From the Philippines to New York: Girl Ambassadors for Peace make waves internationally

From the Philippines to New York: Girl Ambassadors for Peace make waves internationally

From the Philippines to New York: Girl Ambassadors for Peace make waves internationally

May 1, 2018 by Katrina Leclerc*

On April 25, 2018, Sophia Dianne Garcia, the Girl+ Ambassadors for Peace coordinator for the Philippines, a sister organization based on the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders’ Girl Ambassadors for Peace program, made her way to the United Nations Headquarters.

Sophia took part at the panel discussion on Amplifying Women’s Voices Towards Sustainable Peace organized by GNWP, UN Women, Peacebuilding Support Office, and the Permanent Missions of Canada, Japan and Liberia to the UN. The panel was held in conjunction with the High-Level Meeting on Sustaining Peace convened by the General Assembly. She was among the youth who are taking specific actions to find ways to achieve sustainable peace.

Sophia reflects: “From the series of events that I have been able to attend to they all have a common message which is achieving peace is inclusive and that everyone plays an important role in realizing the implementation of this agenda. Women, men, children, civil society, government, private sector, and the international community must have a meaningful participation in this agenda and that their voices must be heard to come up with decisions and solutions that will best cater to their welfare.”

Sophie highlights that youth who are also engaged in peace processes, inspire and motivate her to continue the path of peacebuilding. She has witnessed the importance of research as a tool for formulating recommendations that can be adopted by decision-makers towards the sustainability agenda. The lack is in the understanding of the local contexts and the work on the ground. Sophia adds, “we must go straight to the stakeholders and hear from them how the issues that confront and put sustainable peace at risk can be solved.”

During her Facebook Live interview with UN Women on the role of youth in peacebuilding, she given a platform to share her message to both young people and to other age demographics, identifying the key to inter-generational peace efforts.

As Sophie reflects, she says: “When I go back to the Philippines, it is the start of a long journey because my experience being in events on sustaining peace are new learnings for me that I can apply in what I am doing for my country. Given the many issues the world is facing, there a lot of things that need to be done in order to achieve sustainable peace. This is a long process, but I am optimistic that it will be achieved as long as everyone shares this responsibility and has the vision of ensuring that peace will be passed on from generation to another.”

 

GNWP’s Girl Ambassadors for Peace has over 200 participants in the program, the program consists of 1) Literacy and numeracy; 2) Leadership; 3) Capacity-Building; 4) Use of Media and Theater for Peace; and, 5) Economic Empowerment. Currently, the program is operational in South-Kivu and North-Kivu, DRC, in South Sudan and Rhino Camp in West Nile, Uganda, in Lamongan and Poso, East Java, Indonesia, and starting soon in Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong, Bangladesh.

 

*Katrina Leclerc is GNWP’s Girl Ambassadors for Peace Program Coordinator, for more information about the program please contact: [email protected]