Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WAGGGS UN Team Attends International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women UN Event

By Jen Caplan, WAGGGS UN Team NYC Member

November 25th was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and kickoff for the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign’s 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence. At the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, a special event was held in observance of the day featuring the launch the first UN Framework on Preventing Violence Against Women and speakers to join discussions of this year’s theme, “Prevention.”

Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon made the opening remarks. Followed by speakers H.E. Ms. Gillian Bird, Permanent Representative of Australia to the UN; Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Ms. Maya Wiley, Counsel to Mayor Bill DeBlasio of New York City; Mr. Tony Gubesa, South Africa Site Coordinator of Grassroot Soccer; Ms. Mallika Dutt, President and CEO of Breakthrough, India; H.E. Mr. Mathew Ryfroft, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN, H.E. Mr. Carlos Serigio Sobral Duarte, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN; Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Population Fund; and Ms. Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership, USA.

Each speaker discussed what needs to be done to prevent violence against women, and what their country or organization is doing is doing to achieve it. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the event addressing what the United Nations as a whole is doing, such as the UNiTE and HeForShe campaigns. Additionally, Mr. Ban touched on the next steps in order to end violence against women. Mainly, empowering women and girls is key in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In his work, the Secretary-General has and will continue to promote women's leadership in the "classrooms, boardrooms, [negotiating rooms, and the United Nations]" and it is they who can play a roll in defending human rights, justice, and the rule of law. "Women are victims,” he said, “but much more than that, they are agents of change with potentially enormous influence.” It is these empowered women and girls who have the power, and vision, to make gender-based violence a thing of the past.

Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, concurred with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s comments on the importance and relationship between women’s empowerment and the Sustainable Development Goals. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said that violence against women is a “universal problem” impacting women of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and social classes; and, because of this, the response needs to be targeted. This targeted response will include a partnership between government, civil society organizations, and UN entities for a high-level leadership that can enforce international laws and close legislative gaps. In conjunction, there must be an education system set to teach men about unequal power relations and positive masculinity to break the cycle of violence against women; we must end violence before it begins.

That night, landmarks around the world were lit up orange “in solidarity and the promise of change” and to begin the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence. From the Pyramids in Egypt to the Empire State Building in New York City, the world showed their support and the need for a change.

YUNGA Climate Change Badge in Now Available

The Climate Change Challenge Badge is designed to help children and young people understand the vital role our climate plays in supporting life on Earth and how our daily lives impact the Earth’s climate.

Most of all the Challenge Badge will help you better understand why climate change matters and motivate you to take action and become positive drivers of change in your communities and within international arenas.

What are you waiting for? It is time to start acting for climate! Find it online at:

Other languages will soon become available (including Spanish, Russian and Hungarian and others will follow shortly).

What is YUNGA?

Formed in 2009, the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) is a partnership between United Nations agencies, civil society organizations and other entities that work with children and young people. YUNGA acts as a gateway for children and youth from around the world to participate in the activities and initiatives of the United Nations. YUNGA seeks to empower children and young people to have a greater role in society, raise awareness and become active agents of change. YUNGA aims to engage young people in activities of key environmental and social concern at both national and international levels.

More about YUNGA here:

What are the Challenge Badges?

Developed in collaboration with United Nations agencies, civil society and other organizations, YUNGA Challenge Badges aim to raise your awareness, educate and motivate you to change your behaviour and become an active agent of change in your local community. The series can be used by teachers in school classes as well as by youth leaders, especially Guide or Scout groups. Challenge Badge activities are both educational – and fun! More info about Challenge Badges here:

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Join the WAGGGS Thunderclap!

Support WAGGGS' efforts to raise awareness about violence against girls and showing that #GirlsAreValuable by joining the Thunderclap:

Or follow this link to sign up:

Also, the UN Women Twitter account has been sharing many great updates from around the world about the 16 Days of Activism, or Orange the World (#16Days #OrangeTheWorld). Here are a few about WAGGGS:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Reminder: Tomorrow is the Start of the 16 Days of Activism

November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. December 10 marks International Human Rights Day. November 25-December 10 are the 16 days of activism, in which people around the globe will be raising awareness against violence against women and girls. 

WAGGGS has created a digital "backpack" that can be "unpacked" by your troop. The activities can be done in a 90 minute session! Additionally there are social media actions that can be taken to raise awareness about the issue. 

Below is information from the WAGGGS website on the event:

Download 16 Days of Activism resources now and join our "Girls are valuable" Thunderclap!
In the resources you'll find Twitter and Facebook cover photos and the "I am valuable" backpack, which is packed full of activities and WAGGGS' call to action.

Here in 2015 we’re still living in a world of silence, a world where people know violence happens but don’t understand why or what needs to change. We’ve rocked the boat, we’ve made some waves and we’ve planted many seeds, but still girls’ rights are being denied. Their right to a quality education, their right to make decisions on issues that affect their lives, their right to live free from violence and the fear of violence.

Get involved by:

Doing the Activities.
This backpack contains activities for all age groups, taken and tailored from the Voices against Violence curriculum. These activities can be run in a 90 minute evening with your unit or troop to help you and your troop explore issues around gender stereotypes and inequality.

Having a conversation.
Taking part in the activities is only the beginning of this journey. We don’t only want Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to gain a deeper awareness of violence against girls; we want to be able to reach people outside the movement with the message that girls are valuable. The more people who understand why violence happens, the more people there are who can take action to end it. So once you’ve taken part in the activities we want you to focus on having conversations. We’ve identified four different audiences and provided examples of conversations each age group could have with these audiences to spread the word.

Sharing your experience with WAGGGS.
Share your 16 Days experience on social media. Post on Twitter or Facebook using #16Days and #GirlsAreValuable. Tell us about the conversations you had on our "Girls Are Valuable" Tumblr page and earn yourself an electronic badge!

Monday, November 23, 2015

COP21: How you can influence global leaders

UNA-USA is hosting a nationwide conference call next Tuesday to talk with young people about how they can influence global leaders at the upcoming Climate Conference in Paris. Join the call and learn about how GenUN/UNA-USA is engaging youth around COP21:

December 1, 5 p.m. ET
Briefing on the Historic Climate Convening
and Tips for Effective Advocacy

Ryan Hobert
Senior Director, Energy and Climate, United Nations Foundation

About Earth to Paris:

This December, world leaders are gathering in Paris for a landmark convening to complete a new global climate agreement – an extraordinary opportunity for the international community to rise to meet the threat of climate change. UN Foundation has launched #EarthtoParis to drive awareness and host events that highlight the connection between people and planet and the need for strong action on climate; to showcase climate solutions and innovations; to bring together communities to promote collaboration; and to engage people around the world in the dialogue taking place in Paris. Whether you’re in Paris, France or Paris, Texas, you can help to drive the conversation and advocate for strong climate action in December.

Join us for a conversation with Ryan Hobert, Senior Director, Energy and Climate, at the UN Foundation for an in-depth look at these once-in-a-generation climate negotiations and how to best advocate to tackle climate change.

Hashtags: #EarthtoParis #COP21

Check out the Earth to Paris website here:

How is WAGGGS engaging COP21?

WAGGGS has several exciting steps you can take to get involved! Taking this conference call will get you thinking about how you can engage your leaders. Here are some concrete steps you can take to address climate change with world leaders through WAGGGS (whether you take the call or not!):

Monday, November 16, 2015

Nov. 25 through Dec. 10: UNiTe to End Violence Against Women & Girls

Every month, on the 25th of the month, is "Orange Day"--a day to mark the continual struggle to end violence against women and girls. November 25th is the flagship day, known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and is coupled with December 10, International Human Rights Day. The 16 days between November 25 and December 10, known as the 16 Days of Activism, are recognized by the UN as key days to push women and girls' right to live free of violence.

Read more about the campaign here:

Take Action in Your Troop

WAGGGS has launched a 16 days of activism virtual "backpack," which contains activities for all age groups, taken and tailored from the Voices Against Violence curriculum. Voices Against Violence is the campaign that WAGGGS has taken to address the disproportionate effect violence has had on girls (you can read more about the Voices Against Violence program here). These activities can be run in a 90 minute evening with your unit or troop to help you and your troop explore issues around gender stereotypes and inequality.
More info about and download the backpack here:

Take Action in Your Community

Take the UN's call to action to "Orange Your World"! Here are a few ideas from the UN Women Toolkit:

  • Light and decorate in orange your country, city, or communities’ iconic buildings, landmarks and statues. 
  • Make orange advertising spaces on billboards, screens or in magazines to spread the message.
  • Organize an orange march through the centre of your city, town or village and declare the space an ‘orange zone’.
  • Organize orange marathons, flash mobs, dance parties, or bicycle rides. Find out from your local authorities whether there is a space you could arrange to be decorated with orange graffiti and messages! 
  • Find out what relevant meetings or conferences are taking place in your country during the 16 Days of Activism and invite the organizers to orange the meeting spaces and dedicate an item in the agenda to a discussion about violence against women and girls.
  • For more inspiration, look back at how we oranged our neighbourhoods last year:

Social Media

Take to social media and spread the word about violence against women and girls and the 16 Days of Activism. Here are some sample posts you can do:

  • This #OrangeDay we're preparing for 16Days of Activism 25Nov-10Dec. What will you do to #OrangetheWorld? @SayNO_UNiTE 
  • Happy #OrangeDay! How will you mark the 16 Days of Activism 25Nov-10Dec? Time to start planning! @SayNO_UNiTE 
  • Will your village, town or city go orange to support an end to #VAW for 25Nov-10Dec? It’s time to start planning! 
  • Calling on youth! Last #OrangeDay you spoke out against #VAW&girls. Now it’s time to start planning to #OrangeTheWorld 
  • From 25 November to 10 December, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women will “Orange the World” to raise awareness and inspire action on the issue. This #OrangeDay, find out how you, your organization and your community can start organizing to be a part of this global campaign. 
  • Calling on youth! Last #OrangeDay, your voices were heard all over the world speaking out against gender-based violence. This month, the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women calls on you to start planning how you, your organization and your community will help to “Orange the World” during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, 25 November to 10 December. Check out the UNiTE campaign’s toolkit and organize a planning discussion in your community.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

"He Named Me Malala" Film Screening at UN

UN Women, the Malala Fund, and the Muslim American Leadership Alliance (MALA) are pleased to present the groundbreaking documentary, He Named Me Malala, as an extension of the Students Stand #withMalala youth screening program, a collaboration between the Malala Fund and Participant Media. Join us in honor of United Nations Human Rights Day for an intimate portrait of the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, co-founder of Malala Fund. Special thanks to UNICEF and World We Want for their support and partnership for this screening.

When:Thursday, December 10, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Where: United Nations Headquarters, General Assembly Hall, New York City

Where to RSVP:

***Please note this event is FREE***

About the film: HE NAMED ME MALALA is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) shows us how Malala, her father Zia and her family are committed to fighting for education for all girls worldwide. The film gives us an inside glimpse into this extraordinary young girl’s life – from her close relationship with her father who inspired her love for education, to her impassioned speeches at the UN, to her everyday life with her parents and brothers.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Apply by Nov. 13 to Represent Girls Around the World at UN CSW in NY

Did you know that the World Assn. of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) sends representatives to major UN conferences to advocate on behalf of girls worldwide? Girls can also provide support from their home countries as well. (Please note this is an opportunity for girls 18-30 years old.)

This spring (March 14-24), the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will bring women, girls, and their allies from around the globe to discuss the issues they face and the policies, programs, and support needed to address these issues. At the conclusion of the commission, world leaders attending the event create a resolution to look at how they can address these needs in the coming year(s). This year's theme for CSW will be "Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development." Leaders and advocates will be reflecting on how women's empowerment can be engaged in the new Sustainable Development Agenda (which comprises of the new Global Goals).

Please note this is a competitive application process and you will be competing with girls around the world. Only serious applicants over the age of 18 should apply, and you should be available to attend the whole event from March 14-24, 2016. Applications are due by November 13. More info available here: and applications are available here:

If you are in the NYC area from March 14-24 but aren't selected to represent WAGGGS (or cannot commit to the whole conference), there are additional ways for you to engage in the conference. Throughout the time there will be parallel events held outside of the UN compound throughout NYC. These events will be open to the public. In February these events will be announced. We will keep you posted!

More info on CSW generally is available here:
Info on CSW 2016 is available here:
Info on the Global Goals is available here:

Friday, October 23, 2015

'All Rise' Documentary Screening at UN. November 4 (RSVP OCT 29)

On November 4 there will be a screening of the documentary All Rise: Journeys to a Just Worldwhich will be shown in the ECOSOC Chamber at UN Headquarters. The honorable Judge Hisashi Owada will be speaking at this event, and the documentary will be followed by a Q&A session with cast members from the film.

More info about the film:[3425-ALL RISE Trailer]/0/

RSVP (by October 29):

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Global to Local: UN Team Hosts Workshop on New WAGGGS Material

The WAGGGS UN team event, held yesterday in New York City, brought together troop leaders from Staten Island, Manhattan, New Jersey, and Heart of the Hudson! This workshop in particularly aimed at exposing troop leaders to the latest materials from WAGGGS: the new World Thinking Day materials (Connect 10 Million) and the very recent International Day of the Girl materials (10 Million Voices). The WAGGGS UN

Team worked to ensure that the workshop was especially interactive and exciting, allowing the troop leaders to discuss and explore the brand new Global Goals, which World Thinking Day and International Day of the Girl focus on.

What are the new Global Goals? Released on September 25, they are a set of priorities for all countries around the world that will help to address hunger, poverty, and social injustice. Each of the 17 goals focuses on one of the four themes: people, planet, peace, and prosperity. In 2017, each country will have national indicators that will help the public and non-profit organizations to hold their governments accountable to their commitments. As a result, it is essential that all people--young and not-so-young, girls and boys, parents and their children--learn about the goals so that they can be a part of this process and work towards a better world for their fellow citizens and the world.

Below are the resources discussed in the workshop, as well as some additional resources related to the Global Goals and the UN. I will also add these resources to the "resources" tab on this blog so you can find them again in the future!


WAGGGS International Day of the Girl 2015 (great activity ideas you can do right now!):

WAGGGS World Thinking Day (WTD isn't until February, but it is important to start thinking about it now with your other troop leaders, and there are many activities you can use at any time too!):

Kid-friendly (elementary-level) activity book on Global Goals:

Global Goals Lesson Plans:

World’s Largest Lesson Video: 6.5min 

Global Goals comic book (great resource to discuss the Global Goals with your children! Please note this is a work in progress!):

Youth Gateway: The UN Youth Envoy has created a “youth gateway” to get youth involved in the Global Goals and holding their governments accountable to the indicators. To be continued as we’re waiting for the indicators to com out (around January), but it is good to sign up now to get their emails and get involved:

Global Goals Background Resources

The following are great resources for troop leaders to learn more about the Global Goals, or for having your girls use to do their own (or small group) research:

Sustainable development goals: changing the world in 17 steps – interactive: Interactive "map" that shows the differences between the MDGs (the goals set for 2000-2015) and the new Global Goals. Click on the Global Goals and it will bring you to a description of the goal:

Sustainable Development Goals: All you Need to Know: This is a great overview of the goals. Please note that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the "technical" term for the Global Goals:

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (under "Key resources" they list some great resources that might be helpful to leaders to look at before working with girls, or to have older girls themselves look at to do research if needed): 

Other UN-Related Resources: 

This is a comprehensive list of UN teaching resources shared by the UN and its agencies:

Model UN Resources: 

Guardian Article: “How to teach… the UN”:

Committee on Teaching About the UN (CTAUN) Resources:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

International Day of the Girl Action Opportunity: ACT NOW

 Tomorrow is the official International Day of the Girl! Please spread the word by joining in the Thunderclap--we still need over a hundred more people to sign up! If we have 250 people sign up, then on the International Day of the Girl, a wave of social media will go out with the following message:

What is a Thunderclap?

If you sign up for the Thunderclap, you can have the message shared on your Facebook, Twitter, and/or Tumblr page! If enough people sign up, then Thunderclap will push out the message at the same moment on all registrants' social media accounts (only the ones that they signed up with!). Thunderclap will ONLY push messages that you sign up for and they will only do it to accounts that you have told Thunderclap it can push to.


What is International Day of the Girl?

The Day of the Girl Summit brings girls and girl-serving organizations together to celebrate the International Day of the Girl. The Summit has become a movement; a year-long, action-oriented virtual platform for change makers to leverage community resources in support the advancement of girls’ human 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.

More info on the International Day of the Girl can be found here:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

WAGGGS and the Adoption of the UN Global Goals

Three young women, Emily Rodriguez (USA), Kristen Grennan (USA), and Tsinjoharinosy Rahaingoarivelo (Madagascar) were among 193 young leaders who participated in the opening ceremony of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York City on September 25, 2015. Tsinjo is one of WAGGGS’ Post-2015 Ambassadors. Kristen and Emily are members of the WAGGGS NYC-based UN team.

 This UN Summit was historical because of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (known as Global Goals). The 17 Global Goals include ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, achieving gender equality, and protecting oceans and forests. The Global Goals will guide development strategies around the world for the next 15 years!

 In 2012, Emily participated the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (known as Rio+20) in Brazil. The new Global Goals were first formally discussed at Rio+20, along with the idea of including individuals in the decision making process of selecting these goals. Kristen became part of that initiative with her involvement as an intern at the UN’s Millennium Campaign and MY World global survey last spring. Tsinjo has been a WAGGGS Post-2015 Ambassador since 2013, and she has been attending international conferences and meetings to advocate for girls.

WAGGGS Delegates at the Adoption of the Global Goals

 WAGGGS Lights Lanterns and Leads the Way 

 Our day at the United Nations was incredibly exciting! We joined young leaders (under age 30) from around the world at 5:30 am, catching the sunrise over the UN courtyard! The youth selected to participate included official national youth delegates and representatives from youth organizations, such as WAGGGS.

 We were welcomed by the UN Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi in the morning. After we took our seats in the balcony of the UN General Assembly Hall, we anticipated presentations by Pope Francis, Malala Yousafzai, and Ban Ki-moon. Pope Francis encouraged us to take care of the environment and to put an end to exclusion. He discussed the importance of education, including for girls. Together with 193 youth from around the globe, we supported Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala, an activist for girls’ education and empowerment, during her speech. We stood with her in solidarity. We held solar-powered blue lanterns, lighting the way to a sustainable future for all children and youth. Emily, Kristen, and Tsinjo’s solar lanterns represented the 10 million WAGGGS members around the world! Malala raised her voice for girls’ rights and hope for our future. Tsinjo had the very special opportunity to sit behind Malala during the ceremony!

 At the end of the opening ceremony at the UN General Assembly, the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted with the official gavel, and we celebrated by waving UN flags from the balcony! WAGGGS delegates celebrated the adoption of the Global Goals with a spirit of achievement for all of our collective efforts over the last three years. The adoption of the goals gives us hope and encouragement!

 It was an honor to be a part of the historic adoption of Global Goals! Ban Ki-moon emphasized that youth are the torchbearers for the Global Goals. As Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, we have a responsibility to implement the Global Goals in our communities! What do you want the world to look like in 2030? Learn more about the Global Goals on:

 By Emily, Kristen, and Tsinjo

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Major Group on Children & Youth (MGCY) wants your success story!

Please see below for the MGCY call for submissions! Sorry for posting last minute:

We are extending our open call for success stories until October 8th, at 23:59 GMT/UTC.

What is this project about?

We want to hear your story about your project in humanitarian action! The UN MGCY WHS Youth Working Group is opening a call for success stories, which will show the world that youth are ready and capable to change our own society and future, through their contributions to and rethinking of the humanitarian architecture. We are looking for examples where you, the young people of the world, have started up a project that addresses a disaster or armed conflict. This can be a local project within your own community, but it can also have a larger scope.

We are not looking for projects focused on development or eradication of poverty, but actions linked to relief or response, as well as preparedness and resilience. Most importantly, your initiative has in an innovative way addressed needs that you see in a sustainable way.

The UN MGCY WHS Youth Working Group aims to share selected stories widely, as an example of young people’s contributions within humanitarian actions.

What is in it for you? 

If selected, your project will be broadcasted within our working group (which has already over 2,000 members!) on our social media channels reaching thousands of external partners, on our frequently visited website and we will also feature it during the Global Consultation for the World Humanitarian Summit in Geneva in October. This event will gather over 900 actors in humanitarian relief: NGOs, organizations and governments!

How can you submit your own project or initiative? 

 You will submit your success story by sending us an abstract of maximum 400 words at Please include in your abstract all the following information: how your project is run and what is its objective; who (for example individuals or an organization) and how many are running the project; who and how many benefits from the project; what are the results so far; and what the follow-up actions are. Any pictures, videos or other documentation that you have showcasing your story can be attached to the abstract using this form.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Engagement Opportunity: UN World Humanitarian Summit

YOU can help choose the priorities for the World Humanitarian Summit! Show your support for the actions needed to transform humanitarian action!

Under the "Dignity" section, there are two options that might be of particular interest to those following this blog: "Guarantee protection and education for children, and engage youth as partners in emergency preparedness and response," and, "Close the gender gap by ensuring funding and programming enables women and girls to realize their rights, including protection from gender-based violence." If these options resonate with you, it would be great if you could take the survey and select them to show that women/girls and children/youth are important parts of the humanitarian process when responding to crisis!

Click HERE: Share this with all your friends and networks to show our leaders, and the agencies and organizations that WE care about YOUTH and GIRLS and want more support and more youth leadership in humanitarian action!

Event hashtags: #WHSyouth #ReShapeAid

More Info on the World Humanitarian Summit

The UN's first World Humanitarian Summit will be held in Istanbul on 23 and 24 May 2016 and will bring together governments, humanitarian organizations, people affected by humanitarian crises and new partners including the private sector to propose solutions to our most pressing challenges and set an agenda to keep humanitarian action fit for the future.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Girls Speak Out UN Event: Oct. 9

Registration is filling up fast for the UN's International Day of the Girl celebration. Troops have the opportunity to come to the UN and watch performances acted/sang/spoken by girls that were submitted by girls around the world for this event. Registration is required at:

What is International Day of the Girl?

The Day of the Girl Summit brings girls and girl-serving organizations together to celebrate the International Day of the Girl. The Summit has become a movement; a year-long, action-oriented virtual platform for change makers to leverage community resources in support the advancement of girls’ human 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.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

TONIGHT: UN Team Members Featured on Radio Show

UN Team members Erin Mosier and Kristen Grennan will be featured tonight on a radio show discussing how girl scouting has influenced their life goals, their Gold Award projects, the importance of volunteerism, and their role on the WAGGGS United Nations team here in NYC.

The interview will be from 6-6:30pm EST, so be sure to check it out while on your commute home or over dinner! Listen LIVE online here:
OR, if you live in Nassau County, western Suffolk County, or eastern NYC, TUNE IN to 88.7FM.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Upcoming UN Team Event for Older Girl Troop Leaders

The UN Team will be hosting a training event for troop leaders to learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (aka, Global Goals), which are being officially launched this September. These Global Goals are established by the UN and will set a goal-oriented agenda for nations around the world to tackle issues such as poverty, hunger, and inequality. This event will explain what these new goals are and how you can discuss them with your troop in a way that will engage girls in thinking about the global sisterhood. The event will also look at how these global issues can become part of a discussion on local issues as well.

Who: Troop leaders who work with older girl scouts
When: Saturday, October 17, 9:45am-2pm
Where: Dana Center, Central Park North, NYC
Cost: $10

More info here:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

UN General Assembly Volunteer Opportunity!

The One+1 and UN Millennium Campaign are teaming up to bring in a team of lucky volunteers for the rare opportunity to assist in the UN General Assembly (UNGA)! The General Assembly happens once a year at the UN in NYC when the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN convenes to make decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, require a two-thirds majority. This is a special time when major heads of state and UN staff come from around the globe to discuss important issues and welcome in new leadership. This is also a special year in that it is the 70th anniversary of the UN! Volunteer opportunities to the UNGA are rare, so don't miss your chance!

Volunteers would be working as docents, helping to acts as guides and run information tables. Volunteers MUST be available two full days per week from 9am-6pm starting Saturday, September 19 until Wednesday, October 7! These days must be consistent each week, meaning you can sign up for Mondays and Thursdays, or Saturdays and Tuesdays. You have to be available the full days each week for the duration of the GA. 

Volunteers receive a certificate for their work as well as a small gift. This is also a great networking opportunity, as you will be volunteering right in the UN and will have the opportunity to meet with Heads of State, high level officials, etc.

In order to sign up, email with the following information:

1. Phone Number:
2. Email:
3. Emergency Contact Name:
4. Emergency Contact Info:
5. Volunteer Time Preference: (Mon-Sun):
6. Which days are a definite NO:

Please also considering following Network for Better on Facebook!
More info on Network for Better available here:
More info on the Millennium Campaign here:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Nominate an Advocate for the UNA-USA Leo Nevas Human Rights Youth Award

Are you a college student and passionate about the UN and human rights? Apply today for the 2015 Leo Nevas Human Rights Youth Advocate Award. If selected for the honor, you will be recognized for your commitment at the UN Foundation/UNA-USA Global Leadership Dinner in New York on November 3. The Global Leadership Dinner is a high-level annual event which has been attended that the UN Secretary General, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, and countless other high-level diplomats and philanthropists. Now’s your time to shine!

Applications will close on September 14, 2015 at 11:59PM EST.

Every year, the UNA-USA Leo Nevas Human Rights Task Force gives a Leo Nevas Human Rights Youth Advocate Award, recognizing the work of a young person who has earned distinction for raising awareness of the UN and human rights mechanisms. The Youth Advocate Award winner is invited to join UNA-USA for the annual Global Leadership Dinner in New York and be recognized for their efforts among high-level human rights advocates, leading, and policymakers. Previously, the UN Secretary General, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, and diplomats from around the world have attended this electrifying event.

The UNA-USA Leo Nevas Human Rights Task Force is an advisory group of distinguished citizens knowledgeable and vitally concerned about international human rights and the role of the UN and the U.S. in protecting those rights. Since its establishment in 2007, the Task Force has been active in urging the U.S. to seek membership on the UN Human Rights Council and, as a member, to appoint a knowledgeable ambassador to the Council so as to maximize U.S. engagement and leadership.

The Task Force works to promote robust and effective U.S. participation at the Human Rights Council, and to improve the effectiveness of the Council. The Task Force also encourages constructive U.S. engagement through other UN human rights bodies to promote the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, American values and human rights interests, as well as progress toward a more just and peaceful world.

Past Youth Advocate Recipients: Past award recipients include Rana Abdelhamid (2014), Elizabeth Alarcon (2013), Marlow Svatek (2012), Karen Woodin-Rodriguez (2011), Ryan Kaminski (2010), and Ibrahim Diallo (2008). 

Apply here:


United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a membership organization dedicated to inform, inspire, and mobilize the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA is a program of the United Nations Foundation. UNA-USA and its sister organization the Better World Campaign represent the single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations in the world. Learn more about UNA-USA’s programs and initiatives at - See more at:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WAGGGS at UN Youth Day

WAGGGS UN Team Members at Youth Day: Emily, Maria, Jen, and Kristen

To celebrate the International Day of Youth on August 12, four WAGGGS youth delegates living in the New York City area participated in activities at the United Nations headquarters! Kristen (USA), Jen (USA), Maria (Chile), and Emily (USA) met with three Girl Scouts from the Greater New York Council who were also attending the event with their leader.

Be sure to keep your troop in the loop with these kinds of opportunities by signing up for updates from the WAGGGS UN Team Blog! See the "Follow By Email" box at the top right of your screen.

Girl Scouts NYC attending the event!
The theme for this year’s International Youth Day was “Youth Civic Engagement,” advocating for the involvement and inclusion of young people in decision-making processes. We attended the main event of the day, which included remarks by the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. He said, “Young leaders have contributed fresh ideas, taken proactive measures, and mobilized through social media as never before.” We are the most interconnected and interdependent generation in history, and we are global citizens.

Ban Ki-moon speaking to youth at Youth Day
Ban Ki-moon said, “young people will be the torch bearers in the new Sustainable Development Agenda.” In September, countries will formally agree on the Sustainable Development Goals, which are the world’s new set of targets covering a broad range of issues, including ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, and protecting oceans and forests. The engagement of girls and young women is critical to achieving these new goals!

Professor Mark Brennan said, “Empowering youth is not only the right thing to do – it is the single most important thing to do.” All of the panelists were inspiring and gave examples of how youth are agents of change. Following the main panel sessions, we attended a luncheon with youth delegates from all over the world, representing various youth organizations, UN agencies, and governments.

Post by Emily Rodriguez, originally shared to the WAGGGS website here:

Monday, August 10, 2015

World Humanitarian Summit Data Visualization Competition

Join the #VisualizeChange challenge

In the lead-up to the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit convened by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, we have consulted thousands of people worldwide and collected their ideas and recommendations to reduce human loss and suffering from crisis.

Together with Unite Ideas we are inviting you to join our #VisualizeChange challenge to build an info-graphic or dynamic visualization featuring the World Humanitarian Summit consultation data collections.

The winner will be invited and sponsored to travel to present their work at the Global Consultation in Geneva, Switzerland on 14-16 October 2015 and the best visualizations will be showcased on the World Humanitarian Summit website, the Unite Ideas website and at related events worldwide. Please share this invitation with colleagues and friends and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or ideas related to the challenge:

Find out about criteria and how to participate here:

The deadline for submissions is 30 August 2015.

What is the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)?

An initiative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, managed by UN OCHA, the first World Humanitarian Summit will be held in Istanbul on 23 and 24 May 2016 and will bring together governments, humanitarian organizations, people affected by humanitarian crises and new partners including the private sector to propose solutions to our most pressing challenges and set an agenda to keep humanitarian action fit for the future.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

WAGGGS #YouthDay Initiative: #IToldMyStoryTo

Want to get involved in International Youth Day on August 12? WAGGGS is hosting a social media campaign to raise awareness about the actions girls worldwide have taken in their communities!

What have you done in the past year to contribute to your community? How are you engaged in your neighborhood or with global issues?

Opportunities, especially for young women, to be involved politically, economically and socially in their communities, countries and on a global level are few and far between. International Youth Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of girls and young women as agents of change and as volunteers on the ground. It also gives us the chance to celebrate girls' contributions to development of their communities and governments.

Tell your story! 

Did you do the Global Action Theme (GAT) badge? Did you participate in or organize a World Thinking Day event? Did your Gold, Silver, or Bronze Award address issues such as hunger, poverty, or social injustice? All of these actions contribute to civic engagement and actively contributing to your community.

Help raise awareness that young people make an essential contribution to these goals! Share your story of civic engagement. You could tell your story to your school, your teacher, at an assembly with your community, your friends, your workplace, your local council, your Government! Share who you have told your story to on social media using the hashtags #Itoldmystoryto and #YouthDay and don’t forget to tag us @wagggs_world.

Youth in action: 12 stories of change 

Look out for 12 stories of change from Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from Member Organisations of all five WAGGGS regions, working towards the Millennium Development Goals, which were goals established by the UN in 2000 that are coming to a close now (you can read about the new Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals, here).

WAGGGS will be sharing a story of change every two hours starting Tuesday 11 August. This will end on International Youth Day 12 August with exciting findings from our research on the Global Action Theme badge, which focused on ways in which girls and young women helped to deliver the Millennium Development Goals.

 Follow the stories and our research results on our Twitter and Facebook pages and on our website here.

More resources and information are available here:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sustainable Development Goals Adopted + Child-Friendly Version

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of goals/targets that the United Nations will set from the years 2015-2030. The series of goals are important for identifying funding needs for projects and programs as well as creating measurable targets so the countries can see their progress.

On August 2, all member states of the UN have agreed to adopt the SDG agenda, which will not be officially adopted until September. The goals not take go into effect until January 2016, when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are completed.

Alongside the adoption, there has been a release of a child-friendly version for parents, teachers, and volunteers to work with children around the world and teach them about the new SDGs, or "Global Goals." This is a great opportunity to talk with young children about the UN, human rights, and global issues around poverty, hunger, discrimination, and the environment. The child-friendly version is available here:

Adults and youth can check out the full SDG agenda here:

A press release from the UN with more information can be seen here:
and here:

Monday, August 3, 2015

UN Climate Action Video Contest Deadline: August 17

The UN Envoy on Youth is giving away the opportunity to attend the upcoming climate conference COP 21, which will be held in Paris, France this December! Attending COP is an amazing opportunity to demonstrate the impact you and other youth have had on influencing climate change policies and actions. For more information about COP, please check out this website:

Below is from a press release from the UN Envoy on Youth, available here: 

If you are between the ages of 18 and 30, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) wants to hear about your inspiring actions for Climate Change.

Think about a project or campaign you are involved in to combat climate change, an action which convinced your parents, school or college to take climate action, a lobbying of your elected members of parliament or your city leaders.

Whatever is making a difference, turn it into a snappy concise 3 minute video and join the competition.

Some key questions to answer are:
• Why did you choose to engage in this climate action?
• What were some of the key things that took place?
• What were some of the successes?
• Where did these successes occur (locally, nationally or internationally)?
• How can youth from similar countries replicate the activities that have been implemented?

The Prizes Each winner will receive:
• Round trip to COP21/CMP11 in Paris, France from 30 November to 11 December 2015 (inclusive of accommodation and other expenses); and
 • Position as a youth reporter for COP21/CMP11, responsible for assisting UNFCCC Newsroom team with videos, articles and social media posts. 

Deadline to submit your video: August 17, 2015

 - You convinced your school, employer or local/national government to take climate action;
- You created formal/non-formal mechanisms/spaces that enable dialogue between young people and company or government representatives on climate action;
- You contributed to government approved documents or regulations that address climate change;
- You have shaped a government’s position at an intergovernmental meeting on climate change;
- You have prevented new fossil fuel infrastructure;
- You have engaged the media on climate change;
- You have organized a successful divestment campaign.

 To submit your video, and learn more about the Rules and Regulations click here.

 The Global Youth Video Competition is collaboration between the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UNDP GEF-Small Grants Programme, the United Nations Joint Framework Initiative on Children, Youth, and Climate Change and Television for the Environment.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sign up NOW for August 12 UN Event for International Youth Day!

This August 12 is International Youth Day! This is an internationally recognized day to celebrate youth. This year's theme is on civic engagement. Civic engagement is defined as: the encouragement of the general public to become involved in the political process and the issues that affect them.

On August 12, there will be an International Youth Day event held at the UN headquarters in NYC! This event is meant for youth (under 25 years old) and is an exciting opportunity for you to go to the UN and have your voice heard, while also meeting other young people who are passionate about global issues and social justice. You can register for the event here:

Didn't get picked for the event or can't get to NYC? Create your own event in your community! The UN's Envoy on Youth has some excellent suggestions for you to take with your troop, friends, or community organization. Or, you can take action online.

More information here:

United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) Survey on Youth, Peace, and Security

The United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) is calling for youth to respond to their survey/consultation on youth, peace, and security to understand the opinions and concerns of youth in this area. You can access the consultation here:

More Information About the Consultation:

Young people around the world face a wide and diverse set of experiences, challenges and problems, which vary according to their nationality, ethnic and racial background, gender, sexual orientation, religion and much more. In order to ensure that the declaration will truly reflect the youth’s viewpoint and include such multiplicity of perspectives, we would like to ask for your contribution. This is your chance to make your voice heard by helping us draft the declaration!

Through the questionnaire below, you can express your opinion about the most pressing aspects within the field of Youth, Peace and Security. The questionnaire is composed by two multiple choice and nine open-ended questions. The open-ended questions are optional, thus, you are not required to answer all of them. Instead, you can focus on the ones of your interest. Please, try to be specific and short in your answers.

Who is UNOY Peacebuilders?

UNOY Peacebuilders is a network of youth peace organisations from around the world. We currently have 60 member organisations in 45 countries. We have an office in the Hague coordinating the network, with four members of staff. We also have an International Steering Group, representing the different member organisations around the world, and a board based in the Netherlands.

More info here:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#OrangeDay: What does a future free of violence against women & girls mean to you?

This Saturday is Orange Day! Upload your short video to social media to share what a future free of violence against women and girls means to you. Be sure to use the hashtag #OrangeDay so that others can see why youth are making the call to end violence against women & girls.

What is Orange Day?

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women has proclaimed the 25th of each month as ‘Orange Day’, a day to raise awareness and take action against violence against women and girls. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls, for the UNiTE Campaign. Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month. This month, the UNiTE campaign highlights the role of one particular group whose efforts are vital if a future free from violence against women and girls is to become a reality; the theme of action for 25 July, Orange Day, is “Orange our Future: Engaging youth to prevent and end violence against women and girls.”

More Info on How to Participate

Here’s how you can add your voice:

1. Take a short video of up to 30 seconds of yourself, your friends or your organization answering one or more of these questions:

  • What does a future free of violence against women and girls mean to you? 
  • Why are the Sustainable Development Goals, which will be agreed in September 2015, an important framework for realizing a future free of violence against women and girls?  How can young people help to end violence against women and girls? 
  • What do you commit to do to end violence against women and girls? 
2. Make sure there’s a touch of orange in your video and don’t forget to introduce yourself and say which country you are from.
3. Upload your video to YouTube or Instagram.
4. On 25 July, share the link to your video on Twitter using the hashtags #OrangeDay and #OrangeOurFuture
5. Encourage other young people to do the same!

More information here:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

International Day of the Girl Call for Submissions Until 7/17!

Exciting news about International Day of the Girl (IDG) being held this October 9! The International Day of the Girl is a global celebration of girls and their struggles, successes, and rights. The UN hosts the event annually by collecting arts submissions from girls around the world who share their experiences. Submissions are selected and displayed or presented to UN officials as well as girls and women from around the globe! Selected submissions that are presented are often performed or acted out by girls in the NYC area. The discussions from these works are powerful and emotional--touching on everything from living with a disability as a girl, to sexual abuse, to body image and the media.

This year will be another great year for girls to celebrate themselves and put their thoughts and ideas in front of the UN! Here is the intro to the call for submissions (due 7/17!):
Imagine: The year is 2065 and girls hold all leadership positions at the United Nations and more than half of the governmental positions in countries around the world. Girls’ rights are honored, respected and the global economy is booming. Why? How did this happen? What was the event that changed everything? How did you, your parents, teachers, friends, and siblings help make this happen? What did community leaders, government officials, the UN and YOU do RIGHT NOW, in 2015 to improve our world for girls? 

You can help us make IDG 2015 the greatest celebration of girls, girl power, and the unique roles girls play in our world. We invite all girls ages 18 or younger to send us your creative writing or artwork so you can share your voice and your ideas to help shape the Girls Speak Out 2015!

Girls  have two great ways to be involved. Firstly, girls around the world can submit their artwork, poem, songs, etc. to be presented at the IDG Summit at the UN. See the above flyer for information about this year's themes! Please note the submission deadline is very soon!

Secondly, girls in New York City and nearby areas can actually perform these great works. Below is the IDG audition flyer with more info and how to get involved:
Last year, the WAGGGS UN team attended the IDG Summit! You can check out more info here: And here are a few select photos from last year:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

UN E-Consultation with Children & Youth on the Sustainable Development Goals

Have you done a lot of work in your troop around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the last few year? Maybe you have participated in World Thinking Day, did a GAT (Global Action Theme) badge, or completed one of the YUNGA badges (see the resources tab above for more information about these!)?

Are you familiar with the new goals coming out this year, called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? The United Nations (UN) is going to declare the official, new SDGs in September, and they will determine the direction that international aid will go in. As a result, these goals are very important to everyone around the globe. For example, for the last MDGs, violence against women and girls was not made a priority--and so a lot of funding opportunities by the international community were lost. However, the new goals hope to be more inclusive and address more systemic issues in the global poverty and inequality chain. If you're interested in learning more about the SDGs, check out this great interactive Guardian site:

These goals may seem very large and 'out-there,' but they affect the lives of people around the globe, especially those of girls and boys. That is why UNICEF and the World We Want are asking that children and young adults to think about the current draft for these goals and think about how they could be more engaging and understandable to YOU! You can check out the draft of the SDGs (known as the "Zero Draft") here, then head to the World We Want website before June 17 and think about the following 5 questions they are asking children to answer to help them to make the SDGs declaration more child-engaging:
  1. Do you think the Declaration of the SDGs is important for you or other children and young people around the world? Why or why not?
  2. If you could prioritize the 5 most important goals which could help achieve a world you want to live in, what would they be?
  3. Does the SDGs Declaration tell you about your rights and inspire you to help human rights be recognized and respected?
  4. What would you add or take out of the Declaration to make it better, simple, understandable and child-friendly?
  5. What do you think is the best way to raise awareness of these goals among children and young people? 
Troop leaders: This could be a great way to engage your troop in the global community. I suggest reading more about the MDGs & SDGs, finding some activities provided by the GAT, YUNGA, or World Thinking Day badges, and then reading the Zero Draft on your own before the meeting. Then use what you learned to engage your girls on what the SDGs are, why they are important, and what they mean for children around the world. Conclude your meeting by hosting some discussion around the five questions and then help your girls to answer the questions online (or have them write down their answers and they can post it online with their parents after the meeting).

Here is the full release:
IT IS OUT! - Zero Draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda has been released publicly.
We invite children and young people
to comment on the Declaration to help make it inspiring to you and your peers!
What if you were the lead writer of it – what would it say?
Read the SDGs Declaration here and participate in the E-consultation during 3-17 June.
We need your views and ideas to make the SDGs Declaration better, understandable, child-friendly and inspiring!
At the United Nations, governments have consulted with people all over the world to come up with a set of 17 goals to achieve over the next 15 years on issues such as improving health, providing children with a good education and fighting the damaging effects of climate change.  If these “sustainable development goals” are a success, you and other children and young people across the world will live in a world that is fairer, safer, more prosperous for all people and where our natural environment is healthy and well-protected.
To introduce the goals, government negotiators have worked on a “Declaration.”  Think of it like an essay that introduces the goals to world and explains why they exist and why they are so important.
A number of  UN Ambassadors they have requested for children and young people to proofread the Declaration and provide inputs, recognizing how important it is for children and young people to understand this declaration and the goals.  Your inputs will be summarized and presented to the governments towards the end of June. The governments have called for your help – let’s together make sure that they know what the most important issues are for children.
Read the SDGs Declaration here and participate in this E-consultation from 3 to 17 June on
Spread the word – to individuals, organizations, children and youth networks - every child and young person should have an opportunity to be part of this consultation!
We look forward to your ideas, views and suggestions!