Mpanazava Eto Madagasikara - “Girl Scouts, friends of animals and nature”
7 April 2014
It is this Girl Guide and Girl Scout Law that has rekindled a love of nature for some 900 girls, teenagers and young adult members of the Mpanazava Eto Madagasikara, the Protestant Girl Scout Association of Madagascar, who attended the annual reforestation event in Ambalavao Commune in Analamanga Region, on 8 February 2014. This activity was also part of the celebration of the Little Wings’ Golden Jubilee, the section for girls aged from 6 to 11 years.
The ceremony began at 9:00 am with a rally, followed by a church service, and official speeches from the Deputy Chief Commissioner, the President of the Little Wings Jubilee Committee, and the Mayor of the Ambalavao Commune. After the trees were planted and watered, the members had the chance to see how last year’s plants had grown.
“This plot of land, which was graciously donated by the Ambalavao commune for us to hold this annual reforestation event, is the same plot of land on which the Little Wings will camp later on; each member planting their own seed there” said the Association’s Chief Commissioner, Zoé Rasoaniaina, also known by her Scout name Harahara Mihangy.
The reforestation was followed by educational activities for each branch: yellow (Little Wings aged from 6 to 11 years), green (Girl Scouts aged from 12 to 16 years) and red (Pioneers aged from 17 to 25 years). The theme of the activities was centred on recycling, and each branch explored that theme as follows: the Little Wings chose to use old newspapers to make beautifully decorated little birds; while the Girl Scouts chose to use plastic bottles to produce stunning decorative objects such as vases and candlesticks; and the Pioneers went on to a meeting to raise awareness on the environment through advocacy and sketches. We must not leave out the older members and Friends of the Girl Scouts, who worked using old pieces of cloth to create patchwork.
As well as these activities, throughout the day photos were taken and printed by the Photovoice team, photos which conjured up ideas of what it means to be a child and issues relating to maternal health in the communities, an exhibition which seeks to save children and the life of mothers by exposing reproductive health issues.
To finish the day off, Unit Leaders from each Region lead the Little Wings through an imaginary world with cartoon images of Obelix and Asterix, Smurf, Pocahontas, Tinkerbell and the Pingu family.
However, this year’s programme will not stop there. The next meeting is set for 8 March 2014 at the Espace Dera, Tsiadana Antananarivo, to celebrate International Women’s Day, organized by the Little Wings Jubilee Committee. This is to be a promising day as the Little Wings themselves are going to take the floor and will publicly show off their talent as poets.