Why Partner With Grassroots Movements?

When it comes to work done by advocates and activists worldwide, there are various ways to classify different movements. Some are led by politics and policy making in government, some by formalized non-government organizations (NGOs), while others are led as purely grassroots movements involving many people and moving parts. But where do the youth leaders of today fit into these avenues for change? Typically young people gravitate toward grassroots movements.

We crowdfund, we ride Uber, we begin startups. Essentially, we find ways to make things happen whether we have formal support or not. I think a reason why we aren’t as engaged in the avenues of government or formal organizations is because many older leaders haven’t made room for us. There is a misconception that we don’t know how things work, so instead we align and involve ourselves with grassroots movements that have limitless possibilities. Additionally, there just aren’t job opportunities in today’s world to give us the chance to be activists in a formal or professional way. We have to be entrepreneurial and often end up forming grassroots movements. We have to make our own jobs and build our own futures.

But grassroots movements are essential to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), because this is where the next generation is involved and grassroots movements are the ones on the ground and are the ones getting their hands dirty.

Often times, grassroots efforts are the only means to actually making things happen in many countries.

 

Ursula Singh, of United Mission to Nepal and one of Johnson & Johnson’s 2016 Young Leaders, shared the difficulties she faces in sustainable development in Nepal. With a new government, new political leaders that change every 9 months, bottlenecking of aid funds, and a humanitarian crisis following the earthquakes of 2015, it’s hard to make things happen. She leads in cooperative community restoration work with a network of locals and expatriates, to bring change regardless of the political situation.

Because of this, building sustainable partnerships for the SDGs need to include partnerships with grassroots movements, without turning them into corporate or inorganic movements. Because grassroots efforts are actually doing the work and amplifying causes, these movements are often the most informed with the best insights into their communities and to what works. Therefore, grassroots movements are the ones governments, NGOs, and private sector groups must partner with because their intimate knowledge gives insight into the best and most sustainable solutions for a better, more equal future.

Girls’ Globe is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson to provide coverage during the Global Citizen Festival and to share the stories of the Young Leaders who are participating in the activities in New York. 

Featured image: Ursula Singh, Johnson & Johnson’s 2016 Young Leader and Julia Wiklander, Founder and Executive Director of Girls’ Globe. Photo by Sarah North.

Blogging Empowers Young Women in Nepal!

“Being a blogger enables us to give momentum to a revolution that can change the perceptions of the society we live in.” -Akriti, Women LEAD Nepal

women lead girls
Women LEAD Nepal young leaders discuss effective blogging ideas.

These are powerful words spoken by a young woman leader in Kathmandu, Nepal. Akriti, alongside other young women, has the opportunity to participate in Women LEAD Nepal’s year long leadership training program. As part of this program, they will be equipped with essential life and leadership skills to create change among peers, family, community and the world. Last week, I had the wonderful privilege of meeting with Women LEAD Nepal’s amazing young women leaders in Kathmandu. Women LEAD Nepal became Girls’ Globe’s first featured organization in 2011.

As I sat on the floor with thirteen amazing young women, I learned each of their hopes and dreams for the future. I, also, learned about their passion for writing and blogging. Over the course of several hours, I shared my own journey through starting my own blog and joining Girls’ Globe as a blogger. I, also, gave them six effective tips for starting their own blog or joining an existing blogging network. During the course of the workshop, they talked about the issues they are passionate about and how to effectively blog about those issues. Over the next few months, you will hear their stories through Girls’ Globe.

Blogging truly empowers young women to share their voices and stories.

Visiting Women LEAD Nepal was a powerful picture of what can happen in the lives of young women through leadership empowerment. I was able to ask them what they see as priorities for women and girls in the future and also why they believe blogging and social media are important avenues for empowering women and girls. I, also, sat down with Co-Founder of Women LEAD, Claire Naylor. She shared more about Women LEAD Nepal’s work as well as how our partnership has strengthened their voices as they empower young women in Nepal.

Listen to these amazing young women!

1. What can global leaders not ignore for women and girls?

2. Why is blogging and social media important in the movement to empower women and girls?

3. Girls’ Globe speaks with Claire Naylor, Co-Founder of Women LEAD