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Girl Guides enter new centenary

During the past 100 years, since the founding of the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting Movement, the lives of more than 250 million girls and young women have been transformed.

Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting has given them life and career skills through challenge and adventure. That is 250 million girls and young women whose lives have been changed, in turn changing the lives of those in their communities and countries.

Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting started in the United Kingdom and today it is a worldwide Movement with Member Organisations in 145 countries, including the Girl Guides Association of Barbados.

During the past three years (2010-2012) the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and its Member Organisations celebrated the 100 year anniversary of international Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting with the theme, “100 years of changing lives”. Each year focused on different aspects: Plant. Grow. Share.

The first year was an excellent time to PLANT ideas and launch centenary projects, the second year focused on GROWTH of these centenary projects into community action as well as ensuring growth of the Movement. The theme for the last year of celebration was SHARE, where many Member Organizations shared stories about the success of their work, their commitment to community and friendship with others, as well as shared their voices through the ‘Stop the Violence. Speak out for girls’ rights campaign’.

There were 140 volunteers appointed as Centenary Ambassador. They organized celebrations at national level. The centenary was a time of celebration and transformation within the Movement.

A big part of the celebration was the strengthening of international cooperation by providing girls and young women the possibility to experience international Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting by participating in events such as the flagship centenary events – the Young Women World Forum (YWWF) and the Girls World Forum (GWF), events at World Centres or camps at national level. The YWWF and GWF engaged 784 girls and young women from more than 100 countries. They came together to discuss and take action on the Millennium Development Goals. Participants of those three events formulated and agreed on a declaration – a call to governments, civil society and WAGGGS to take action for positive change in girls’ lives and the lives of others.

The centenary celebrations helped inspire all of us to move forward and to take more action, to grow more leaders and to raise awareness of importance of having the voice of girls and young women heard. Our organization offers leadership development for girls and young women through various training and advocacy events. The WAGGGS Leadership Development Programme, offers young women a platform to learn and practice leadership at global and national level. These young women girls are not afraid to take a lead role in their communities and to create positive changes, better preparing them for the job market.

Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting is entering new centenary as a strong and growing Movement – with 10 million members and 1.5 million volunteers in 145 countries. We have commitment to be the voice of, and for, girls and young women. “In the next 100 years, I want our Movement to continue to grow stronger by enabling girls and young women to progress to their fullest potential,” says Louise Browne, of the Irish Catholic Girl Guides and a WAGGGS Centenary Ambassador, “and, hopefully, see the end of poverty and violence among our sisters around the world.”

As members of WAGGGS, we want a world where girls are free from discrimination, free from violence, a world where they have equal access to education, jobs and other opportunities. We want all girls to be able and empowered to live their rights, rights that are equal and respected. We want a world where all girls are valued and take action to change the world.

As we enter a new centenary, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) extends a special than you to everyone who has contributed to Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting in last 100 years.

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