Earlier this fall, Morgan Boyer, a Ranger with the 1st St. John’s Ranger unit in Waterford Valley, St. John’s, Newfoundland, attended the 2nd Annual Girls Speak Out summit in celebration of International Day of the Girl, at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Morgan was invited after writing a winning poem when WAGGGS called for stories from girls around the world about “What it’s like being a girl in your country.”
As Girl Guide members across the country participate in the 16 Days of Action Against Gender-Based Violence, we asked Morgan to share her experiences with us:
The United Nations summit was looking for girls to share their stories about being a girl in different countries around the world, I sent mine in. It was titled Moving Ocean and compared being a girl to being a drop of water, we can’t do much alone but together we can move oceans. I was featured on the website and formally invited to attend the summit.
The word ‘powerful’ is overused but there is no better word to describe the stories I heard at the UN. We hear about eating disorders, sexual violence, and child marriage almost every day but we never hear the stories ‘live’ from real girls.
At the United Nations headquarters in New York I was led through a security scan. Inside the building it was the cleanest and everything was gold and white. Inside, girls, ambassadors and delegates shared their stories for almost three hours. The experience made me understand the global impact this issue has on people around the world, no girl has been left unaffected.
Guiding plays a significant role in helping girls understand the importance of healthy relationships since for many girls Guiding is the first place valuable lessons about self esteem, leadership, and teamwork are learned. My Guiding friends and Guiders were the ones who helped me through my unhealthy relationship and to this day are still my main support system. Without them I would not have been able to do it alone. As a survivor of an abusive relationship, and through my knowledge gained from my experiences I’ve been creating programs for young girls to teach them about respect and violence against women. I hope to expand to schools later this year.
One of my Guiders told me that one day I would change the world, but I really hope I already have.
I’ve included my favourite activities to try below:
“We’re all made of the same stuff” (Sparks/Brownies): Make cookies that look like boys and girls, one may have more chocolate chips and one may be darker or bigger but in the end we’re all the same on the inside.
“Talk behind my back” (Guides/Pathfinder/Rangers): Tape a piece of paper to each girls back and invite the others to write positive messages anonymously on their backs.
By guest blogger Morgan Boyer. Morgan is a Ranger and Girl Assistant with a Brownie unit in St. John’s, NL. She is currently in her 13th year of Guiding, traveled to Mexico and Costa Rica, and hopes to continue to expand her knowledge and experiences to improve her global community.
Be sure to check out our 16 Days Instant Meeting, with unit activities for all branches.