Friday, 15 March 2013

CSW57 Update: Training

On Thursday 28th February, I met up with the rest of the WAGGGS Youth Delegation.  There were 11 of us from all over the world (the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Zambia, The Netherlands and Tunisia!) and 3 delegation coordinators (from New Zealand, Malawi and Malta) and after 4 months of trainings and chatting online, it was great to finally meet everyone!

Thursday was really chilled out - a few of us went for lunch with Pippa, one of last year's WAGGGS delegates who was in NYC for a couple of days.  In the evening, we did a few icebreakers and started to get to know everyone for real!

Friday and Saturday were our training days, where we would find out more about what we will be doing at CSW.  We started by drawing our individual advocacy journey - the journey that got me to where I am today.  This really made me think about what I have achieved since I joined Girlguiding UK as a shy 5 year old who was scared of people, 21 years ago! Here is my advocacy journey:

My Advocacy Journey
WAGGGS delegates hard at work
I've forgotten what order we did everything in now, but other things we did on Friday included: role-playing how we would use every opportunity to lobby decision-makers (such as how to get your message across when you're standing in a lift with them, or at different types of function or event); what the different expectations of us, as individuals, from our member organisations, and from WAGGGS, are; a reminder of WAGGGS' 9 calls to action; and a discussion about the first draft of the agreed conclusions for CSW57 - this is basically the output document that is being negotiated here, and that all countries will (hopefully) agree to at the end of the conference.

There are no good pictures of my presentation - this is the best
We also heard individual presentations from half of the delegation about the issues relating to violence against girls in their countries.  We have each agreed to carry out a project following CSW, relating to an issue within our own country, so these presentations also discussed everyone's potential project ideas.  I was first to give my presentation (mainly because I got distracted by something else and forgot to add my name to the list) so it was nice to get it out of the way!  At this point, the plan was that my project would focus on the issue of sexting, and the use of social media to perpetrate violence against girls and women.  This has subsequently changed - more details will come as I gradually formulate clearer thoughts and start to discuss my ideas within the UK...  Watch this space!

GS USA Headquarters
Our first day of training was held at the Girl Scouts of the USA headquarters, and while we were there we met some Junior Girl Scouts.  It was really exciting to be able to tell them about Guiding and Scouting in our countries, and what our favourite thing about being part of WAGGGS is.  They were so interested, and it really started the amazing week to come on a high note!

The MASSIVE CSW57 banner outside the UN HQ
Saturday was just a half day of training, and we spent the morning looking at how we were going to lobby and get the message out about what we're doing at CSW.  Halfway through the morning, we got our first chance to visit the UN Headquarters!  As we stood in the queue to go through security, we could all feel the excitement growing.  There were signs and banners everywhere, and there was even a security queue specifically for CSW participants.  All of a sudden, this began to feel very real!

The final hour of our training became even more exciting as we realised it was starting to snow.  Half of our delegation had never seen snow before, so there was a little bit of chaos as everyone ran to the windows to take pictures and stare at the tiny flakes of white (I'm not even sure we'd have seen them if we weren't on the 25th floor of our hotel!) 

By the end of the training days, we were all inspired and ready to go and change the world:

Me and my advocacy kit!

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