Conference for future women leaders grows from strength to strength

The 8th Girls Leading Our World (G.L.O.W.) conference and the first to be completely plastic-free was held at the Infant Jesus compound in Leauva’a.

More than 160 participants from Savai’i, Upolu and Manono joined the four-day conference last week. 

The President of G.L.O.W. Samoa, P.C.V. Whitney, said the gathering bolstered girls' and women's leadership skills. 

“The whole purpose of the conference is to provide the girls with opportunities like experiential learning that they wouldn’t get at home," she said. 

G.L.O.W. started with a 2012 conference. Many speakers, including from the United Nations who were at the first conference, and were again present at this year event.

About over 500 girls participate in G.L.O.W. activities in 27 different villages each year. Once a year representatives from each G.L.O.W. club are invited to attend the annual conference. 

“Each day is themed around a certain pillar,” the President said.

Themes include: Education and Careers, Service, Healthy bodies and Healthy minds, Environmental Awareness, and Ending Violence against Women and Children.

A guest speaker, the C.E.O. of S.S.A.B., Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai, came to share a message of the importance of keeping one's spirits high. 

“We’re just exposing girls to organising sports and but also taking mental health activities seriously like yoga and colouring and things like that,” she said.

Their final day was focused on ending violence against women and children. Closing remarks were provided by the General Manager of Pacific Global Solutions, Tuiloma Lemalu Sina Retzlaff. 

“[By]d covering these different topics, we’re able to invite influential Samoan women to come share with us their life story and to also encourage girls to pursue and achieve any of their aspirations,” says Ms. Whitney.

 “We want to make sure that all of our efforts remain a part of their lives forever."

Other guests included the Women’s Football Federation and the Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.).

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