Friday, November 14, 2014

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

This November 25 will be the annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Many women and girls will experience violence in their lifetime; and many also experience violence on a regular basis. November 25 is meant to raise awareness that women and girls as targets of violence. Here is a great video from the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) on facts and figures on violence against women, featuring Antonio Banderas:


How many women experience violence? Why is the event held on November 25? Take the UN Women quiz on violence against women to find the answers and test your knowledge:

How can you get involved in the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women? One way is the head to the WAGGGS website to add your voice to the Voices Against Violence campaign! The WAGGGS site also provides a lot of great resources for adults to help their troops or communities get engaged in this global issue:

Busy on November 25th and can't do an activity? This year, the UNITE Campaign is extending Orange Day to 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, starting November 25, International Day to End Violence Against Women, through December 10, Human Rights Day. That's right: there will be 16 days that you can get your troop or community group involved in this very important issue!

Need more facts? Want to check out more videos? What about looking at a detailed fact sheet? Get that all from the UN website here: 
And here:

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 november) from United Nations on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

UNESCO Youth Photography Competition

UNESCO is looking for photos related to education and youth in your community and they are offering a cash prize for the winning photo!

Age requirements: 18-30 year olds
Award: USD$500 prize for the winner & the chance of seeing their photo printed in the next Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (GMR) and promoted globally to media and at our numerous launch events.

What is the EFA Report?
The next edition of the EFA Report is due out in April 2015 and will review how well the EFA movement has contributed to ensuring all children, young people and adults enjoy their right to a quality education. Find out more about the next report.

What we are looking for: As the next Report will look at progress in education from 2000 to today, your photo should illustrate ideas linked to youth, education, literacy, skills and/or the world of work among members of your community over the past fifteen years.

How to enter: The deadline for submitting a photo is 23.59 Paris time on 9 November 2014

More contest details available here:

What is UNESCO?

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, is a specialised agency of the United Nations system. The main objective of UNESCO is to contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication in order to further universal respect for justice and the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

International Day of the Girl Speak Out Event

At the International Day of the Girl Event this past Friday, held at the United Nations in NYC, girls from around the world came together to discuss issues girls face and explore their roles in policymaking. As part of the Speak Out event organized by the Working Group on Girls, girls from around were able to submit their art, videos, poetry, and stories online in the months prior to the Day of the Girl. Top submissions were selected to be presented and performed live in the ECOSOC Chambers of the UN to a full crowd of girls from around the world as well as UN Representatives from different nations and agencies.

The performances were amazing and powerful, a testament to the voices behind the submissions as well as to the talents of the girls who performed the acts. Submission topics included child marriage, body image, depression, peer pressure, and sexual violence. Submissions were true to life and very moving. One video submission of a girl putting on make up while flashing between sexual magazine covers of female celebrities featured no words but spoke volumes on the influence the media has on girls. Another girl who was at the event gave a speech on what it is like to be a girl in elementary school with a disability that drew a standing ovation. A story from a young girl in Africa talked about how she was nearly forced into child marriage at the age of 12 but managed to escape and continue her education. The stories not only spoke of the difficulties of being a girl, but also of how strong girls are at overcoming adversity.

Between each series of acts, a different representative from the UN had the opportunity to speak about how their agency is going to make sure these issues that girls face worldwide are going to be addressed. The commitments by these agencies brought tangible results to the experience and make sure that actions would be taken.

More Photos:

Girl Scouts from Mexico!

Working Group on Girls Co-Chairs, including Adwoa Aidoo (speaking) of Girl Scouts USA

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

UN Working Group on Girls Looking for Girl Advocates

From a recent press release from the Working Group on Girls:

2014-2015 is the fifth year the Working Group on Girls (WGG) is training and mentoring girls (freshmen or sophomores in high school) to advocate on behalf of girls within the United Nations system. WGG Girl Advocates work with the WGG’s Girls Participation Task Force. Each year we strive to have girls involved in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March at the United Nations and other high level events at the UN.

What is the Working Group on Girls or WGG? 

The Working Group on Girls (WGG) is dedicated to promoting the human rights of girls in all areas and stages of her life, advancing the inclusion and status of girls and assisting them to develop their full potential as women. The WGG advocates for the ongoing inclusion and development of girls’ rights in the work of the United Nation system and works to promote the active participation of girls as agents of change. For more information about the WGG please visit

What is a WGG Girl Advocate? 

In keeping with our commitment to promote the active participation of girls as agents of change, WGG Girl Advocates work with us to “make girls visible” within the UN System. Girl advocates have the opportunity to: Be a girl delegate for the 59th Women (CSW 59) at the United Nations in March 2015; Learn how the UN system interacts with non-profit organizations; Meet other girls, women and organizations engaged in the girls’ rights movement; Gain an in-depth understanding of the issues and topics that affect girls and their communities around the world; Help plan advocacy events for the UN community; session of the Commission on the Status of © Working Group on Girls 2014 Meet with members of the UN community such as diplomats, nonprofit leaders, and activists for girls’ rights; and Participate in WGG taskforces and committees such as Girls Against Violence, Advocacy, or Girls Participation Taskforce.

Who can apply? 

What are the requirements to be a WGG Girl Advocate? WGG encourages girls between 9th Attend and participate in WGG membership meetings from November 2014 through June 2015. Meetings are held 2:00PM to 4:00PM on the 1st of the month in New York City. If Girl Advocates are available during the summer months, opportunities do exist for participation and that involvement is encouraged. Participate in assigned WGG taskforces or committees. Participate in the Teen Orientation to CSW 59(mid-March 2015) Attend and participate in the Commission on the Status of Women meetings from March 9 Complete up to three hours of work per week, including meetings, required readings, and reporting.


WGG Girl Advocates must have:
A deep interest in global girl issues
Strong organizational & public speaking skills
Familiarity with basic computer programs
Engaged in social media activism

How to Apply: 

Applications should be submitted via email by Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

More info and full application available here:

Monday, September 29, 2014

International Day of the Girl Event at the UN

The Day of the Girl Summit brings girls and girl-serving organizations together to celebrate the International Day of the Girl and support the advancement of girls' rights. This year, thousands more of girls, boys, adults, teachers, leaders, politicians and hundreds more of organizations, will show their support for the celebration of the unique and special role girls play in the world.

This year, the 2nd annual Girls Speak Out event will be held at the UN and invites girls ages 13 and older to come on Friday, October 10 from 3-5pm. The event is free and an excellent opportunity for girls! Simply register by September 30 here. This event will feature multi-media performances to tell girls’ personal stories of tenacity, struggles and challenges to shine the light on the irrepressible spirit that binds all girls together from all over the world.

More details on this event as well as other activities around the International Day of the Girl are available here:

Not able to come to the UN? Follow the event on social media through the following hashtags: #IDG2014 #11MonthsofAction, #11DaysofAction #GirlsSpkOut

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

GenUN Contest: Thank a Peacekeeper & Win a Trip to NYC!

What is GenUN?

GenUN is a national initiative of UNA-USA to engage and energize young supporters around UN issues. As an action-oriented platform, GenUN provides a vehicle for young people to get involved in global issues. GenUN also empowers a new generation of young Americans to be leaders in helping the UN build a better world for all.

About the Contest

Every day, UN peacekeepers assist in implementing peace agreements, stabilizing conflict zones after a ceasefire, disarming and demobilizing ex-combatants, facilitating humanitarian assistance, and building effective governments. Over 100,000 of these committed citizens are working around the clock to deliver peace some of the world’s most difficult conflicts.

Learn more about the details of UN Peacekeeping, sign a Thank a Peacekeeper card, find shareable infographics, and more here.

September 21st is International Day of Peace, and we’re challenging campus chapters nationwide to show us the best way to thank a UN peacekeeper.

Find a creative way to show your support in the form of an event, video, art project, blue jeans for blue helmets day, essay, giant blue balloon display, or something else- the sky is the limit! 

Three winners will be invited to New York City (travel expenses paid by UNA-USA) to participate in the Better World Campaign’s 2014 Thank a Peacekeeper event. Submissions should be entered here by midnight EST on September 30 and follow the guidelines below. The winners will be notified by October 6. Your creative way to show your support for UN peacekeepers should:

  1. Involve the membership of your UNA-USA campus chapter; 
  2. Engage other students on your college campus on the issue of UN Peacekeeping; 
  3. Be shareable online, either through pictures or another form of media.
More details about the contest are available here!

Find your local GenUN chapter here

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My World: Cast Your Vote & Influence UN Decisions

This past summer at the WAGGGS World Conference, while delegates representing their countries cast votes about WAGGGS budgets and future initiatives, the UN Team was working to get everyone to cast their My World 2015 vote! The UN hast started the My World 2015 vote to engage the general public in what they want for the next round of development goals for the coming years after 2015. According to the My World 2015 website, "The votes matter. The UN is working with governments everywhere to define the next global agenda to address extreme poverty and preserve the planet. The data from MY World continues to inform these processes and be used by decision makers around the world." So far, 4.5 million votes have been cast-- and counting!

At the WAGGGS World Conference this past summer in Hong Kong, we asked girl scouts and girl guides to share their vote and tell WAGGGS and the UN about what matters to them:

Get involved! You can cast your My World 2015 vote here:

Also, consider bringing the My World vote to your girl scouts/girl guides troop and start some dialogue about the role of the UN, the importance of voting, and why the voices of women and girls matters! You can also use the interactive survey results to see trends and have a discussion on the importance of data in research:

Friday, August 22, 2014

1st Global Forum on Youth Policies -- Applications Due Aug. 27

The Global Forum on Youth Policies will be convened by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth together with UNDP, UNESCO and the Council of Europe from October 28-30, 2014 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

According to the Global Forum on Youth Policies website:

"In 2014, of 198 countries, 122 countries (62%) have a national youth policy, up from 99 (50%) in the previous year. These numbers show that governments are increasingly aware of the need for legal and policy frameworks that respond adequately to young peoples’ needs, aspirations and demands.

"Despite these advances, however, a number of challenges affect both the efficiency and inclusiveness of youth policies, from fragmented responsibilities and challenged structures to the lack of reliable knowledge and the absence of appropriate resources.

"Against this backdrop, the Global Forum will build a common understanding of the needs for and rationales of systemic and cross-sectoral approaches to youth policy, and develop guiding principles for integrated youth policy development.

" By renewing the commitment to public policies on youth issues, the Forum will be a milestone in defining what it means to take young people and youth policies seriously in the twenty-first century."

Who should apply?

Nongovernmental experts of youth-led organizations and movements working on youth policy;
Youth experts of global and regional intergovernmental organizations working on youth policy;
Research experts from institutes, universities and think tanks with a focus on youth policy;
Development experts from organizations, agencies and institutions in the youth sector;
Programming experts from donors active in supporting policy change in the youth field.

What kind of experience should I have? Applicants who:

have at least two years of experience with youth policy at regional or global level;
are interested in critical and informed debate about the state of youth policy;
can use English with sufficient proficiency for a professional context;
are associated with an organisation or network that works on youth policy issues;
can attend the First Global Forum on Youth Policies for its entire duration;
and are, preferably, between 18 and 35 years old.

Applications are due August 27! Apply here:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

FAO/YUNGA Internship Opportunity in Rome

The Youth & United Nations Global Alliance is looking for an intern for this fall! The internship does provide a stipend of  $700 per month and they are looking for someone with the following criteria:

1. Educational, environment or science education.
2. Has been working for at least 2 years in non-formal educational environments (for example a Scout or Guide leader).
3. Experience in developing educational materials and resources in English and other languages.
4. Has undertaken community work.

 If you are interested please send your CV and a one paragraph e-mail on why you would be interested for working for YUNGA to with in copy by September 15, 2014.

Check out the original posting here.

What is YUNGA?

The Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) was created to generate collaborative initiatives between United Nations agencies and other organizations and civil society organizations working with children and young people. YUNGA is a gateway to assist the engagement of youths in activities of key environmental and social concern at the national and international level.

YUNGA seeks to empower children and young people to have a greater role in society, support UN related activities, raise awareness and be active agents of change.

YUNGA and its numerous partners are working on a number of thematic areas including: agriculture, biodiversity, climate change, energy, forests, food security, hunger, nutrition, oceans, water, and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Activities range from educational policy, capacity building programmes, didactic materials, resource packs, international competitions, challenge badges and different programmes intended to inspire active participation.

What is FAO?

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

FAO's three main goals are: the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.


YUNGA develops challenge badges around various themes relating to the UN and global issues. Check out the full list of badges here:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Millennium Development Goals-- 500 Days Remain, Tell Us Your Story!

Today marks 500 days remaining for United Nations Member States at achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)! In case you missed it, in 2000 the UN established 8 clear goals that are expected to be reached by 2015-- which is now just 500 days away! Here is a short video from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that helps to recap what the MDGs are:

Tell Us YOUR Story!

Success in the next 500 days will not only help improve lives for millions, put more girls in school, save mothers’ lives, fight diseases, ensure a safe start in life for children: it will add momentum as the world is developing the new global development agenda after the MDGs expire in 2015. This is known as the Post-2015 development agenda.

For every day in the remaining 500 days to MDGs, we want to hear a story from you – a story on what you have done to help the world achieve the MDGs, on what you have done to make an equal and just world a reality for billions of people around the world. Share your stories on social media via the hashtag #MDGMomentum #500stories or email them to!

Get Involved!

It's never too late to get involved in and raise awareness about the Millennium Development Goals! There are some really helpful and amazing resources you can use to help educate young people and children in your community about the MDGs:

Take Action

Girls Worldwide Say, "Together We Can Change Our World" Badge Curriculum: An activity pack that helps children and young people to learn about the MDGs and take action on the issues that affect them and their communities.

Be the Change Community Action Programme: A resource for girls 14+ to engage their communities on the Millennium Development Goals.

My World 2015 Vote: The United Nations wants to know: What do YOU want to see as part of the post-2015 development goals? The result of this vote will influence the UN's Post-2015 Agenda, or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so cast your vote now!


The World We Want for Girls Policy Paper: The policy paper from the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts reviews the gaps in the Millennium Development Goals and suggests how the voices and aspirations of girls and young women should be reflected in the next development agenda beyond 2015.

MDG +10 Report: A 2010 report on how girls and young women worldwide are taking action on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Today is International Youth Day!

Today is International Youth Day, which was established in 1999 by the UN. Events are being held around the world to herald the youth's have made in this last year as well as to spur on leadership and action in our global youth community. It's not too late to get involved! Here are some resources and information to help:

What is International Youth Day?

From the UN Website:
The theme of International Youth Day 2014 is "Youth and Mental Health."
Youth with mental health conditions can often experience stigma and discrimination, which in turn can lead to exclusion and/or discourage people from seeking help for fear of being negatively ‘labelled’. 
The 2014 observance of International Youth Day will raise awareness on this important topic, as well as highlight the experiences of brave, young individuals who have chosen to speak out about these issues with the objective of overcoming stigma and discrimination to ensure that young people with mental health conditions can lead full and healthy lives free from isolation and unnecessary shame, and openly seek the services and support they need. 
Today at the UN in New York a major event was held in honor of the day. Invited speakers for this event  in the ECOSOC Chamber at the UN in New York included Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, H.E. Ambassador Otto, the PR of the Republic of Palau. Confirmed speakers included mental health advocates, Alicia Raimundo and Jordan Burnham and the author of the report Social Inclusion of Youth with Mental Health Conditions, Catherine Bradshaw. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's statement can be read here.

Young people could also submit artwork for the event around the theme of Youth and Mental Health, some of which you can check out here:


Take Action: 

Join GenUN to get engaged in the UN community (just launched today!):

International Youth Day Toolkit:

Resources and Further Information:


Twitter: @UN4Youth

Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the UN Foundation, writes about International Youth Day for the Huffington Post:

International Business Times Article:

UN Women Photo Essay on Girls' Struggles & Achievements in Honor of International Women's Day:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

World Conference Update: Day 1, 7/6/14

Our pair group from Orientation
Yesterday at the WAGGGS World Conference, we started off with orientation. As we run through the protocol, it's amazing to see so many different people come up to speak to our delegates, speaking in so many languages. At all times, speakers are being translated into English, French, Spanish and Arabic. The diversity at the World Conference is inspiring!

During Orientation, we were asked to turn to someone near to us and introduce ourselves. We then were asked to pair up with another two groups. Amazingly, I had the good fortune of being paired with someone from Dove, Sangam, and the 5th World Center! It was amazing to be in the company of such a powerful team and amongst women making such a difference. The opportunity to pair with them was unbelievable!

Over 600 people at the Conference!
New members into the organization were voted in. Countries like Cameroon, South Sudan, New Guinea, Mongolia, and the Cook Islands, to name a few, were voted into WAGGGS! It was powerful to see the triumph of the women at WoCo representing their initiated countries and to know that in these countries where girls are in great need of leadership, sisterhood, and support, WAGGGS, it's support network, and its resources will be there.

Princess Mabel van Oranje of Denmark (pictured left) spoke to the Conference as well, addressing the issue of child marriage world wide. Girls who experience child marriage are more likely to experience domestic violence and rape and permitting the practice to exist undermines global efforts to eradicate poverty, said Princess van Oranje. Girls who give birth under the age of 15 are also five times more likely to die in childbirth than women who give birth in their twenties. “In too many places, girls are not seen as equal to boys,” she exclaimed-- a truth many of us know all to well. You can check out more info about Princess van Oranje's call to advocate from girls suffering from child marriage at Girls not Brides.

Other orders of business that we ran through were the goals, methods, and budget for the next triennium, all of which will be voted on for approval later on in the conference.

Connie Matsui at the GSUSA Welcome Reception
At 6pm, Girl Scouts USA hosted a welcome reception for those of us from the US! It was great to see the number of Americans who were there to support Girl Scouts worldwide and the missions of the WAGGS and GSUSA. We also had the opportunity to hear from Connie Matsui, an American running for the World Board (more to come tomorrow on all of the candidates!).

At 7pm, dinner commenced. During dinner we had an astounding amount of traditional Chinese food. The courses were brought out, as we in the US know it as, “family style”-- a large plate was brought out for the whole table to share. The is the traditional banquet style in China. Thankfully, a young woman from Hong Kong named Fonnine sat down next to me and explained all of the different dished. Interestingly, the rice and noodles come at the very end of the meal (the end being about 2 hours later!).

Throughout the dinner, we also got to watch some amazing traditional shows, such as a one where a man danced around and swapped off these masks he was wearing. During this one, the masks moved so fast, I thought it was an electronic mask or something. But at the end when he swapped off the last one to show his face in the same manner as all the other masks I realized that these were actual masks on his face and somehow, as if by magic, he was flipping between them! Two
Korean singers serenade Princess Benedikte
young girl guides from Hong Kong also gave a great Chinese opera performance-- at the end I ran up to see them and was amazing by the amount of makeup and costume they had on! There was also a troupe of beautiful and costumed young girls doing what seemed to be a Chinese form of ballet, using sailing fans and clomping castanets. We also had the chance to watch one of the famous lion dance (though I always thought they were dragons!), which reminds me of what I would image to see at the Chinese New Year. And we wrapped up with this amazing Korean acapella/opera group. They sang pop classics as well as some opera favorites. Their voices were unbelievable-- I couldn't imagine such full, strong voices coming from these young men!!

Me with Hong Kong Girl Scouts!
Overall, dinner was amazing and very reflective of the experience at the World Conference so far. Women from New Guinea at our table cheered and ran to the stage when they were recognized for being voted into WAGGGS. I helped to translate for a group from Sierra Leone who wanted to tell Mary Jane from our UN NYC Team about the African Federation they were proposing. One woman at our table was a candidate for the World Board. And the District Commissioner and International Commissioner from Hong Kong sat at our table, helping to answer our questions about China and explain their traditions and customs. Such an amazing opportunity to sit with people from all corners of the globe over dinner!

Be sure to follow the World Conference live at #35WoCo on Twitter!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hello from Hong Kong: 35th World Conference Young Women's Event

Currently, the World Assn. of Girl Guide and Girl Scouts' World Conference is under way! This year marks the 35th World Conference and it is being held in Hong Kong! The World Conference allows for all of the member organizations (AKA "MOs," basically all of the different countries that make up WAGGGS) to join together to vote on important decisions for the direction and goals of WAGGGS. World Conferences are held every 3 years and each MO is allowed to send 2 delegates to represent their vote (there are more than two people for every country here though-- you can send "observers" too who can attend conference session but cannot vote on behalf of their country). This year there are approximately 600 conference attendees from over 145 countries! The event is held from July 6-9.

Yesterday, WAGGGS hosted an opening event for young women attending the 35th World Conference-- the Young Women's Event. During the experience, young women ranging from 13 to 30 had the chance to get together on the day before the conference to work on leadership development and understand their role here at the conference. As a part of the experience, the young women and girls were given 4 destinations to get to in Hong Kong, as well as a meeting with a local female business leader/executive. UN Team member Kristen Grennan (age 24) was on team 6 and went to a Buddhist temple called Man Mo Temple (if you're in HK, I highly recommend stopping at this sight!). The team got very lost, but
was able to stumble on a delicious restaurant for lunch! In the end, the team didn't make it to more than 1 sight, but we were able to make it to our meeting with a business executive-- Amee Chande, who not only works for Tesco, but also has been involved in Girl Scouts on 5 continents and is now very engaged with WAGGGS, specifically the Dove "Free to Be Me" program. Amee spoke to the young women and girls about why, within Tesco, women make about 80% of cashiers but only 5% of executives and what can be done to change this. Young women (and a young man!) in the group shared about the struggles within their own communities.

Meeting with Amee
The Young Women's Event wrapped up with a panel of five women from around the globe who were engaged in the Girl Scouts and are now very respected in their chosen careers (all of which were very different). Afterwards, girls were given a 5 minute session on how to be more affirmative and assertive, skills needed to be leaders within your community as well as in a business setting. We finally concluded with a song "The Key" which was written by the team at Sangam, a WAGGGS World Center in India.

Be sure to follow the World Conference on Twitter at #35WoCo! If you're attending the event, be sure to share photos and quotes from the event using the hashtag!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Podcast from UNGEI on the Growing Need for Education Funding

From a press release from the UN Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI):

This podcast is part of the Changing the World for Girls discussions, a collaboration of the Beyond School Books podcast series and United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). In this series, you will find discussions on the lasting impact education has on girls, communities and nations around the world.

By Rudina Vojvoda

NEW YORK, United States of America, 20 June 2014 – On 25 and 26 June, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) will hold its second Replenishment Pledging Conference, with the goal of raising US$3.5 billion from donors to address global education issues in access, equity and learning, for 2015–2018. In addition, it asks developing country partners to increase their domestic expenditures on education to at least 20% of their overall budgets.

AUDIO: Listen now

In the lead-up to this event, Beyond School Books podcast moderator Mia Lobel talked to Julia Gillard, Chair of the Board of Directors of the GPE and former Prime Minister of Australia, who is a lifelong advocate for educational equality and equity.

Global consultations with governments, civil society, the private sector and youth have identified education as a central priority for the post-2015 development agenda. More than 1.5 million of the 2.2 million contributors to the United Nations My World Survey identified ‘a good education’ as their top priority. Yet, in 2011, 57 million children were out of school and another 250 million who were in school were still not able to read or write. Aid to education had fallen by 10 per cent since 2010.

“We promised the children of the world that they all get to go to primary school. To achieve that would require 26 billion dollars more funding annually, so that is a very serious step up in world expenditure, but obviously so worthwhile,” said Ms. Gillard.

She explained that, in the next four-year period, 2015–2018, the GPE will follow a new model in which funding is increasingly based on performance and eligibility for funds is based on education needs, addressing not only access but also the quality of education.

A good education is the ‘magic bullet’ for development. Yet, about 30 million primary school-aged girls were out of school in 2011, and two thirds of the world’s 774 million illiterate people are female. Ms. Gillard counted conflict, insecurity, cultural and economic factors as some of the key barriers to girls’ education.

“There are some great and effective programmes around the world that prove the benefits of education for a poor girl and change the outlook of the family. But, we need to be working in these countries if we need to make a difference, which is why the replenishment round for the global partnership is so important,” said Ms. Gillard.

To learn more about the GPE Replenishment Pledging Conference, please click here.

To help UNICEF and GPE increase financing for education, please spread our message via social media.

Monday, May 19, 2014


From a recent press release from YUNGA, the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance, and WAGGGS on the release of their line of Challenge Badges:

Recent developments from FAO: YUNGA, 16th May 2014

We are delighted to announce that the cloth badges for all of our current Challenge Badges are now available for purchase on the WAGGGS website! Click on the following links for each badge:

For the PDFs of all the Challenge Badges booklets that we currently have available, take a look at:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Statement from WAGGGS on the kidnapping of 200+ girls in Nigeria

The following statement was made by the Word Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts:

12 May 2014

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts (WAGGGS), the largest voluntary movement for girls and young women in the world, are deeply shocked and angered at the kidnapping over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria. To kidnap girls and young women from the safety of their school is a clear violation of their human rights, to also publicly use the threat of violence against the girls and young women , including sexual violence, is appalling and totally unacceptable. Our thoughts are with the families of the girls and young women who must be suffering unimaginable pain and also with the Nigerian Girl Guides Association as they reach out to support the efforts to #BringBackOurGirls at this time.  
We demand that those responsible return every single girl to safety without delay and call on all international parties to use all resources necessary to secure the safe return of the girls and young women.

More information on #BringBackOurGirls and the kidnapping:

"Boko Haram holds girls, kills 300 Nigerians," USA Today, 7 May 2014

"CNN exclusive: Nigerian girl who escaped Boko Haram says she still feels afraid," CNN, 12 May 2014

"#BBCtrending: #RealMenDontBuyGirls and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign," BBC, 8 May 2014

UN's World We Want Survey

As part of the UN's World We Want campaign, there has recently been a simple survey on issues that matter to you. Participants simply need to select the top 6 issues that are important to them from a list of choices including education, gender equality, access to clean water & sanitation, access to health care, etc. There is also an option to create your own choice. After submitting your responses, you can create a personalized video based on your responses that you can easily share on social media. You can access the survey and vote here:

What is the World We Want? 
The web platform launched on 31 July 2012 to coincide with the announcement of the UN High Level Panel on post-2015 and increases its interactive features over the following months to host a lively and active exchange of civil society opinions and experiences.  
 The World We Want 2015 will bring the priorities of people from every corner of the world to the forefront and help build a collective vision that will be used directly by the United Nations and World Leaders to plan a new development agenda launching in 2015, one that is based on the aspirations of all citizens! The gathered information will feed into the report of the UN High Level Panel on post-2015 and subsequently into the UN Secretary General’s report to the UN MDG review summit in September 2013.

Why is the UN sharing this survey? According to the website:
You're part of a global vote at the United Nations, allowing people for the first time to have a direct say in shaping a better world. 
The votes matter. The UN is working with governments everywhere to define the next global agenda to address extreme poverty and preserve the planet. The data from MY World continues to inform these processes and be used by decision makers around the world. 
“I want this to be the most inclusive global development process the world has ever known” – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

World Malaria Day this Friday: Google Hangout with Africa Peace Corps Volunteers

This Friday, in honor of World Malaria Day, the Peace Corps will be hosting a Google Hangout with their Peace Corps Volunteers in Africa. The Hangout will be at 10am on Friday and you can RSVP here:

According to the Hangout:

April 25th marks World Malaria Day, an opportunity for people around the globe to raise awareness and reenergize their commitment to ending malaria in our lifetime.
This World Malaria Day, Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts across Africa will share their personal and professional experiences combating malaria in their communities during a Google Hangout On Air.
You’re invited to join the conversation! Submit questions before and during the event on Facebook ( or Twitter ( Make sure to use the hashtag #MalariaHero

Here are some infographics for more information on malaria:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Live: Meeting Africa's Youth Employment Challenge

Live right now on World Bank Live is "Meeting Africa's Youth Employment Challenge," available here:

Event Summary:

Eleven million youth are expected to enter Africa’s labor market every year for the next decade and despite a rapid increase in formal sector jobs, the majority of these youth are likely to work on family farms and in household enterprises, often with very low incomes. What are governments, partners, and civil society doing to address the challenge of youth employment in Africa, and what should they be doing? What do we need to know more about to design better policies and programs? An interactive discussion during the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings brings together ministers, experts, and the private sector to reflect on the challenge and ways forward.

Follow on Twitter at #Jobs4Africa & #AfricasYouth 


Vice President, World Bank Africa Region
Lead Economist, Africa Region, World Bank
Governor, Central Bank of Kenya
Minister of Higher Education and Research, Senegal
Managing Director of Harvest Fresh, Zimbabwe
Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley; Former Lead Economist, Africa Region, The World Bank