Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Peace First Prize is Taking Nominations!

Do you know a US resident between ages 8-22 who had done some amazing peace making in their community? The Peace First Prize is looking for applicants for their $25,000 fellowship award to provide young peacemakers the opportunity to pursue their peace project and further their education for two years.

According to the website, "The Peace First Fellowship contributes to the movement Peace First is building through direct programming that builds a collection of youth peacemakers.  The Peace First Fellowship invests in empowering youth who are already catalysts for change, helping to put their work in context and provide the relationships, skills, and knowledge they need to take their peacemaking work to the next level.  The Peace First Fellowship has a unique focus on relationships: among Fellows, between Fellows and Peace First staff, and within the larger Peace First network."

Last year's winners ranged from ages 13-23 and worked on projects related to race, education, LGBT issues, bullying, and disabilities. Students often experienced first-hand different struggles and sought to make change so that other people in similar situations don't have to feel the same way they did. Check out the amazing five winners from 2014 here!

Do you know a girl in your community who has made amazing strides in peacemaking? Nominate her now for the Peace First Prize! Even if she doesn't make it as a finalist there are some great benefits to being an applicant:

  • An invitation to join the Community of Peacemakers, a growing, online network of young people around the country who are creating positive social change. 
  • A chance for their story to be featured on the Peace First Prize website and/or social media. 
  • Entry into a raffle for a chance to donate $100 to the peacemaking organization of their choice (must apply by early application deadline, February 6, 2014).
Nominations are pretty quick (your nominee will be sent an application form after you nominate them), so fill one out now here:
Or, work with the girl on her application, which is available here:

Note for girls applying: Be sure to look at the whole website as well as all of the social media pages and think about what kind of trends you see in what the prize is looking for. Applications are an art in themselves and unfortunately are the gatekeepers to great prizes and awards like these. If you don't get picked, don't be discouraged-- practicing filling out applications is good to do, and a great way to reflect on the great work you're doing in your community and the vision you have for yourself in the future! I suggest teaming up with an adult, such as your troop leader or parent, and having them help you to think about what makes you the best candidate and how to craft your personal story. This is your moment to shine-- don't be intimidated to speak highly and positively about yourself!

Resources for parents, teachers, and troop leaders: The website has some great resources for getting children started on the path to being great peacemakers in their community! Access them here:

Friday, January 16, 2015

#Action2015 & the WAGGGS Take Action Backpack

If you are active on social media, particularly Twitter, you may have noticed the #Action2015 hashtag. Action/2015is a new global campaign to call to action, a movement to demand change and to work to ensure world leaders adopt truly ambitious goals and agreements on addressing climate change, poverty, inequality and injustice. This year is a pivotal year: the 2015 Millennium Development Goals are coming to an end and a new set of goals will be determined for the years to come! These new goals are important: they determine what key development issues get international support and funding, whether it's gender equality, infrastructure, government anti-corruption measures, and more.

January 15 was a big day to call our leaders to action, but you can still get involved-- leaders will be meeting throughout the year to decide these future goals, and every action you take in your local community and share with our global community makes a difference.

What Can I Do to Get Involved?

  1. Check out the NEW WAGGGS Take Action Backpack, an interactive online "backpack" that will help you on your journey to understanding and taking action on child and maternal health. Why did WAGGGS pick these to focus on? Because Millennium Development goal 4 is on child health and Millennium Development goal 5 is on maternal health, and countries still have a way to go in ensuring that children and mothers have save and healthy lives! Check out the backpack here (be sure to click the play buttonn above the backpack to get started!):
  2. Fill out the My World 2015 Survey and see what other people are saying. The My World 2015 Survey gives everyone around the globe the chance to have their voices heard in what they think are important goals as we look to the future! Fill out the survey here:
  3. GenUN also has a list of actions you can take to make 2015 a year of action. And remember, it is never too late to take any action and get your leaders' support! Check it out here:
  4. Check out the Action/2015 website for more information on what this big push for action in 2015 is all about: