Suisala Mele Maualaivao of the UN Women speaking to the conference participants
BY Victoria Leota
APIA, SAMOA: TUESDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2015: The students of Year 7 & 8 from various schools where American Peace Corps volunteers are working received an early exposure to leadership roles when they were selected to participate in a 3 days “Girls Leading Our World (GLOW)” conference hosted by the United Nations last week.
“Four years ago, it was a small number of girls attending the conference and it was held for only one day,” said the Suisala Mele Maualaivao, the UN Women coordinator of the GLOW programme.
“This year, the number of participants has increased and so was the length of the conference and the fellowship was specifically for girls and we need more girls and teachers to attend this conference,” said Suisala.
The conference was for 3 days, and 32 young girls from different schools in Savai’i, Upolu and Manono attended.
Part of the conference included side visits to various agencies where some of them might end up working at.
Various speakers were invited to share with the young leaders several techniques and ways to address issues especially violence, how to stand up for their human rights and also learnt about self-defense and purity through martial arts.
Miss Samoa Ariana talked about healthy minds and spiritual sharing with the girls and were also introduced to various career opportunities in the media and education and employment opportunities through the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Micro-financed Entrepreneurship presented by the UNDP & South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) was also introduced as an interesting career to follow.
Presenters came from the Ministry of Women Community & Social Development (MWCSD), ILO, Samoa Qualification Authority (SQA), UNDP, Peace Corps Medical, Samoa Victim Support Group, the Samoa Observer and Red Cross.
“Exposing young girls in education, professional and in healthier lifestyle opportunities will lead them to understand how to gain such opportunities for themselves by increasing their knowledge and skills,” said Suisala
Hope Anzac, a 13 year old Year 7 student from Gataivai Primary school in Savai’i said to be part of the conference was a great opportunity for young girls in the community to learn more on how to become good leaders and to take responsibility in the future.
The GLOW conference 2015 was funded by the UN Women, ILO, UNDP and Siva Afi.