Youth Exchange South to South – Girls Movement
The Youth Exchange South to South Girls Movement, also called YESS programme, is an international exchange programme, funded by the Norwegian Agency For Exchange Cooperation (NOREC), which is a government agency. The programme started in 2015 from 14 different Member Organisations across the Africa and Asia-Pacific Regions. This programme is one of our flagship one and a favourite for a lot of young women, it allows them to love a lifetime opportunity : living and working in another country for six months.
Dubbed ‘a journey of a lifetime’, the YESS Girls Movement gives young women aged 18-25 years the chance to immerse themselves into a different way of life for six months. During their stay they are challenged to undertake six different core initiatives :
-Reaching out to the reached, unreached, under-reached and hard-to-reach areas and recruiting girls and young women into girl guiding #WelcomeToMyWorld
-The YES! Girls Can Campaign where young people campaign on issues that affect girls demonstrating the positive impact they can have on the lives of others.
– The Green Tech Generation Campaign which challenges young women to take responsibility for the environment.
-The Good Turn Community Projects where in honour of the Guide Promise, the participants undertake at least one sustainable community support project in their host country every year
-Friends of Guiding Engagement of prominent men and women as Friends of guiding so that they can support (financially and other-wise); speak out and take action on, issues that affect girls
-The Red Pride Menstrual Hygiene Management Education, where girls and young women are properly educated about menstrual hygiene and inspired to take action so that periods don’t limit the life chances of others
SDGs, created and promoted by United Nations take an important place in our work, especially the 5th one – ACHIEVE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER ALL WOMEN AND GIRLS – given our vision of a fairer, more equal world.
In our movement we believe that to achieve our ambition girls need to have a proactive voice on their needs and rights. Through our YESS Girls Movement exchange programme, we aspire to give girls the chance to develop their leadership skills, and have the confidence and self-awareness they need to pursue their dreams and be this voice of change,
WHAT THE YESS GIRL EXCHANGE LOOKS LIKE:
The exchange programme runs for nine months in total:
• One month of preparation and training
• Six months exchange of living in a host Member Organisation country
• Two months of mandatory reporting upon returning home to share learnings with their home Member Organisation
Through these activities, the programme helps Member Organisations raise awareness on a national, regional & global scale about the positive impact Guiding can have on a girls’ life. By being actively involved and visible in this global programme, all participating Member Organisations can benefit from being part of the world’s largest voluntary organisation of 10 million members across 150 countries.
Leadership and personal development of the young women participating in the programme. Many have taken up leadership roles in their home associations.
• More active and vibrant youth participation in guiding activities
• Networking, cross learning and sharing of best practices among Member Organisations.
WAGGGS is the largest voluntary movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world with 10 million members across 150 countries..
THE YESS ALUMAE GUILD
With an anticipated 200 YESS Alumnae by 2020, WAGGGS and its Member Organisations will have a strong cohort of International Change Agents to help promote the values of Girl Guiding and Girl Scout and continue the positive difference they made in their host Member Organisation country. In July 2017, the Alumnae decided unanimously to name themselves as the YESS Alumnae Guild. Our approach to all our global programmes is to make them sustainable in the long term, so they can have an impact on a far wider number of girls than those who have taken part in them directly. We apply this same approach to our YESS Girls exchange programme and work closely with the alumni and their Member Organisations to ensure that the skills and experiences gained through the exchange continue to be developed.
The Alumnae is a summit to plan the following activities for 3 years. The first one took place in July 2017 and the second one stand in Kampala in 2020. All Members Organisations are also working with alumnae members and to continue to be the role model and inspire others young girls and young women in the Movement.
In 2018, the AGR have received participants from Nepal, Malawi, Madagascar and Kenya. In 2019, the AGR received eight participants from Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. For six months, each team’s role has been significant. They have recruited new Girl Guides (enrolling 2,198 new members in 2018 and 1400 so far in 2019), conducted campaigns on anti-teen pregnancy and anti-alcohol and drugs, worked with Ni Nyampinga Ambassadors to create new Girl Guiding troops,and conducted an online campaign for a healthy environment known as “Green Tech Generation” among other activities.
These initiatives have contributed to raise awareness about the Girl Guiding movement in Rwanda and attracted numerous potential partnerships. During the home coming seminar in 2018 in Zambia, the AGR was awarded three times for its compliance, membership growth and for possessing the most supportive YESS team.