I’m part of the Mama School Girl Guides. I am turning 14 on 22 February.
Birthdays are considered very special days here in, Karachi. They are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and happiness. Friends take you out to fancy restaurants, or throw parties with countless gifts and love. It is the one day you get constant attention and love.
If we specifically talk about my family, they tend to get really enthusiastic when it’s either mine or any of my siblings’ birthday. They take us out to dinner, send us love-filled texts all day long and surprise us with the most unexpected gifts. The day turns out to be really lovely. My sisters give me cute hand-made cards and all the effort makes me feel extremely special. I can’t really describe how my birthday will be this time, but what I’m expecting is a surprise party thrown by my friends. It’s probably going include desi, barbecue food, or if it’s a surprise party by my friends there will be burgers, pizza and cupcakes. This birthday I’m expecting a new handbag as my gift because I’ve been mentioning it to my family.
Living in Pakistan the food we have here is amazing; we have breathtakingly beautiful scenery, a moderate climate and all types of topography. But we also have widespread poverty, a staggering percentage of children not attending school and a lack of women’s rights in rural areas.
"Being a part of Girlguiding is something else, especially living in a country with issues around women’s rights... It teaches us to love our sisters and stand up for what is right."
Being a girl in Pakistan is hectic. We women aren’t given the full freedom we deserve. This mindset is gradually changing, but not for everyone. Many still think of girls are inferior to men. Women here face many difficulties and problems, but we remain strong.
Being a part of Girlguiding is something else, especially living in a country with issues around women’s rights. My favorite part of guiding is how it empowers girls and shapes us into better versions of ourselves. It teaches us to love our sisters and stand up for what is right. But most importantly, it teaches us to believe in ourselves. I have heard numerous stories of people transformed through guiding, including being encouraged to speak out and never give up hope.
World Thinking Day is a very important day. It’s a day when we come together and think of the importance of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. We think about how the Movement has changed the lives of girls around the globe by encouraging them, shaping them, teaching them what’s right and wrong.
At the moment I have a lot of ideas for what we can do this World Thinking Day, including writing down how Girlguiding has changed us, along with our strengths and weaknesses. Then keep this safe and open it next year to see how Guiding helped grow our strengths and eradicate our weaknesses.