Today started with an early morning and leaving the hotel at 7am, however it was very much worth it for a fantastic orientation day held at Pace University and run by the Working Group on Girls. It opened with a speech from Michelle Bachelet (Head of UN Women and former President of Chile).
From there we went upstairs and myself and the other members of the WAGGGS delegation facilitated sessions on the theme of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) - education, training and employment particularly relating to science, technology, engineering and maths.
Over lunch we talked to the Ambassador of Kenya - herself a former Girl Guide - and she seemed very interested in what we had to say.
Back upstairs we facilitated more sessions, this time on violence against girls, before attending sessions on how to advocate during the UN Commission this week.
The day ended with a truly inspirational speech from Leymah Gbowee - a peace activist from Liberia. This was an emotional moment for me as I had an opportunity to thank her for the inspiration she gave me at the Young Women's World Forum in October 2010 (where she delivered a speech and received the Centenary Award) and she urged me to continue with my project and achieve more. She issued many calls to action and told us to fight for what we believe in: "It's time to stop being pretty and start being active".
Pippa Gardner, UK