YWCA News current
“Young Women's leadership is about aiming high and accomplishing it. It is about boldness and taking calculated risks with confidence and great supporters, and of course it is making sure that love is never absent.” - Tricia Gideon, World YWCA Board Member.
The YWCA/YMCA Week of Prayer is a tradition dating back to 1904. Each year in the month of November, the YWCA and YMCA movements issue a joint call for prayer. The theme for this year’s Week of Prayer is “Violence will not have the last word - Working for change that respects rights and dignity”, and it will take place from November 11 to 17.
The YWCA of Naucalpan was created in 1972 with the objective of promoting the leadership of women and young women in the municipality of Naucalpan, Mexico. What started as a modest structure offering classes to 30 children, over the years grew into a primary school. Today it boasts 1000 students and also a kindergarten with 260 small children. The students are given medical and dental attention and young people are provided with training in areas such as carpentry, sewing, hairdressing, etc. Adult literacy classes are also offered.
2011 was a special year for the World YWCA as it was a World Council year. It is a unique event, which brings together the YWCA movement, active today in over 120 countries, and builds momentum, unity and a common direction towards advancing our shared vision. This year crucial decisions were made, directions defined, resolutions passed and opinions voiced, and a process for envisioning the future was initiated.
From June 6 to 20, 2012 the World YWCA visited Colombia, Bolivia and Peru to work with YWCA member associations. The delegation from the World YWCA included Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, World YWCA General Secretary, Caterina Lemp, Membership Support Officer and Regional Focal Point for Latin America and Natascha Nogarède, young woman and World YWCA international volunteer. The visit proposed the opportunity to strengthen communication and relationship with member associations in the region, to give support and further understanding of the YWCA movement and guidance in relation to specific issues and training, to connect with UN agencies and to identify potential partnerships and funding opportunities.
Last month August, 2012 it was announced that Brigid Inder, formal Executive Director of the YWCA of Aotearoa-New Zealand, has been appointed as the new Special Gender Advisor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development aid strategy during the Pacific Islands Forum which took in place in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, from 28 to 30 August 2012. The Prime Minister committed to funding $320 million over the next 10 years aimed at increasing the proportion of Pacific women in leadership and decision-making roles, improving women's access to financial services and markets, and improving safety for women, through better violence prevention, and access to justice, health and counselling services. Reflecting on this Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, World YWCA General Secretary shared, “We so deeply value Australia's continue prioritisation of gender equality and advancing women's rights in its work and facilitating women's leadership in the region.”
Earlier this month it was announced that Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary of the World YWCA, was appointed to the Global Advisory Committee for Girls Not Brides, a new global partnership committed to ending the harmful traditional practice of child marriage. Mabel van Orange, Chair of the Advisory Committee stated, “The Advisory Committee’s role is to ensure that the overall strategy, policies and directions of Girls Not Brides – as determined by its members – are properly implemented. This includes providing guidance on work-plans and strategies, advising on major organisational decisions, and reviewing the annual budget and financials."
Each day the YWCA movement works to achieve justice for women and a most recent success story comes from the YWCA of Rwanda. The association has partnered with UN Women on advancing economic empowerment for women living with HIV, the project name is ‘Empowerment of Vulnerable Women Living with HIV/AIDS’. The project will be implemented in the Muhanga and Rihango Districts and will enable approximately 300 women living with HIV to take an active role in leadership within their communities’ through social and economic development. The women will receive training on income generation with the aim of making them financially and economically independent. This one year partnership with UN Women will focus its work in four sectors (Ntongwe, Mbuye, Mwendo and Nyamabuye) within the two districts and the grant is estimated at USD 68,298.
The 2012 YWCA Pacific Leaders Summit was held from 23-27 July at Pacific Harbour in the beautiful Fiji Islands. The Summit bought together YWCA leaders from Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and Samoa.