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18 2011

YWCA World Council Blog: Amanda Vella, President, YWCA Edmonton

Syndicated from: YWCA Canada - Y Blog

Today is our last day at the World Council in Zurich, while I am sad for this experience to come to an end, I leave feeling inspired and empowered. I will be forever grateful for being given such a wonderful opportunity and know my life will change because of this experience. The past three days have been the business portion of the YWCA World Council which included many of the Canadian delegates sharing their knowledge in skill-building workshops. Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to attend the workshop on Solving Governance Issues facilitated by Keitha McClocklin and Michelle Bullas of YWCA Canada.  This workshop was eye opening to the wide variety of governance issues faced by the YWCAs around the world. It emphasized the value of partnerships between Member Associations to share best practices in governance. One issue that hit home for me was the inability of many organizations to attract accounting professionals to their Boards.  These skills are critical in ensuring proper governance. By seeking out young woman starting their careers in accounting, YWCAs can both support the development of young women leaders and have access to the necessary financial skills. In the afternoon I attended a workshop on YWCA Advocacy in Election Campaigning in which Lauren Hulme from Canada spoke along with delegates from YWCA Australia and YWCA Sierra Leone. I enjoyed the chance to learn about the electoral process of three very different countries.  Australia discussed their compulsory voting system and ways to advocate in an election without spending a lot of money. In Sierra Leone they faced the challenge of empowering women in their first election after 11 years of conflict; a conflict that used rape as a strategic war tactic.  Lauren focused on engaging young women in the electoral process which included discussing a program I am very proud of, Edmonton's One Woman One Vote. Although I was unable to attend their sessions I want to mention the other Canadian women sharing their experiences during yesterday's meeting. Ambar Aleman and Paula Gomez spoke (in Spanish and English) about their experience partnering with the YWCA of Honduras to help them with their strategic planning and development. Young women's leadership miles recipients Rachel Shepherd and Ashley McLean presented in a workshop discussing models of young women's leadership in the YWCA movement. Great work, ladies. Amanda Vella, YWCA Edmonton President, observer at the YWCA World Council.  

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