Friday, March 13, 2015

Girls as Peace Builders

Girls act for Change, Girls act for Peace: Empowering Girl Ambassadors for Peace
Opening remarks and welcome, Susan Truppe, parliamentary Secretary for SWC and Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski, permanent mission of Canada to the UN

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza spoke about lives of girls, and harmful practises. Multiplied many times in countries affected by war. Global Network of Girl Ambassadors for Peace, 3 components, literacy, leadership, peace building. 

Girls Ambassadors for Peace conduct literacy classes in eastern Congo. Dedicated workshops, on issues they confront, early marriage, sexual violence, fgm etc. included peace building, because of nature of conflicts in the area. Implementing program in south Sudan as well. In Afghanistan, replicate program. 

Neema Namadamu 2nd woman to graduate from University in the Congo. Has coordinated program for girls in the Congo. Was to bring young girl ambassador, but visa denied. 

Spoke about importance of education. Early marriage, attitude, cultural expectation. Teach girls how to access justice. Global strategy taking action. 

Jazmin Papadopoulos, Winnipeg VOW member,  developed the training materials, along with colleague Janna Barkman. Jazmin spoke about VOW, and support for the democratic participation. The kit is in 18 modules so lots of options as to how it is used. Being used in the Congo, and soon in S. Sudan and Guatemala. 

Not up to authors to decide content. Girl ambassadors use what makes sense for their situation. Capacity building, identify oppression in every day life. 

Mavic - Loved tool kit, policy isn't everything, implementation,  action important. Including boys is also part of tool kit, and in Congo. 

Yusur Al-Bahrani, from VOW Toronto. The theme of bringing young women together, to share. Needs international connection. We should be in a circle, share. Needs to invest in peace not arms. Spoke of yuzzi women. Physically traumatized. Come together in a circle. Go behind headlnes. Invest in peace, not war. 

Death of Afghan woman killed yesterday, media telling about what is happening, but not causes, and how to stop, ie yuzzi women.

Cordaid, a Dutch based Foundation, concerned about no adequate funding, to right group. Arms trade agreement, meeting funding requirements, peace keepers who are protecting civilians who are being attacked with arms sold by same governments! 

Cordaid CEO, and former Dutch Ambassador to the UN, Simone Filippini spoke about support vs ownership. How many times have we done this - unleashing positive energy before. Defining security. Collective security. How to support girls programs, and signing arms agreement - both necessary.

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