Taking action

Open Letter to Girl Guides & Scouts

by Nadine El Achy

Chair, World Association of Girls Guides and Girl Scouts

Dear Girl Guides and Girl Scouts,

It is my pleasure to celebrate this special time with all of you in our 10 million-strong Movement of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world.

Each year on 22 February, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world celebrate World Thinking Day. World Thinking Day has always been a very special day when we think of each other and give thanks and appreciation to our sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts for the international friendship found in the Movement.

Since 1932, when Olave called upon all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to make a voluntary contribution to the World Association, you have, through the Thinking Day Fund helped bring Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting to more girls and young women in more places. Your support is needed as much today as it was then.

Many Girl Guide and Girl Scout programmes such as our Global Action Theme programme on the Millennium Development Goals, educate girls and young women about food, nutrition, and their rights to education and health care.

Non-formal education increases girls’ and young women’s knowledge and awareness of how child and maternal deaths can be prevented. If a young woman is more informed, she is more likely to be able to access the health care needed for her and those of her community to live full and healthy lives.

Around the world 7.6 million children and 287,000 mothers die each year, most from preventable causes like pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria or lack of access to appropriate health care. It is no surprise that there are high rates of child mortality and poor maternal health and survival in poverty-stricken areas in countries all over the world, even in developed countries.

But we believe this situation can be changed, and it must be changed. This is why for the whole of 2013, we are joining together to take action on Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. Please join me in saying that “together we can save children’s lives and every mother’s live and health is precious”.

In 2013, we will focus on five more countries where Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have a long-term and beneficial impact in their communities. These are Ireland, Jordan, Malawi, Pakistan and Venezuela. This offers you a great chance to learn more about the theme of child and maternal health and survival in these five countries and learn more about your sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts who live there.

The World Thinking Day Fund will make grants to Member Organisations in Jordan, Malawi, Pakistan and Venezuela to support their MDG 4 and 5 projects.

There are lots of ways you can get involved on the day or any time during 2013 – from sending an e-card, to doing activities from the packs and earning the World Thinking Day badge, to speaking out on the theme, to donating to the World Thinking Day Fund.

We would love to hear how you celebrate, join us on the World Thinking Day website, Flickr, Facebook or Twitter to share your stories with other Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world.

Please join us in celebrating World Thinking Day and helping us bring more opportunities to girls and young women. I wish you all a very happy World Thinking Day!

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