11th Asia Pacific Regional Conference Reveals the Asia Pacific Membership
Development Strategy with Six Strategic Prioriti...
2
September 2013
Japan Falls in Love with New Zealand!
Twelve Years of Sisterhood Bonding
between Tauranga GirlGuiding and...
3
September 2013
International Service Camp in Mongolia 2013
National Young Leader’s Committees of Girl
Scouts of Korea ca...
4
September 2013
Exercise for a Beautiful & Healthy U’. Next was
a series of laughter exercises by laughter yoga
guru Ms K...
5
September 2013
events and trainings to help young people in
Cambodia get involved in the world beyond their
homes and sc...
6
September 2013
award should exemplify some of Betty Go
Belmonte’s merits and commitments such as
advocacy of peace and s...
7
September 2013
Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) Association of
Thailand Grows its Members
Between 2011 and 2012, Girl Guides (G...
8
September 2013
donating dry rations and household equipment
was distributed to 300 residents of Mattakkuliya
who were af...
9
September 2013
Bangladesh Girl Guides Association Stands
Beside Victims of “Rana Plaza Collapse”.
On 24 April
2013, an e...
10
September 2013
and regular donor to the hill-tribes girls in
Thailand through GGAT. Joining also on the
occasion was Dr...
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Asia Pacific Link News - September 2013

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The official newsletter of the Asia Pacific Region of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) published three times a year. This is the September 2013 edition which details the activities of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts across the region.

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Asia Pacific Link News - September 2013

  1. 1. 11th Asia Pacific Regional Conference Reveals the Asia Pacific Membership Development Strategy with Six Strategic Priorities In the recently concluded 11th Asia Pacific Regional Conference, the Region revealed the six strategic priorities in the Asia Pacific Membership Development Strategy which will bring the Region towards achieving 4 million members by year 2020. During the conference, a session was dedicated to give an opportunity to Member Organizations to provide input into the strategy and give the mandate to the Asia Pacific Regional (APR) Committee to finalize the proposed strategy. The six strategic priorities are: 1. Strengthen the skills of adult members. 2. Deliver attractive and quality programmes. 3. Retain and grow membership and market share. 4. Build strong structures and organization systems. 5. Expand and diversify funding in Member Organizations and the Asia Pacific Region. 6. Enhance image and awareness of Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting. The 11th Asia Pacific Regional Conference was held in Tokyo, Japan from 29 June to 6 July 2013. The conference with the theme “Believe, Belong, Be more” was hosted by the Girl Scouts of Japan and attended by 120 participants including guests from partner organizations. The Conference also marked an important occasion as the Region welcomed back the Republic of the Union of Myanmar into the family of Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting. Representatives from Myanmar Girl Guides were presented with the Certificate of Country Working Towards Membership of WAGGGS at the opening ceremony of the conference. Another remarkable event during the conference was the launching of the WAGGGS Asia Pacific Region 40th Anniversary History Book "40 years of common purpose in the Asia Pacific Region, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts" written by Jan MacIntyre. Besides the business parts of the conference such as the Asia Pacific Report and bidding of the next conference venue, the conference offered sessions on updates from WAGGGS, discussion on the Membership development strategy of WAGGGS and the Region, Governance review, focus groups and capacity building sessions like educational programme, marketing and fund development. The conference also elected a new set of members of the APR Committee 2013-2016. They are (Left to Right): Minori Yuda (Japan); Lucy Tan-Atichat (Thailand); Marybelle Mariñas (Philippines); Low Lih Jeng-Chair (Singapore); Pinky I-Ling Lin (Taiwan) and Melanie Bennett- Vice Chair (New Zealand).
  2. 2. 2 September 2013 Japan Falls in Love with New Zealand! Twelve Years of Sisterhood Bonding between Tauranga GirlGuiding and Hitachi Girl Scouts A group of Girl Guides from GirlGuiding New Zealand, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty visited Girl Scouts of Hitachi City in Japan from 20 April to 3 May 2013. Seven high school students and three leaders enjoyed exploring Japan with three troops of Girl Scouts from Hitachi City. Tauranga Girl Guides and the Girl Scouts of Hitachi initially established an exchange programme in 2001, as part of the sister city relationship between the cities. An invitation was sent from the Mayor of Hitachi who has been working closely with Hitachi Girl Scouts for many years. Every two years, the exchange takes place and either Hitachi Girl Scouts go to New Zealand or Bay of Plenty Ranger Guides come to Japan. This visit was their fourth and a total of 65 members (37 from New Zealand and 28 from Japan) have strengthened their sisterhood relationship through this exchange opportunity. During the two weeks, they learned about each other’s culture and established friendship by living with Girl Scout families and experienced many cultural activities together, including a special visit to the Mayor. Non-Girl Scouts elementary school students from Hitachi City were also invited to one of the programmes called “English camp” hosted by Hitachi Girl Scouts and Hitachi Board of Education, aiming to provide the experience of a Girl Scouts’ International camp. Under the three house rules of “smile, make new friends and never give up,” all the Japanese were challenged to speak only English to the Tauranga Girl Guides for two days of the camp. It was quite a challenge for both countries in terms of communication, although, making new acquaintances brought them a fresh perspective to their lives. The “stepping out of comfort zone“ experience made them understand our differences and appreciate similarities. The participants were happier and fulfilled at the end. Since 2001, this exchange programme has been well received and valued in both counties. A significant impact was the increase in the number of Girl Guides in Tauranga. Profound changes seen in participating Tauranga Girl Guides and Hitachi Girl Scouts indicate that the exchange certainly is an opportunity for learning and growth. "Rights. Camera. Action!: Media Summer Camp” for Girl Scouts of the Philippines Planet SAVERS 72 Junior, Senior and Cadet Girl Scouts, 30 troop leaders, and staff of the National Headquarters and Councils participated in “Rights. Camera. Action!: Media Summer Camp” of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines in partnership with the Department of Education and the National Council for Children’s Television at the Helena Z Benitez National Program and Training Center, Tagaytay City from 20 to 22 May 2013. The workshop’s aim was to cultivate the creative minds of the participants and harness their skills in photography, videography (pre- production, production and post-production) and script writing and the use of these skills as tools to spread awareness on the different issues concerning them and the community. The programme also promotes good viewing habits by encouraging parents’ participation in choosing the television programmes for their children to watch. Ten video clips mostly under 60 seconds were conceptualized, written, produced, directed and partly edited and scored by the Girl Scouts and their leaders. All were plotted on environmental issues and climate change such as water conservation, deforestation, energy consumption, and proper waste disposal.
  3. 3. 3 September 2013 International Service Camp in Mongolia 2013 National Young Leader’s Committees of Girl Scouts of Korea carried out the International Service Camp in Mongolia 2013 at Mary Ward Center, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 4 to 12 August which was partly sponsored by Friends of Asia Pacific WAGGGS. This camp was implemented as a joint programme with 13 Korean Girl Scouts, 7 Canadian Girl Guides and 90 Mongolian Girl Scouts and children with an aim at activating Mongolian Girl Scouting. Korean young leaders organized troop meetings for the Mongolian youth and children to enjoy the Girl Scout programme such as craft, science, physical activities and music and earn some badges. They also painted the wall of the troop meeting place and built the ger, the Mongolian traditional nomadic house, for one underprivileged family with the financial support from GSK, Korean Young leaders’ fundraising and participating Canadian Girl Guides. This family was delighted to get a new house and appreciated Girl Scouts. In addition, participants learned dance and songs from each country and shared each country’s food such as Khuushur, Bulgogi and hot cake. During the Camp, Korean young leaders developed their leadership by planning and implementing the programmes by themselves as well as global citizenship by exchange programme. At the International Service Camp, participants felt some difficulty due to language barriers, but the spirit of Girl Scouts made the project successful by uniting them into one. Mongolia Girl Scouts will keep learning the spirit of Girl Scouts and growing as years go by. Korea National Young leaders’ Committee will keep trying to exchange with Mongolian Girl Scouts and to develop networking with other MOs other than Canada to make this camp more international. Special Summer Camp for children in Areas Affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake On 9 to 11 August 2013, Girl Scouts of Japan (GSJ) held the "Zest for Living" camp 2013 as a part of the Great East Japan Earthquake support project at the National Hanayama Youth Outdoor Learning Center in Miyagi. The camp is organized for children living in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima -- areas affected by the earthquake. This is the third year since GSJ started the "Zest for Living" camp. Children have been looking forward to this camp and the number of applicants has been increasing every year. This year, there were 171 applicants for 100 spaces and it had to be decided by lot. 149 children had a chance to join the camp and 84 staff supported them. Staff comprised Ranger Girl Scouts (high school age) who became patrol leaders and had activities with participants and adult staff who organized and managed the whole programme. The "Zest for Living" camp is funded by Girl Scout Great East Japan Earthquake Fund and will be held again in the next two years. GGAM Commissioners’ Annual Conference and AGM 2012/2013 204 delegates attended the Girl Guides Association Malaysia (GGAM) Commissioners’ Annual Conference and thoroughly enjoyed the interesting and stimulating interactive activities geared towards living healthier, happier and safer lives. Hosted by GGAM Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur Branch, it was held at the JW Marriott Hotel, Kuala Lumpur from 24 to 27 May 2013. On the first evening, an aerobic exercise competition was held by the poolside to encourage engagement in physical activities to stay healthy. The next morning, there was a talk by CyberSecurity Malaysia to create an awareness on online safety especially for children and women, who are more vulnerable in today’s fast paced digital environment. This was followed by a session on `Nutrition &
  4. 4. 4 September 2013 Exercise for a Beautiful & Healthy U’. Next was a series of laughter exercises by laughter yoga guru Ms Karen Sze Tho which saw the delegates laughing hysterically. In her session `Team Building for Healthy Living’, Prof. Dr. Lee Kar Ling stressed the importance of improving and maintaining one’s mental wellbeing. “If you have good mental health, you are able to value and accept yourself, build and maintain positive relationships with other people and manage times of change and uncertainty positively”, she said. Also present were GGAM Chief Commissioner Datin Seri Hajah Zalillah Bte Mohd Taib and President of GGAM Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur Branch, Dato’ Yeoh Soo Keng. The following day, GGAM Royal Patron, Her Majesty The Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Haminah graced and officiated the opening of the Annual General Meeting. Her Majesty also presented a certificate of appreciation to 13- year-old Sarah Batrisyia Mohammed A'reeff, for winning the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and Greenpeace International's 'Flag for the future' competition, in conjunction with the 'Save the Arctic' campaign. She also presented the Asia Pacific Awards to 28 leaders and the Queen’s Guide award to 31 Ranger Guides. Queen's Guide Ruby Chow Heng Yee, 17 said her five years of hard work has finally paid off. “Being a Queen's Guide has turned me into a better person, in terms of leadership, time management, discipline and much more than I expected to be. Throughout my journey, I have met loads of great people. We're not just friends, but a family. As the first Queen's Guide of SMK Seri Saujana, I hope to inspire my juniors to become Queen’s Guides too”, she said proudly. Earlier in the morning, 76 leaders also received the GGAM appreciation awards for their services to the association and community by the Prime Minister’s wife who is also the President of GGAM, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor. Former Chief Commissioner of GGAM Johor Branch, Juriah binti Mohamed, 62, who received the Asia Pacific Leadership Award for Service to Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting from the Queen and the Long Service award (20 years) from Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor said, “I am really happy and grateful to GGAM for the awards. It’s nice to be appreciated. I have been in Girl Guiding since Form One. Though retired, I am presently serving as the Branch Commissioner for Programs and Training. I guess my passion has rubbed off to my two daughters who worked their way to become Queen’s Guide”. Girl Guides Association Cambodia Partnership with BBC Media Action Cambodia The Asia Pacific Regional Committee’s visit to BBC Media Action Cambodia during the Asia Pacific Regional Committee meeting in March 2013 has initiated a partnership between Girl Guides Association of Cambodia (GGAC) and BBC Media Action. Prior to this, the project has now been shown on two different episodes of Loy9 on Cambodian national TV. They are also available in YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LPhq8RUr OI&feature=share from 22:09 to 25:49 mins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06JyZrC- TR4&feature=share from 20:46 to 25:40mins The segment with GGAC shows GGAC girls being trained in filming and editing and later involved in filming a community service project. On 25 to 27 March 2013 five talented young women from GGAC and four dental students from the University of Health and Science took a three day course in filming and editing with hit youth initiative Loy9. Produced by BBC Media Action with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and SIDA, “Loy9” uses entertaining shows, live
  5. 5. 5 September 2013 events and trainings to help young people in Cambodia get involved in the world beyond their homes and schools. For three full days, basic skills on concept development, script writing, story lining, and camera use on filming and video editing were taught by the Loy9 Event Team to the young people. Hosted at the Girls Guides Association of Cambodia main office, the training was fun and educational. “Before, I knew nothing about video shooting or video editing. This is the very first for me to be able learn and to develop a brand new skill. I’ll benefit a lot from this training to help myself and other.” said 17 year-old, Youn Sreylux, Ranger member. Three trainings on the basics of video filming and editing have so far been conducted for selected groups of youth participants in different parts of the country. Each group was selected based on their successful written stories – on what and how, they themselves or their group, volunteered in contributing in their community development. After each training is completed, the trainees produce a three minute documentary to explore ideas and understanding on issues to help benefit their community, which will be shown on national television in one of Loy9 TV episodes. “It is such an amazing activity and opportunity for the Girl Guides and dental students to produce their very own video documentary, hoping that the audience would benefit and understand the importance of personal hygiene and youth involvement in helping people in their community,” said Yen Chenda, Loy9 Events Producer. The Girl Guides and dental students are producing a documentary of their own volunteering project to raise awareness and inform parents and children on personal hygiene, including the health benefits of hand washing. The group will be receiving professional technical advice from the Loy9 Team and soon will be seen by many people from all over the country. Malaysia Takes Part in International AIDS Memorial Day 2013 In conjunction with International AIDS Memorial Day 2013, Cadet Girl Guides from Girl Guides Association Malaysia took the proactive step to sensitize their fellow student teachers on the disease. They organized an AIDS Education and Awareness Program with the cooperation of the Co-Curricular Unit, Institute of Teacher Education Penang Campus and Community AIDS Service Penang, a non- governmental organization on 2 May 2013. Company Leader Norashikin Bt Zainull Abidin, 21, said that the increasing infection among women is worrying. “We want women to have the right information about HIV and AIDS. We opened this programme to male student teachers too as the discussion included gender roles, rights and responsibilities”, she said Calaine Ng and Tiang Chung Tee, also 21, believed that the programme managed to raise awareness and created more openness about the disease. “We must try to combat stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS. Our communities should be more supportive of these people”, they said as they gave out red ribbon pins. At the end of the programme, they lit candles to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to support those living with HIV/AIDS and affected by its impact. Girl Scouts of the Philippines Bags Betty Go Belmonte Award The Girl Scouts of the Philippines was conferred with the Most Outstanding Non- Governmental Organization Humanitarian Award during the 3rd Betty Go Belmonte Awarding Ceremony recently. The award was given by the University of the Philippines Sigma Delta Phi Alumnae Association. The Betty Go Belmonte Awards are bestowed on outstanding individuals and organizations in recognition of how they significantly promote the values and virtues of the Award’s namesake. Betty Go Belmonte was the Charter President of the University of the Philippines Sigma Delta Phi Alumnae Association which was incorporated in 1985. Betty Go Belmonte was a journalist, publisher and businesswoman of one of the country’s leading dailies, The Philippine Star. She was a renowned socio-civic leader, values and women empowerment advocate, and a philanthropist in various fields. Recipients of this
  6. 6. 6 September 2013 award should exemplify some of Betty Go Belmonte’s merits and commitments such as advocacy of peace and social cohesion; dynamic and motivating leadership; sincere generosity and genuine caring concern; quiet and disciplined work ethics anchored in humility, compassion and commitment; non-violent social reform; highly principled and values-oriented personhood with strong spirituality and moral ascendancy and renowned integrity and credibility. The award recognized the untiring efforts exerted by GSP in fulfilling its commitment to its mission of helping Filipino girls and young women realize the ideals of womanhood and prepare themselves for their responsibilities in the home, the nation, and the world community. GSP provides training and offers programmes addressing the contemporary issues affecting girls and young women. These programmes constantly evolve in order to respond positively to the challenges of Spirituality and Well being, Environment, Preparedness, Family Life, Economic Self Sufficiency, Our Heritage and Citizenship, Arts and World Community. The award was received by Dr. Salud A. Bagalso, National President with Dr. Cristina Lim-Yuson, 1st National Vice President and Myra Contessa Diokno-Sarmenta, Assistant National Executive Director. Girl Scouts Join “RecyClass” Project for Additional Public School Chairs Mondelēz International, the makers of the powdered juice Tang, has tapped the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) to be its partner in their “Project RecyClass” where used foil packs will be collected and converted into flood- proof plastic school chairs. Girl Scouts will be collecting used foil packs in schools and communities to help Tang achieve their goal to collect 30,000 kilograms of empty Tang foil packs from communities nationwide. This will produce 10,000 chairs for selected public schools in Metro Manila. GSP will be working for the second time with the Tang Galing Club as a partner for their advocacy programmes. “Galing” is a Filipino word that means excellence. The first project in 2011 was the Tanggaling Kids Awards Programme for young achievers, aged 7 to 12 years old, who possess positive traits like initiative, compassion, and integrity. Kids' Visit the Government Day 2013 Girl Scouts of Japan participated in the Kids' Visit the Government Day 2013. It is an opportunity for children to visit, learn and understand about the government through activities. For this event, ministries and agencies cooperate and support children to learn about their work during the Summer holiday. In 2013, the visit day was on 7 and 8 August and 24 ministries and agencies gave opportunities for children to visit. "Kids' Passport for Kasumigaseki, Japan" was issued as a guide book that includes programme information and a map. 15,000 participants, including the guardians/parents, took part in the two-day activity. The Girl Scouts of Japan cooperated with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and provided a programme to teach rope work (clove hitch) and to make a small craft using twigs. This was a great opportunity to raise awareness of Girl Scouting to the public. GSJ handed out a leaflet and information sheets to the participants. OB-PS Japan Meeting On 29 June 2013, OB-PS Japan welcomed some OB-PS Board members and Nadine El Achy, the Chair of WAGGGS' World Board, who visited Japan for the 11th Asia Pacific Regional Conference and held a meeting at Girl Scout House in Tokyo. About 30 participants gathered and discussed about membership development as well as deepened exchanges. Also, a young leader who attended to a project in Rwanda receiving a grant from OB-PS visited the meeting and reported her activity and experience. Participants were interested in her activity report and it raised much attention to the OB-PS.
  7. 7. 7 September 2013 Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) Association of Thailand Grows its Members Between 2011 and 2012, Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) Association of Thailand (GGAT) attracted around 10,000 new members – increasing membership to 57,461 by the end of 2012. Girl Guiding activities in Thailand mainly take place in schools, so relationships with teachers have been essential in growing membership and promoting Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting. GGAT borrowed marketing strategies from the corporate world, in particular ‘members-get- members’ or ‘recommend a friend’ schemes whereby the Association encouraged existing members to persuade their friends, relatives and schoolmates to join Girl Guiding. GGAT’s Treasurer attended the International Workshop on Resource Mobilization Asia (a workshop focusing on building fundraising capacity) and following this was inspired to build partnerships with other organizations such as Thai Women’s Watch. The Association has also made use of existing resources and contacts – for example the Chair of Fundraising for one of the Association’s training centre is a prominent business woman, so has recruited a significant number of members and supporters through her networks. The Association runs a hostel, and delivers training to non-Girl Guides staying at the hostel, encouraging them to become members. Finally, GGAT began training male teachers, in order to enable them to deliver the Girl Guiding curriculum in schools. “It is important not only for GGAT, but every Member Organization to grow membership: firstly to work towards WAGGGS’ Vision 2020: ‘All girls and young women are valued and take action to change the world,’ says Dr. Lucy Tan- atichat, International Commissioner, “Secondly, having more members will bring in even more through the members-get-members programme. Having more members, more ideas are being generated thus benefiting the organization.” The WAGGGS Asia Pacific Region supported GGAT in their activities, Dr Lucy says WAGGGS’ recommendations helped grow and retain membership. The WAGGGS Asia Pacific Region made suggestions for retention of membership at senior level, such as by engaging with young women in universities. WAGGGS also suggested that the Association provides more flexible training courses for leaders. Previously courses took place over five consecutive days, and many leaders could not attend due to their jobs, so the Association now runs training at weekends. Sri Lanka Runs 3L Project The 3L Project of the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association (SLGGA) was successfully concluded on 5 June 2013, with a bridal show, exhibition and a competition of needlework and handicraft. At the bridal show each of the 17 participants displayed their skills by dressing a bride, using matching accessories, hair styling, make-up and creation of a floral bouquet. The exhibition and competition of needlework and handicrafts included painted pottery, embroidered saris, table-ware, household linen, glass painting, soft toys and baby clothes. An awards ceremony is planned for July 2013 to distribute certificates in the following areas to those 30 persons who participated in the 3 L Project: Computer skills; Sewing and Embroidery; Handiwork and Craft skills; Spoken English; Culinary Arts; Bridal Dressing; Beauty Culture. In keeping with the goals envisioned by the 3L Project to equip participants with life skills and management skills - the following programmes linked to the essentials of Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting, were conducted: A basic training in the fundamentals of Girl Guiding; Health; Personal Safety; Thrift; Communication Skills; Community Service. As part of the Community service a Health Camp was organized on 6 April 2013 for the families and greater community of Mattakkuliya where the 3L Project is located. Approximately 250 persons attended the camp, run by the participants 80 persons were gifted spectacles free of charge. They also offered flood relief by
  8. 8. 8 September 2013 donating dry rations and household equipment was distributed to 300 residents of Mattakkuliya who were affected by the floods. The knowledge and skills taught to the participants had a positive impact on their lives. This was evident in their confidence in interacting with society at large and improved levels of grooming and social conduct. Six of the participants are now employed in various spheres. Ten are launching out as entrepreneurs - in bridal dressing and beauty culture. “I was just 14 when I had my first baby. After that 3 more babies followed. There was no time for anything except cooking, cleaning and raising my children in our tiny house.My daughter is now 16 and I found that I need to keep pace with her. She goes to school and knows and learns many things. I was feeling rather helpless and lost when I enrolled in the 3L Project established by the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association (SLGGA). I learnt so much. I have re-gained my confidence, because now I know how to operate a computer like my daughter does. I can advise her on make-up, good-grooming and safe sex. My oldest son said that he thinks I am a clever and good mother.I am very happy that I had the opportunity to join the 3L Project. It has made my life so much better”. R. Devishwari (one of the participants in the 3 L Project). Guides WA.NT Change! Girl Guides from Western Australia and Northern Territory Visit their Together Greening Twinning Partners in the USA For the past 12 months, a group of 17 Girl Guides in Australia, spread over the two states of Western Australia (WA) and the Northern Territory (NT), have been working with a six- member team from Girl Scouts Eastern South Carolina (GSESC) on an environmentally- focused twinning project. It is a girl-led environmental action project, one of 17 worldwide that has been funded by the Alcoa Foundation. The girls, aged between 12 and 17, have been working together to raise awareness of littering and to educate their respective communities on the importance of recycling. Local activities included information stands at community festivals, educational Youtube videos, freeze action flash mobs, and a puppet show for young Girl Scouts in the USA. With further assistance from the Alcoa Foundation in the form of a travel grant, six Girl Guides and two leaders from WA and NT travelled to the USA and Mexico from 5 July to 21 July 2013. Although the two countries have used technology to get to know each other and work together, it was a fantastic opportunity for the two groups to meet in person and to carry out additional environmental activities together. After some sightseeing and learning about the history of Charleston, South Carolina, the group of 13 travelled to the GSESC campsite ‘Sandy Ridge’. The group participated in camp activities, and ran an evening programme for the campers. The evening programme included a quiz based on the environment and the importance of recycling, and a relay race. The campers were also given reusable shopping bags that included a pledge to help the environment. From Sandy Ridge the group had an early start to drive to Atlanta, Georgia, for their flight to Mexico and a stay at the World Centre Our Cabaña. A special environmentally-focused programme was organized by the Our Cabaña team, and included a visit to a local government- run greenhouse and plant nursery. The group members filled nearly 300 pots with soil and then planted seedlings in the pots. Once ready, the plants will be distributed to local communities for revegetation projects and to support local handicrafts. Another special activity was travelling to ‘Meztitla’, a local Scout camp just outside of Tezoptlan to participate in a reforestation project within the camp grounds. Each person planted up to five trees, with between 250 and 300 pine and citrus trees in total being planted. Each person adopted one of their trees, giving it a name and receiving an official birth certificate. Many of the Australians who planted trees took on Australian names, such as ‘Skippy’, ‘Vegemite’ and ‘Blinky Bill’. Throughout the project, and further established through the travel opportunity, the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts learned about team work, leadership, communication, environmental advocacy and above all else, how special it is to belong to a worldwide movement.
  9. 9. 9 September 2013 Bangladesh Girl Guides Association Stands Beside Victims of “Rana Plaza Collapse”. On 24 April 2013, an eight- storey commercial building, ‘Rana Plaza”, collapsed in Savar, a sub- district in the Greater Dhaka Area, the capital of Bangladesh. The search for the dead ended on 13 May with the death toll at 1,127. Approximately 2,500 injured people were rescued from the building, most of them were garment workers. The tragedy is considered to be the deadliest garment factory accident in history, as well as the deadliest accidental structural failure in modern human history. One of the garment manufacturers' websites indicates that more than half of the victims were women, along with a number of their children who were in nursery facilities within the building. The Bangladesh Girl Guides Association came forward to help the victims. They visited the spot and helped volunteers by supplying them with water. The National Commissioner, Deputy National Commissioner, Treasurer, Project Commissioner, Regional Commissioner, Dhaka and Capital Region and other members also with Girl Guides and Rangers visited the National Orthopedic Hospital and distributed an amount of 115,000 BDT among some female victims of the Rana Plaza accident. On 25 May 2013, members of the National Ranger Council along with the Ranger Commissioner visited the National Orthopedic Hospital. Many of the victims had lost limbs and needed surgery and treatment. Some Rangers arranged to render service for the victims at the hospital. The team also visited CRP where 46 victims were admitted for treatment. Many of them said that they needed rehabilitation programmes to have a better future ahead. The team distributed fruits among the victims, consoled them and talked to them about their present condition and future plans. Later the team visited the disaster spot and prayed for the victims. After the visit the team decided to raise funds to help rehabilitate few female victims with sewing machines and the like, especially for those under 18. Bangladesh Girl Guides Association Celebrates Safe Motherhood Day On 28 May 2013, Monowara Orthopaedic and General Hospital, Golapbag Biswaroad, Dhaka arranged a free medical camp for the pregnant mothers on Safe Motherhood Day. They provided free checkups, blood grouping, HBs Ag test, free distribution of medicines and health card to be used during the pregnancy period. They also arranged a seminar for the mothers and their family members regarding both mental and physical care needed during pregnancy and lactating period. The Bangladesh Girl Guides Association was also a part of this event. Dr. Fauzia Moslem, co- chair, Bangladesh Women Federation was the chief guest. Syeda Rehana Imam, National Commissioner, Bangladesh Girl Guides Association was the special guest of this programme. Regional commissioner, Capital and Dhaka, Project Commissioner, trainers and office members along with Rangers were present at the event. The programme was chaired by Dr. Monowara Sultana, founder, Monowara Orthopaedic and General Hospital. In her speech she specially thanked BGGA for prompt and effective support to make the event successful. International Volunteer (IV) Japan and the Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) Association of Thailand (GGAT) Present Funds to Corrections Department On 15 May 2013 Mrs. Sachiko Tominaga from IV-Japan (International Volunteer Japan) provided funds to children of women inmates through the Deputy Director-General of the Corrections Department, Ministry of Justice. IV-Japan, headed by Mrs.Tominaga. Based in the Laos People’s Democratic Republic, this is a group of volunteers in Japan, who raise funds to help under-privileged girls and young women in Thailand and Laos PDR. Mrs. Tominaga has also been a keen supporter of The Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) Association of Thailand (GGAT)
  10. 10. 10 September 2013 and regular donor to the hill-tribes girls in Thailand through GGAT. Joining also on the occasion was Dr. Lucy Tan-atichat, International Commissioner. A young donor noted “The funds received go towards my education and cost of living. I miss my mother very much. When I think of her, I like to draw pictures and then give to her when grandma brings me to visit her.” Friends of Asia Pacific WAGGGS 5 th Regional Gathering of the Friends Of Asia Pacific Friends of Asia Pacific (FAPW) from 11 different countries met in Tokyo, Japan from 29 June to 6 July 2013 for the 5 th Regional Gathering. Unfortunately, FAPW Patron, Her Royal Highness Princess Azizah was unable to attend and was very much missed. Girl Scouts of Japan (GSJ) were wonderful hosts, anticipating the Friends’ every need, always smiling, hardworking and ever helpful. The Worker Bees certainly lived up to their name. The youth members of GSJ, looking great in their very smart uniforms, charmed everyone. They presented participants with little gifts and greeting cards they had made, sang beautifully and gave spectacular drumming performances. The Business Meeting brought members up to date with developments since the last General Assembly and with plans for the future, especially the next General Assembly, which is to be held in Thailand from 16 to 20 January 2014. The FAPW Regional Gathering was held concurrently with the 11th Asia Pacific Regional Conference and Friends were invited to join the Conference delegates for their Opening Ceremony, the Keynote Address by Yuriko Koike, a member of the House of Representatives, the Asia Pacific Report and the WAGGGS Global Presentation. During the Asia Pacific Report session, the Founder of FAPW, Dr Juseon Byun was presented with the Asia Pacific Region Appreciation Award for her outstanding service and contribution to the development of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting in the Asia Pacific Region. During the Gathering, Friends enjoyed opportunities to experience many aspects of Japanese culture through activities which included flower arranging, tea ceremony, dressing in kimono, Rakugo in which the lone storyteller becomes many characters, Tama Sudare which is comic street performance, traditional music and dances, drumming performances, wax vegetable making and a visit to Asakusa. Many participants wore traditional national dress for the Membership Ceremony and Dinner at which 70 new members and 32 upgrading members received pins or plaques from Dr Juseon Byun. There were a further 25 new members and one upgrading member who were unable to be present at the ceremony. National dress was also worn on Bazaar Night, at which items donated by members were sold to raise funds for the Asia Pacific Region. Medal of the Order of Australia Awarded to Dallas and Marian Langdon Marian and Dallas Langdon received the OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in Queen Elizabeth's Birthday Honours list. Many congratulations to Dallas and Marian on this honour.
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