Want to raise your voice and speak up for gender equality? Here’s your chance! We are now accepting applications for the 2016/2017 Speakers Bureau, which gives youth across Canada the chance to join Plan International’s Because I am a Girl movement in championing girls’ rights and gender equality.
Long-time member, Diviya, and new member, Branden, share why they got involved in the Speakers Bureau, and why they believe you should join the team too.
Diviya: “Raise your voice for girls around the world”
Diviya is 14 years old and lives in Toronto. An active member of Plan International Canada’s Speakers Bureau, she’s passionate about girls’ rights and social justice. Her inspiring blog features frequent posts about girls’ rights and other social justice issues. Check it out here. She shares with us why she believes YOU should join the Speakers Bureau.
The Speakers Bureau championing Because I am a Girl is an amazing opportunity for youth to get involved with the girl issue and create positive change in their communities and the world. As a member of the Speakers Bureau for the past 3 years, I have been given many opportunities and have learned a lot about the organization. I am looking forward to a new and exciting year in the Speakers Bureau and I am hoping to see a few new faces in our meetings!
So, why should you join the Speakers Bureau?
- Connect with like-minded youth
Back in 2013, when I went to my very first Speakers Bureau meeting, I was very nervous because I was the youngest member. However, over the years I have learned a lot from the older girls and they have really inspired me to make an even bigger difference in the world. For me, it is so energizing to be in a room filled with girls who are as passionate about girls’ rights as I am. Even though our members attend meetings online and in person from all across Canada, I think it is really amazing that we all share the same passion.
- Make your voice heard
When I joined the Speakers Bureau three years ago I was only 12 years old in grade 7. At that time, I knew that I cared deeply about girls’ rights, but I didn’t know how to bring about real change. Now, with the support and skills I have gained from the Speakers Bureau, I have done many fundraisers including a Pink LemonAid stand where my cousins and I raised $700 in support of Because I am a Girl. I also learned the importance of raising my voice and have been given opportunities to spread my message to an even wider audience. A few months ago I had the opportunity to give a speech on child marriage at the Storytellers Symposium we held at our last meeting of the year. It was a great experience for me to be able to share my beliefs and raise awareness about the issue of child marriage in front of a large group of people.
- Gain public speaking skills
During our meetings I gained many public speaking skills that I have put into practice when giving speeches and just in daily conversation. I learned how to express myself and my beliefs more clearly during conversations. Also, I learned how to engage my audience when giving speeches to ensure that my message is conveyed to the best of my ability.
- Learn more about the girl issue
I am definitely a lot more knowledgeable about the girl issue now than when I joined three years ago. I learned a lot about Because I am a Girl and its mission to empower girls to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty. I’ve had many discussions with the other members of the Speakers Bureau on what we can do here in Canada to help better the lives of other girls around the world.
- Attend inspiring events
Over the years I have had the opportunity to attend many inspiring events that have empowered me to change the world. From an interactive Q&A with Mabel van Oranje, to a Dove self-esteem event, I learned a lot from these events. I am very thankful for having been given the opportunity to attend these events.
Overall, joining the Speakers Bureau is a decision you won’t regret. It is an extremely meaningful experience to work together with likeminded youth to raise your voice for girls around the world. I hope to see YOU at our next meeting!
Branden: “Gender equality is a discussion for everyone”
This is the first year that young women and men will both be involved in the Speakers Bureau. Branden, one of this year’s newest members, shares why he believes it is important to support girls’ rights.
Anyone, regardless of gender, should feel empowered enough to make a difference in the world. That is why I joined the Speakers Bureau. It provides young advocates, like me, the opportunity to drive positive change, and empower young women everywhere. By speaking in support of gender equality, my voice can amplify a conversation that affects millions of lives around the globe.
“Girls’ rights are, unequivocally, human rights.”
Girls’ rights are, unequivocally, human rights. That makes gender equality a discussion for everyone. By addressing issues of inequality, and the challenges to girls’ rights, we can begin to understand and overcome obstacles that limit young women every day. Involving myself with Because I am a Girl is a valuable experience. I can better my understanding of the many barriers that females face, and work with advocates to promote equal rights and treatment for all girls. Together, I know we can help advance worldwide equality.
I chose to take part in the Speakers Bureau, because I also want to be part of a world where young women can realize their fullest potential. I believe girls, like my seven-year-old sister, should have access to every opportunity available. It is with the Speakers Bureau that I have a chance to educate myself, and others; to empower change, and inspire a better world for everyone.
Raise your voice!
Join this year’s Speakers Bureau to gain life-long skills, meet new people and share your passion for gender equality with the world!