11th Asia Pacific Regional Conference reveals the Asia Pacific Membership Development Strategy with six strategic priorities
16 August 2013
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 opportunity to Member Organizations to provide input into the strategy and give the mandate to the Asia Pacific Regional (APR) Committee to finalise the proposed strategy.
The six strategic priorities are:
- Strengthen the skills of adult members
- Deliver attractive and quality programmes
- Retain and grow membership and market share
- Build strong structures and organization systems
- Expand and diversify funding in Member Organizations and the Asia Pacific Region
- 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 some 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. The book was available at a minimum donation of USD10 during the conference.
Besides the business parts of the conference such as the Asia Pacific Report, election of new Committee members 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.
|Although the conference schedules are very tight, the conference is very successful and provided opportunities for MOs to learn from each other and the future planning of WAGGGS and AP Region|
said Ada Kwan, Hong Kong
Guest speakers from Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) were invited to share in two sessions on the topics of “A journey of transformation” and “What’s our promise to girls?”, addressing the areas of marketing and educational programme in Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting. The initiative to invite guest speakers from a MO of another region received positive feedback from participants and was an eye-opener to many.
Conference participants also had the opportunity to visit some local Japanese organizations on learning excursions arranged by Girl Scouts of Japan. The four organizations are Kokuyo and Shiseido, two international corporate brands; Cool Japan of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry which is a governmental organization; and Shinagawa high school for girls. All these organizations believe in their own potential and have strategically strengthened their brand name with pride.
Girl Scouts of Japan members who were involved in the WAGGGS Leadership Development Programme (WLDP) event in Japan last year hosted an evening for young women participants of the conference and some Japanese young women, including non-Girl Scout members. It was an evening of fun, games and sharing activities.
Chavvi Goyal, a young women participant from India said
|I would like to thank you for such a gorgeous experience you brought us. Gained a lot from the sessions and workshops. It was great to hear and share what's happening around AP for young girls and women. Thanks a ton! It was brilliant!|
Issues raised during the Panel session
Pakistan Girl Guides Association submitted a question before the conference requesting that the level of English at conferences and trainings be modified to cater for those with all levels of English understanding. Korea and Bangladesh spoke in support of the proposal. APR Chair said she will pass the information on to those who are doing trainings and preparing documents in WAGGGS and will also think about the implications regionally.
Girl Scouts of Japan made a brief presentation explaining the background information to their pre-conference submission around their research. They have conducted the research to prove the effectiveness of girls-only environment. They are seeking advice on how to consider this type of topic if you are a girls only organisation do you face the same type of challenges when explaining why we are a girls only organisation. Many Member Organizations provided feedback that they support a girls only environment.
One motion was passed during the conference.
The 11th Asia Pacific Regional Conference recommends to the World Board that further information be made available to Member Organizations on the creation of a Nominations Committee; that the constitutional basis for its creation be stated and its power and limitations clearly defined.
Proposed by Girl Scouts of the Philippines
Seconded by Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) Association of Thailand
Newly elected Asia Pacific Regional Committee
There were only six nominees for the AP regional committee; therefore voting was done by show of hands in agreement that the nominated six nominees be the next APR committee. It was declared that Low Lih Jeng (Singapore), Melanie Bennette (New Zealand), Pinky I-Ling Lin (Taiwan), Marybelle D. Marinas (Philippines), Lucy Tan-atichat (Thailand) and Minori Yuda (Japan) are the new APR committee for 2013-2016. Low Lih Jeng was elected as Chair of the Asia Pacific Region for a second term. A warm welcome was given to them.
Venue of the 12th Asia Pacific Regional Conference
The bidding for the next APR conference was held. Since there was only one bid which is from Nepal Scouts, they gave a presentation to give us an over view of the venue and host country. After seeing the informative presentation the delegates were looking forward to go to Nepal.
During the conference also, participants had the opportunity to attend several social events like welcoming cultural activities with girl members of Girl Scouts of Japan, Asia Pacific Regional Night and Bazaar, Tokyo evening tours, a “Be Bee” party with the “worker bees” (conference volunteers) and a half day tour to a water conservation museum.
To celebrate the achievements and success of the conference, Girl Scouts of Japan held a Gala dinner as a farewell for conference participants at Meiji Kinenkan with the graceful presence of HIH Princess Akishino. Prior to the gala, the young women participants across the AP region reported the outcomes of the conference to HIH Princess Akishino.
At the same time of the conference, the Friends of Asia Pacific WAGGGS (FAPW) 5th Gathering was held as a side event of the conference. The four-day event brought together about 100 FAPW members from 11 countries. Participants of the event had the opportunity to attend several events of the Regional Conference while having their own social activities at other times.
To learn more about the 11th Asia Pacific Regional Conference, please visit this page