and gotten hands-on tips from NGOs in London that are running global programs. And in Switzerland, Canadian delegate Melissa Moor met with experts at the UN’s Geneva offices.

Here’s Melissa’s report on the power of the Young Women’s World Forum:

I’ve been surrounded by motivated young women who represent Girl Guide and Girl Scout organizations from Qatar to Argentina, from Latvia to Benin. Our goal has been to develop tools and plans that will contribute to the achievement of three of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): ending extreme poverty and hunger, gender equality and environmental sustainability.

We have developed communication skills, practiced advocacy techniques and learned from experts at the UN in Geneva on how to apply what we’ve learned in our own communities when we return home.

Most importantly, we have been reminded of our power, the power that girls and young women have, to make a difference. Since the start of the YWWF, I have been immersed in the power of Guiding. Guiding is not something that happens one evening a week for an hour and a half. It is a Movement that has the ability to connect, to empower and to create a global network of advocacy and learning. Through Guiding, girls and young women worldwide say, “together we can change our world”.

By guest blogger: Melissa Moor. Melissa is a political science student at the University of Ottawa and a Guider with an Ottawa Brownie Unit.


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