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GGU Leadership Academy at BBIS

The BBIS Foundation together with the Andreas Gerl Stiftung supported the 2021 Girls Gearing Up International Leadership Academy (GGU) with a donation of 20,000 EUR.

GGU is a leadership and empowerment programme for 13 to 17-year-old girls. At the annual summer academy as well as year-round events, girls from around the world gain leadership skills such as project management, public speaking, moderating interviews and pitching issues, and connect with powerful female role-models.

This summer, GGU had created hubs in Malawi, India and Berlin. 35 teen girls were ‘Better Together’ – the theme for 2021. BBIS Boarding was the home away from home for the Berlin hub attendees. The group took advantage of the school campus facilities for their indoor and outdoor skill-building activities. All three hubs came together online to hear from inspirational female social entrepreneurs, scientists, climate activists, doctors, filmmakers, politics scientists, and financial consultants from around the world. Together, they put their leadership skills to practice while exploring social issues and ways to take action. Some of the issues the girls identified included climate change, childrens' rights, gender equality racism, mental health, LGBTQ+ rights, body positivity, teen pregnancy and access to education.

The overarching topic of this year's Academy was 'Amplifying Stories'. The group focused on the importance of including marginalized perspectives to create more inclusive societies. Each hub took part in a filmmaking workshop and by the end of the week presented their film to their peers. They also watched the short documentary Seepferdchen, which tells the story of a GGU participants' journey from Iraq to Germany followed by a panel discussion with her and the filmmaker Nele Dehnenkamp.

The GGU International Leadership Academy equips teenage girls with the confidence and skills they need to think critically, follow their dreams, and be the change they want to see in the world. This programme embodies all aspects of the BBIS Foundation ethos and is a wonderful example of how the BBIS Foundation can be impactful in the greater global community.

The BBIS Foundation and the Andreas Gerl Stiftung will continue to support the GGU International Leadership Academy over the next four years.