Acknowledgement by Participants
First and foremost, praises and thanks to God Almighty for His showers of
blessings throughout our 27 days Challenge to complete the Challenge
successfully. We would like to express our deep and sincere gratitude to WAGGGS and Norec for the great opportunity given us to learn and explore other cultures and also for the invaluable guidance throughout the challenge. We would also like to thank our home countries; Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Uganda, Senegal, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe for believing in us to represent them well. Last but not least, we are extremely grateful to Association des Guides du Rwanda for hosting us and making us feel at home. Our special thanks to our followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, this was possible because of your support.
Forword by Chief Commissioner
April has been a very tough month not only for the YESS team but the whole country given that we had to commemorate Genocide against Tutsis
for the 26th anniversary. This is a very sensitive month for all Rwandans, the YESS team Rwanda have been very supportive despite that they were alone locked down in their house but their message of hope have reached to Girl Guides and Rwandans in general we are grateful. Apart from that we have been under a total lockdown due to COVID 19 pandemic, YESS participants have behaved as mature people, very responsible and understanding. Above all they have been very active on social media with so many different interesting topics. On behalf of Rwanda Girl Guides Association and my own, I thank the YESS Girls 2020 and the whole YESS Team in Rwanda for the incredible effort they are making to make the implementation successfully the program despite the hardship they go through. We are proud of you and we are there to support whenever
needed. Keep up the good work
Association des Guides du Rwanda
How is your 2020 so far? Two months into the year Rwanda was put on lock down due to “covid-19”. According to World Health Organization WHO, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered CORONA VIRUS. And because of its deadly and infectious nature people world wide were asked to stay and work from home to reduce the spread of this deadly disease.
As a result of the lock down we had to start working from home which was not an easy task given that our work is mostly field oriented. Consequently WAGGGS came up with the 27 days challenge full of fun, to help us keep our work moving using social media platforms. Our 2020 started on a great note, despite the effects of the pandemic we have been very productive and we regret nothing. To sum it up we are grateful for the experience and hope for the best.
YESS GIRLS STAY SAFE FROM COVID-19
YES! Girls Can Stay Safe from COVID-19
In times of global crisis where human lives are in jeopardy as a result of the exponential spread of the pandemic, COVID-19, we ought to be morally and socially responsible by observing the laws and policies of any government for the betterment of the society. Hence as YESS girls, we contributed towards the fight against Corona Virus by raising awareness and adhering to the precautionary measures which include; washing hands frequently, wearing masks, covering mouth when sneezing/ coughing and practicing social distancing of 1m/6feet by staying at home. COVID-19 is a wake-up call for the world to realize how dependent we are on each other. So we the YESS girls engaged people online through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp to share their experiences with us since we are all in this together.
We realized that we learn more in crisis than in comfort. This is because most people had to work from home and this stay at home period was the best moment to discover one’s purpose on earth, set goals, enjoy new experiences through reading and learning, and focus strongly on what matters most in life. Again, most individuals we engaged with resorted to consuming foods high in Vitamin C to boost their immune system for instance; lime with warm water in order to be healthy. The lockdown period helps people to prioritize their mental, physical and spiritual wellness with regards to the enough ‘me time’ which results in getting one’s life together in order to come out as a new creature. We have a chance to do something extraordinary and as we slip out of this pandemic, we can change the world. Team Black Panther encourages everyone to use the period more wisely and stay hopeful for we shall overcome!!! So let’s be safe by taking precautions, be smart by staying informed and be kind by supporting each other!
WELCOME TO MY WORLD
The team was assigned a five-day challenge to exploit this topic as discussed
below:The first day a banner was created with words about what the week was about and to encourage friends, followers to participate on our social media platforms. The second day involved designing a one pager creative leaflet that introduced girl guiding using pictures. On the third day team members created a team guiding video where they introduced themselves, their home countries, how long they have been in guiding, memorable experiences as girl guides and clearly elaborated why they thought every girl in the world should be a girl guide.
The fourth day; the team shared their experiences on the Youth Exchange
South to South(YESS) through a video this included: the process they went
through to become YESS participants, the selection criteria and experiences gained through a video format. Ultimately, the last day the team engaged in an online recruitment drive by facebook and instagram live shows. The live participants appreciated the movement with one highlighting that ‘ guiding is a lifestyle, without it one misses a stage in life.’
Mentural Hygiene Management
The MHM (Menstrual Hygiene Management) is a non-formal education from WAGGGS with WASH United partnership,to improve knowledge about menstruation and menstrual hygiene management for girl guides In front of the multiple challenges for girls about menstruation,like: taboo and lack of education,beliefs and negative social norms…it is very important for us as a girl guides to help and teach girls how to manage their period.
That’s why during the week of red pride challenge we did a lot of activities to support girls. The goal is to make girls understand that menstruation is natural and healthy because it happens to all girls and women, that it does not end until menopause. So strictly emphasize that menstruation is not a taboo. For the MHM challenge, we focused on « Rosie’s world » book for teaching and helping the girls at schools and we used the same on our online challenge. We talked about menstruation and sensitized the population about it. Then, we did video for showing people especially girls how to manage and not be ashamed of their period because our period is our pride!!!
RWANDA GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE
As we all know we could not continue our challenge because we have to support our Host country in all situations and especially in a solemn period because we are not here only to work but also we are here to learn and exchange cultures.
If we go back to history, this harsh era was the genocide against the Tutsis. This genocide took place from April 7 to July 17, 1994, that is to say it lasted three months and ten days. It was a Rwandan civil war caused by ethnic groups. And let us also remember that it was the Tutsis who were the most affected, that is why the name of the period is « Genocide
This caused approximately 1 000 000 human lives. So, being YESS participants in Rwanda we have the obligation to support the country and our friends especially the Association des Guides du Rwanda because Unity is strength.
Biodiversity comprises of all living organinisms;plants and animals
surrounding the earth. These items occupy space, have needs and are
progressive with time.However, they are subject to their adversaries both
knowingly or unknowingly, the greatest negative impacts are as a result of
human activities which with time get worse because less is being done to
improve the state of the past, current and future of our mother earth. In amidst of these , there are some actions that can be done to decrease elimination of living things from the surface of earth. This only starts with mindset change of humans to appreciate nature, take collective action to preserve it and to start the action as a self-initiated one for each individual on the planet.
Besides, in the aspect of biodiversity being a personal responsibility, girl
guides play a core role in it. ‘A guide loves and protects nature’ is not only a law in guiding but its practice is immensely real in their daily activities. This is always done through planting trees, cleaning the environment, trainings on environmental conservation, taking care of wild and domestic animals, holding awareness campaigns and many more positive contribution towards a greener and healthier mother nature. On this particular initiative, girl guides were challenged to practice an online conservation adventure for four days consecutively. The challenge comprised of four topics as discussed below:
i) Iconic animal in Rwanda
This included creating a social media banner with contents of identified
mountain gorillas as the most cherished animals in the country. Five facts of the animals were also written on the banner as one of the biggest and most powerful primates, they can laugh when happy and cry when hurt, they live in troops, form baby nests using leaves and tree branches and have a lifespan of 35-40 years.
ii) Sounding an alarm on endangered species. This involved identifying five of endangered species of animals within the country which included: chimpanzees, lappet-faced vultures, mountain gorillas, rhinos and Ardeola idae.The emphasis was that these animals are critically endangered and vulnerable with a plight of facing extinction if their protection is ignored. Some of the major threats these animals face are: human intrusion, natural ecosystem modifications, invasive diseases, residential and commercial developments, agricultural activities, hunting and trapping of terrestrial animals and biological resource-use. Some of the measures to combat these were discussed to be: conducting conservation education and awareness, habitat protection, favorable policies and regulations, intensive conservation action, veterinary interventions, research on species management and trade controls.
iii) Leading by example to protect nature Collective action goes beyond words, rather involves taking responsibility by doing.As girlguides with leadership in mind, we showcased tree planting, water conservation, clean-ups and voicing out for nature in a video.
iv ) Engaging girls and young women to take action on biodiversity.
To go far; ‘it’s better going as a team’ thus we reached out to other girl guides and young women in other parts of the globe to make their own commitments on how they can protect biodiversity through social media posts. A lot of girls responded to this activity. The aspects of creative, achievable variety of prospective actions clearly stood out. We appreciated the participants.
COVID-19 Strategies – a Handbook for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Wide
During the 27 days challenge we had a week dedicated towards working on a handbook. Basically we as the YESS girls 2020 were asked to work on a handbook that would be distributed and used world wide by girl guides and girl scouts if they were faced with a world pandemic such as the covid-19 we’re currently in. And we were given a number of topics to choose from,
As YESS girls Rwanda our topic was :
“Home Economics: Managing Finances and other resources amidst scarcity” it is meant to help girls worldwide with information when it comes to managing resources and finances.
So under our topic we hand a few tips we gathered to help guides and scouts around the world in making wise financial decisions and managing ressources amidst scarcity. Such as:
-Don’t panic buy
-Have a clear scale of preference
-Budget to avoid impulse buying
-Focus on needs rather than wants
-Avoid extravagant consumption
We also had a few lessons we have learnt during the pandemic we shared in the hand
book such as :
-The need to save
-Need for financial literacy
-Good to create an emergency fund.
Knowledge increases by sharing, therefore we as YESS Girls Rwanda were more than happy to be part of such an important project which allowed us to share our experiences and lessons learnt during covid-19 pandemic.
DOING GOOD TURN
As the Japanese say the smallest good deed is better than the grandest intentions. Part of the 27 days challenge was the good turn community project. As team Rwanda our good turn community project is making a kitchen garden. It is unfortunate the world has been hit by the global pandemic COVID-19 which has changed people’s lives drastically.Due to the virus, movements have been prohibited as well as gathering, so we were unable to make the kitchen garden in the planned time. The world is changing and it’s changing digitally as with the pandemic gathering and movement restraints, the good turn project shifted its focus from being physical to digital,so for digitalization to happen we had to take some steps into consideration starting with:
-Making a banner
We started off the good turn project online by making a banner which stated what were going to do for the week and our project agenda.
-Rendez-vous with YESS coordinator
Before lauching the project online we had to talk to our coordinator getting and understanding on why Association des Guides du Rwanda chose making the kitchen garden.
-Rendez-vous with Alumnae
Alumnae helped us ideas on how we can do the project online and they also helped us with the types of vegetables that grow well in Rwanda.
-Rendez-vous withFriend of guiding
We had a great opportunity of speaking with one of the friend of guiding Alice Mukazampaka and she’s willing to support the project.
-Rendez-vous withYESS Country team
We had a meeting with some of the YESS Country team members and we gave them a brief report of the 27 day challenge and we also discussed May plans.
Step 6 fell on the last day of the challenge and we had an opportunity to thank WAGGGS,Norec,our local communities, home associations and also our followers for the amazing support they have given us.
As team Rwanda we have many achievements .
°We successfully completed the 27 days challenge.
°We contributed in writing the COVID-19 survival strategies handbook.
°We also enhanced our visibility on the social media platforms which got us a lot of new followers.
°We achieved more solidarity and teamwork amongst ourselves.
°We realised that with teamwork, we are able to multiply our output and minimise individual input.
°We also learned how to use most of the features on our social media platforms.