Four girls from Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ) joined hundreds of women and girls from around the world at the United Nations headquarters in New York to participate in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
Representatives of member states, UN entities, and the United National Economic and Social Council accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world were invited to attend, according to information provided by Jaffe Communications
This year’s Girl Scout delegates included Reya Varun of Hillsborough, Sriya Tallapragada of New Providence, Mackenzie Wilson of Westfield, and Isabella Fernandes-Santinho of Kearny.
Roxie Zeek, director of Girl Experience for GSHNJ, coordinated the 66th session of the CSW, which took place March 14-25, primarily virtual.
“I am so proud of these four young women; they represent our council and their fellow Girl Scouts so well,” Zeek said in the statement. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The girls were able to share their experiences and, more importantly, bring awareness to the social injustices that surround women and girls throughout the world.”
The CSW is a commission of the United Nations that works towards promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women throughout the world, according to the statement. During the two-week session, they identify challenges, set global standards and develop policies for the advancement of women worldwide.
This year’s theme “Climate Change-Environment Disaster Risk Reduction,” was designed to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change and environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programs, according to the statement.
Each of the delegates has shown an interest or has been involved in environmental issues relating to climate change and/or disaster relief.
Varun, a freshman at Hillsborough High School, was chosen to be one of this year’s speakers.
“Last year I was involved in the Girl Scout Tree Promise, an initiative committed to planting trees, environmental stewardship, and other conservation efforts,” she said in the statement. “I spoke about the Tree Promise and shared our thoughts regarding sustainable projects and experiences in helping to conserve our communities and the environment.”
Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ) provides nearly 12,000 New Jersey girls access to premier leadership programs and mentors throughout Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Somerset, Union, southern Warren, and parts of Middlesex counties. GSHNJ has two service centers located in North Branch and Westfield, and operates three summer camps: Camp Hoover in Middleville, Camp DeWitt in Hillsborough, and The OVAL in Maplewood. To volunteer, reconnect, donate or join, visit www.gshnj.org.