It is less than two months away until Roverway 2016– the largest joint WAGGGS/ WOSM gathering in Europe for Rovers and Rangers! At the pre-departure event in Tallinn, Estonia, we caught up with one of the Free Being Me facilitators, Agnes Kauer.
How long have you been involved in Free Being Me?
I first became involved at the start of 2015 and am part of the national FBM team to roll out the programme in my association in Austria. Every year we pick a focus topic and for 2015-2016 we decided that this would be the year of Free Being Me! I also had the chance to go to the Free Being Me festival at Sangam in August 2015- delivering the programme in schools in India was a unique experience.
Why do you think young people should take part in Free Being Me? Why is the programme relevant in your Member Organisation?
It’s relevant because the issue of body confidence isn’t discussed in other settings, for example at school, or in our daily conversations. I think it’s important that we can offer a space in a safe (and fun!) environment to explore the issue. In this way we can all change the narrow attitudes towards beauty in our society- for example, the more of us that challenge the Image Myth, the less power harmful advertising will have! If young people have a chance to develop body confidence and a positive relationship with their bodies at an early age it can prevent it becoming an obstacle later in life.
Why did you decide to apply to be a facilitator at Roverway?
I have volunteered as a trainer to train leaders in Free Being Me, but haven’t worked as much with the Rover age group, so saw it as a great learning opportunity. When I found out that there would be Free Being Me workshops I knew I wanted to apply. I am also interested to learn more about WAGGGS and of course get to go to Roverway!
What are you most excited about taking part in the event this summer?
Gathering over 4000 young people from all over Europe is going to be amazing. I’m most excited about meeting new people and making new friends, but also seeing lots of old friends from past events that will be there. I’m also looking forward to getting more experience in facilitation, and through the best way possible- learning by doing!
Is there anything else you’d like to say to Girl Guides and Girl Scouts across the world?
WAGGGS’ has a great international offer for young people- get involved!