Liberian peace activist lined up to speak at Young Women’s World Forum 2010
9 April 2010
The Young Women’s World Forum (YWWF) 2010 will be an exciting and inspiring event, with Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee confirmed as one of the keynote speakers. The Our World News team had the honour of talking to Leymah about her Girl Scouting experiences and why she is so looking forward to being part of October’s centenary event.
As a child Leymah was a member of the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) based at the US Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia. She describes it as “a wonderful experience” and recalls visiting a children’s home at a young age, giving her a taste for serving her community. Girl Scouting influenced her life in a very positive way: “It helped me to see the world as more than just being about me and my family. It opened my eyes to other people being part of that world.”
Leymah was 17 years old when war first came to Monrovia. It had been her ambition to be a paediatrician but the conflict prevented her from going to college. During the successive wars Leymah become a refugee three times. On one such occasion, while working as a social worker among refugees in Sierra Leone, her anger at the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and physical disabilities due to violence led her to actively bring about change.
Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are on the right track. You have already done a lot, but this needs to be intensified. You need to develop leadership skills in young women and focus on education – the key to transforming communities. Keep up the good work.
|Read the full interview on the Special Centenary edition of Our World News. One complementary copy of Our World News will be sent to each Member Organization. Our World News is available by paid subscription for individuals and other interested organizations. Subscriptions are available at £12.50 (US $22.50). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|