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The Western Hemisphere Region brings together over three million girls across 36 countries, from Canada to Argentina via the Caribbean. It is part of a global community, forming the world’s largest voluntary organization for girls and young women, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
WAGGGS’ Western Hemisphere Region works in partnership with its Member Organizations to offer girls and young women fun and friendship as well as opportunities for personal development, working within a team, decision-making and leadership skills which they can use within their own organizations, their communities and their everyday lives.
The region provides a platform for girls and young women to be empowered to speak out on issues affecting them. Working in line with the WAGGGS Global Action Theme “together we can change our world” and the linked Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) we are focusing on current issues such as HIV and AIDS, adolescent pregnancy, human trafficking and prevention of sexual abuse.
The region works with UN agencies and NGOs on specific projects and programmes, including UNAIDS on adolescent heath and UNICEF on young people’s rights. We collaborate with UNESCO on environmental issues and with the Regional Committee of Water Resources (CRRH) in Central America tackling climate change issues.
We represent the views of young women of the region at the Latin American Youth Forum (FLAJ), a policy-making body focusing on youth issues. We are active members of the Iberoamerican Youth Space (EIJ), a coalition of international, regional and national youth organizations. We also aim to provide young women with the opportunity to develop their leadership and advocacy skills through participating in international events, seminars and workshops.
A Girl Guide who attended the Western Hemisphere Training of Young Guiding Ambassadors workshop says:
After attending this workshop I realized that there were some skills I was lacking. It has reinforced good skills and qualities such as teamwork, good communication and being a good representative. I believe that my life has been greatly improved and I am leaving Costa Rica a better ambassador and an overall better person.