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.