More than memories, we are entering new Centenary
28 December 2012
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 Organizations in 145 countries.
During the past three years (2010-2012) the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and its Member Organizations 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:
- Many Member Organizations gained and improved visibility in their communities and new partnerships with governments, other NGOs and cooperation with business. The majority of celebrations were well featured in local or national media.
- Some Member Organizations, such as Australia and Canada, changed their Girl Guide promise. Australian Girl Guides reviewed their Guide Promise and Law, which had not been changed significantly in more than 40 years, and review called for changes, as community has changed considerably in this time.
- Centenary celebrations also helped to involve more volunteers and increase membership, offering more opportunities for girls and young women.
- 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.
Today WAGGGS Member Organizations, by providing weekly, activities through from childhood to adulthood, help girls develop self-confidence, learn about things that matters to them, practice several life skills and develop their fullest potential as citizens of the world. We have 1.5 million volunteers involved in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting and their work in running the Movement, leading activities for, and inspiring, girls and young women is invaluable. They volunteer on average 10 hours per month – this is an immense 15 million hours each month. Great recognition of our voluntary work was also gained through the International Year of Volunteering +10, celebrated by United Nations, as well as European Year of Volunteering organized by the European Union.
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.
WAGGGS has consultation status in UN since 1947, which for the last 65 years gave a chance to raise awareness and influence decision making process about topics children and youth. Every year WAGGGS participate in COP, CSW by bringing delegations of young female advocates to UN events. Girl Guides and Girls Scouts are actively involved in decision making process in local, national and Regional levels, which gives chance to influence political decisions related to girls and young women, volunteers and youth organizations.
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.”
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. By entering a new centenary WAGGGS is wants to thank each and every one of you who has contributed to Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting in last 100 years. To help shape the future that girls want for themselves, we are launching an action plan “World we want for girls”, where everyone is invited to commit to improving girls lives.