What does it take to change the world? That was the big question Girlguiding Scotland asked girls aged 13-18 at the launch of Girlguiding’s campaigning project – Action for Change.
Over the next year, girls from across Scotland will have the chance to use their voice and take action on an issue they care about, with support and mentoring from Girlguiding Scotland volunteers. Senior Section member Hannah Wooldrage and Girlguiding Scotland volunteer Fiona Buchanan here share why they are excited to start making change.
Hannah, 15, is a Senior Section member and Young Leader from Orkney. She says: “Campaigning isn’t something I’ve ever really done before and I arrived at the first ever Action for Change Inspiration Weekend feeling a little unsure of what to expect. But it was fantastic to meet so many girls from all over Scotland passionate about making change.
“We heard from campaigners like Talat Yaqoob, of the Women 50:50 campaign, and Stevie Wise, who started the Sexist Surcharge campaign. They explained that by breaking down a big problem and finding one small thing you can change, it is possible to have a big impact.
“I’m passionate about tackling bullying because I’ve seen the effect it can have. I hope my Action for Change project will help young people experiencing bullying to know that they’re not alone, feel empowered to ask for help, and confident about speaking out. It’s the people who stay the quietest who can most benefit from making their voice heard. That’s why I’m so excited to be part of a project that is all about empowering girls to use their voice.”
Fiona is one of the Girlguiding Scotland volunteers who will support young members to plan and deliver their Action for Change campaign in her role as a Network Coordinator.
She says: “I’ve just returned from one of the most inspirational, action-packed and mind-blowing weekends I’ve had in a long time – talking about how to change the world with 40 teenage girls.
“As a campaigner working on social justice, I’m excited about being able to combine my passion for Girlguiding with my passion for changing the world. In a society in which women are consistently objectified – in the media, in the workplace and at school – we need to show our young women that their voices and opinions do matter, and give them the confidence and the tools to speak out.
“In my role as a Guide Leader I see each week the struggles that young women face in our society – but I also see their resilience, passion and determination to change things for the better.
“Over the weekend I got to hear girls share their views on so many topics – from empowering more women to take part in sport to improving ethics in the fashion industry, ending stigma around mental health to tackling bullying in their schools.
“I’m looking forward to mentoring these young women over the coming year, and learning from them as they unleash their passions and energy in ways that will make real and meaningful change – in their schools, in their communities and beyond.
We might start small but I’m confident that these girls have the passion and commitment to make change happen – and I can’t wait to help them do it.”