Suggestions for Reaching Out to Young Women

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We would like to increase PPSEAWA’s online presence through the website and expand electronic networking. Kate created a mailing list for PPSEAWA young women this summer that we can expand to others to use as networking tool, to pass exchange information about the Millennium Development programs and issues that capture our attention such as health, literacy, and environment. Networking like this is a good way to find avenues for funding ourselves, as well as a way to cut expenses for programs by sharing resources. For example, Polly from PPSEAWA Taiwan found supporters from Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga for an environmental project called “Across the Ocean,” that measures the effect of global warming and rising sea levels on islands. Polly was also able to get three board members from PPSEAWA Taiwan to come to the orientation and they are sponsoring a youth member to join the project. Networking and sharing information about resources can be used as a tool to promote PPSEAWA’s good relations with other organizations too. I passed along a funding opportunity from UNESCO for artists aged 18-25 years to a local Chicago organization that has given programs for us in the past. If your chapter has any interested youth members, please feel free to pass along my contact information.

Angela is actively engaged in programming and building momentum for the next International Conference in Fiji in 2013. She spoke at PPSEAWA Fiji’s Peace Day Celebration on September 21st. Several women’s groups were invited to attend the program held in their Peace Garden, and Angela’s challenge to the young people to be advocates for Peace resulted in several pledges to work closely with PPSEAWA Fiji in coming months.

Following are some strategies to recruit and retain younger women. While we should provide greater opportunities for youth participation in PPSEAWA’s programs, we must include intergenerational dialogue and collaboration to find common ground between youth, working moms, and senior members.

Following are some suggestions that may help local USA chapters strengthen their membership:

  • Increase members’ access to information through technology such as a PPSEAWA-USA website with regularly updated links to the UNICEF working group on girls and to Youth-oriented programs within the UN, as well as a mailing list serv or Facebook group for PPSEAWA-USA members
  • Allow a tiered system of paying membership dues – for example, lower fees for students
  • Partner with other women’s organizations to share resources – helps cut down on speaker and program fees
  • Cultivate ties with university students and Model UN clubs in schools
  • Try a different framework in addition to your monthly meetings – for example, host a night or weekend meeting 2-3 times a year with only a nominal fee for attendance to attract working moms
  • Create a sense of continuity with our national and international organizations, by having each local chapter plan an annual meeting related to work by PPSEAWA’s UN reps or PPSEAWA’s mission to promote peace