Wednesday, 9 July 2014

All equal, all different, all united…

Helen Concannon with delegates from Kuwait 
The world of Guiding is divided into 5 Regions - Arab, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Western Hemisphere - and each one had their regional gathering on the morning of Day 3. It’s amazing to see how much each Region is similar yet different and to consider the vast array of organisations we are sisters with.

This led us to electing the Committee which will work on our behalf and represent all regions in the coming triennium. It was an electric vote which enabled us to see the results after each round and so therefore celebrate as each new World Board member was announced. A lot of emotion filled the room and we would like to say well done to all 14 who were nominated, and congratulations to all 6 elected.

Two interesting sessions followed on Leadership and Self-Esteem. With very powerful speakers and examples of research, it was thought-provoking to think that 6 of every 10 girls will stop doing something they like because of how they feel about their body. That is something we must work to change and we are delighted that IGG in partnership with CGI will be taking on the Free Being Me project in September with support from Dove. The impact of having low self-esteem is so far-reaching that we must take action - and this Free Being Me programme is a proven way of tackling the issue. Look out for September’s Trefoil News and keep an eye on our website for further info on how to get involved and help girls

It isn't always internal matters that limit our achievements and the Nigerian Girl Guides that are here have kept us aware of the horrifying situation in the north of their country currently. Because of the kidnapping of girls from schools, many parents have stopped sending their girls to school. And because many of their Girl Guide Units operate in schools, many Units have had to close down. We wish them strength and courage as they deal with the realities of conflict. 
Lorna Finnegan at the World Market with WAGGGS
 Chief Executive Mary McPhail and Margaret Treloar,
former WAGGGS World Board Chair

As a way of supporting organisations WAGGGS organises a World Market at these events so that members can sell items from their country to raise funds for their work. It was an assault on all our senses to literally walk around and taste, smell, feel, touch and see the foods, fabrics and feasts of the world in one room!

Looking forward to Day 4 of the conference tomorrow as we will vote on the final motions of the conference.

Helen & Lorna 

For a full report of Day 3 at the conference check out WAGGGS conference website

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