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Organization: World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

Yes - through our joint peace work with our brother organization, WOSM, more girls and young women and boys and young men have taken part in peace activities.  Together we have almost 40 million members.

We are running many different peace projects - some long- running and some new - all of which are being taken up enthusiastically by different countries.  For example, a small peace project developed on the Olympic games, involved over 13 countries.

Although each project has different, specific evaluation methods, we do measure by success by the number of young people involved and the number of countries which take part.

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

Lack of funding.
Competition for young people's time:  school work, house work, etc
Declining membership

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

WAGGGS is, by definition an organization that promotes peace through promoting cultural understanding and international friendship between men and women, and between different countries and religions.  This was one of the key aims of the Founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, who, incidentally, was due to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1939 but then war broke out, for his work in promoting peace between young people.  He felt that only when people understood each other could peace be achieved.  Today, WAGGGS offers many opportunities for young people to develop international friendships and learn about other parts of the world.  However, we do run many specific peace projects:

1) Building World Citizenship
This was our triennial theme from 1996 – 2002 and was divided into six key areas, one of which was peace.  56 peace projects were run which encouraged Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to think about the effects of war and what can be done to prevent it.  Members learnt about different cultures and the causes of conflicts.  In Japan, Girl Scouts continued their UN-recognised work with the Pakistan Girl Guides Association, sending thousands of peace packs to Afghan refugees in Pakistan.  The Girl Scouts of Japan is one of the largest benefactors of the Afghan refugees.  The UK Guides also ran a similar project with refugees in the Kosovo and in Taiwan, 1,350 participants from Japan, Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines took part in an international friendship camp.

2) Our Rights, Our Responsibilities (OROR)

This is our triennial theme for 2002 – 2008 and looks at six key rights, one of which is the right to live in peace.  This module looks at conflict resolution and war in depth, focusing on what the individual can do to prevent conflict and his/her rights, for example, the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Part of OROR is the Olympia Badge.  This Badge was created by The Greek Girl Guides Association and promotes the ideals of the Games – fairness, cultural understanding and peace through a series of sporting activities.  This was an extremely popular badge and was taken up by over 13 countries.

3) Building Peace among Children

Soroptimists provided the funding for young leaders in Africa to be trained as Peace Ambassadors and to run peace projects in their own countries at the BPAC seminar in Rwanda in April 2003.  The seminar was hosted by the Guides in Rwanda and the first lady of Rwanda.  One of the young leaders is working with girls in a refugee camp in Zambia. This project demonstrates the effects and impact of conflict and war on children to members of the public using poems, sketches, dances and songs. Other projects are now up and running in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Burundi, Tanzania, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, and Uganda.   One of the key aims is to empower women as peace makers and to enable them to take the initiative in preventing conflict and also, domestic conflict where they themselves could be victims.  Girl Guides in South Africa and Burundi are focusing especially on domestic violence against women, using their own cultural practises to highlight the issue to boys and men.

WAGGGS and Soroptimists also hosted a joint workshop at the 48th Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2004. Two young women from Africa addressed over 200 delegates about their peace building projects.

“I was really humbled to be among the very few youths especially from the Africa Region… I learnt a lot and I return home full of enthusiasm to share what I have learnt with my Association. I plan to mobilize young leaders and people who would be interested in helping to raise the standards of living especially in the slums, and in the process spread peace culture.” Claudia, from Kenya

4) Joint peace project with WOSM

The World Organization of the Scout Movement and WAGGGS are working together with a joint team to promote peace and also to collect all the peace projects done over the years.  

5) WAGGGS’ 144 Member Organizations run many different peace projects which empower girls and young women to become peace makers and also help to create cultural understanding and friendship.  WAGGGS and WOSM are currently working with young men and women in Iraq to train them in the Guiding and Scouting method, thereby spreading the message of peace and goodwill.

ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?


PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

We work with Soroptimists International, ZONTA, WOSM, UNAIDS, FAO and
other UN agencies

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?


Postal address of organization

World Bureau, 12c Lyndhurst Road, London, NW3 5PQ

E-mail address of organization


Website address of organization

www.wagggsworld.org

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Equality of women

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

international peace and security

Highest priority country of action (or international)

international

Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

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