Friday, 11 July 2014

Proud to be Irish!

We have come to the final day of the conference and it's another emotional one. The 600 of us here in Hong Kong came together to share ideas and discuss policies and strategies so that Guiding/Girl Scouting can reach even more girls than it already does. This is part of our Vision 2020 and means every organisation needs to grow membership by offering quality non-formal educational programmes to our young people. This can be a challenge but I found great solace in the organisations here who increased their membership by over 200% in the triennium. I hope that we too can do that in IGG. Wouldn't it be great if every girl in Ireland had the option of Guiding in their local village or centre? 

Standing in the conference hall, it was great to think of the contribution IGG has made on the global stage of WAGGGS - we have 'produced' the head of the World Board in the past, the head of the Europe Region, we have had members on various world committees, we hosted the World Conference and today it was great to have our own Lorna join forces with her fellow Drogheda woman, Mary McPhail the Chief Executive of the entire world association. Up Louth!

The final day was a day of workshops and sharing of best practice and then the final voting session. It was quite a long session given all the motions and amendments we had to consider but we got through them all and well done to all those on the relevant committee who remained calm and professional throughout the whole process. These decisions shape the future direction of our organisation and are important to enable us to move towards good governance, transparency and compliance with charity regulation. As we here in Ireland, go through the same steps with the pending implementation of the Charity Act, we can empathise with those who put in long hours to ensure WAGGGS is also on the right track as a charitable organisation. 

And then came the goodbyes and farewells. Some people whom we have met before at other events and were reconnecting with, others who became good friends in a short space of time. Our new World Board Chair Nicola Grinsted gave each of us her personal commitment, and that of her committee, that they will work to ensure we continue to be the most powerful organisation for girls and young women in the world! 

Then we headed to the Closing Ceremony to round off the conference in style! Thanks to all who ensured this event happened and was a success. 

Helen & Lorna

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