The HerStory Campaign at CSW 62: Recap

HerStory Campaign Manager Juliana Vélez looks back on a magical week with our international partners in New York City during the UN's 62nd Commission on the Status of Women.

 Staff, mentors, partnership coordinators and LitClub members from five organizations pose together outside of the New York Public Library.

Staff, mentors, partnership coordinators and LitClub members from five organizations pose together outside of the New York Public Library.

Last week, the HerStory Campaign participated in the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations. This year, the event focused on ‘challenges and opportunities for achieving gender equality and empowerment of rural women and girls. Partnership coordinators, mentors and members from the Rukmini Foundation in Nepal, Project PEARLS in the Philippines and NEWI in Kenya joined the HerStory Campaign in New York to share their stories and highlight the impacts of their Community Action Plans (CAPs) which were designed last March at the 2017 Global HerStory Summit.

Our week in New York was filled with storytelling activities, inspiring events and fun excursions.

Lillibeth from the Philippines and Mordecai from Kenya, two LitClub graduates who are now mentors, attended a Working Group on Girls Youth Orientation to engage with other young adults on advocacy strategies and ways to ensure girls’ rights. Peachy, Prakriti, Rose and Dan Martin, partnership coordinators and mentors from the Philippines, Nepal and Kenya respectively, participated at the NGO CSW Consultation Day along with other leaders, advocates, and activists. Together, partners engaged in two days of preparation in the lead up to our main HerStory CSW parallel event,  “Championing Girl-Driven Community Change.”

 Mordecai from NEWI (left) with her friends Lilibeth and Peachy from Project Pearls (right) at the HerStory Campaign's UN CSW parallel event.

Mordecai from NEWI (left) with her friends Lilibeth and Peachy from Project Pearls (right) at the HerStory Campaign's UN CSW parallel event.

At the HerStory CSW parallel event, the room was buzzing with excitement and overflowing with guests that were engaged and captivated. Each team member and partner spoke with passion and creatively demonstrated how mentorship, literacy and storytelling are truly transforming their communities and strengthening their girls. Rukmini Foundation of Nepal, Project PEARLS of the Philippines and NEWI of Kenya focused on showcasing the impact of their CAPs on girls, communities, and the world:

  • “Empowering Through the Generations” - Prakriti and Laxmi from Rukmini Foundation shared insights about the safe space they built for 25 moms in their community to meet and learn from one another, receive training, and work with other community leaders on solutions to issues important to them.

  • “The HOPE Project” - Peachy and Lilibeth from Project PEARLS performed spoken word and shared that 200 girls were able to access their series of reproductive health seminars designed to ensure girls have access to the information they need and can stay in school.

  • “Nafalama” - Rose and Mordecai from NEWI shared a powerful two-part poem that focused on the safe space they created for 45 girls to get together weekly to study, find mentors and access a variety of resources including menstrual supplies.

 From left to right: HerStory Campaign Director Jennifer Estrada, Morecai, Juliana Vélez, Lilibeth, and Maddie of Global G.L.O.W.

From left to right: HerStory Campaign Director Jennifer Estrada, Morecai, Juliana Vélez, Lilibeth, and Maddie of Global G.L.O.W.

The group was also able to spend quality time with team members from the HerStory Campaign, LitWorld and Global G.L.O.W. Outings were planned to the New York Public Library, Rockefeller Center and Times Square. Needless to say, laughter filled each room, friendships deepened, and new memories were made.

The HerStory team, alongside LitWorld and Global G.L.O.W., is reflecting on the week at CSW, building on the momentum and carrying the work forward as we look towards the International Day of the Girl and the Global HerStory Summit in October.