The year has barely got under way and in my world this promises to be the biggest Social Media story of the year. I was back in Uganda last month for the Villages in Action conference. This is where the rest of the world gets to listen to people who are never invited to conversations about them nor listened to.
In its second year now the organisers decided to shake thinks up by have having a children’s party the night before the main conference.
In Washington DC the @Grilup a UN Foundation initiative uniting girls to change the world was responsible for the American girls whilst we were responsible for the girls on the ground in Kikube Masindi NW Uganda girls aged between 12-15.
The Village of Kikube is rural with no electricity or phone lines and as such the girls here are far removed from the world of their peers in DC and were really excited about finding out about their lives. Before the tweet up the girls got together for a brainstorm session. They wrote down all the questions they would put to the American girls and it was fascinating to listen in from the sidelines. You could tell that there was a genuine interest in the lives of girls their age on different continent. The questions ranged from
• The weather
• Relationships with parents
I was a little late for the party as technology failed me, the Orange dongle would not work but luckily for me most of the adults at the party were geeks! So one of theme advised me to take the sim card out and insert it in my iPhone instead. At this stage it transpired that I did not the pin to remove the sim in the iPhone and my earrings had to come to my rescue!
Having done all that and logged in the party got underway. We each had a girl or two and we helped them through the process by tweeting their questions and answers and at some point Ivanka Trump joined the conversation.
There was so much energy under that tree as night set in that I can’t tell you what that felt like.
The girls were surprised to learn that at some level they grapple with the same challenges that come with being a teenager regardless of what part of the world you live in.
I would love to see more of this type of exchange that allows children to hear first hand the stories of their peers from all corners of the world. If you would like to see the photos of the girls that were at the party head over to the Villages in Action Facebook page
- Ida Horner Meets James a Ugandan farmer and business man (africaontheblog.com)