Kenya Girl Guides hold a campfire dialogue with Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith to share how they’re tackling plastic pollution thanks to the UK Government (DEFRA) funded badge.
On 4 March 2022, the Kenya Girl Guides held a campfire dialogue with Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister for Pacific and the International Environment at the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
The meeting, organised by our partner, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), took place at the British High Commissioner's office in Nairobi with three leading Girl Guides in attendance:
- Josephine Wairimu Mwangi: a young leader and Kenya Girl Guides Assistant Chief Commissioner. She is responsible for leading the Plastic Tide Turners programme in the association and as Tide Turners Champion herself, she has mobilized her community and organized more than half a dozen Tide Turners awareness raising events.
- Argie Gathigia Muriuki: a young leader, who sits on the National Board representing young leaders. She is an alumni since Tide Turner’s programme inception and Champion, Agnes has trained and reached out to more than 400 young Girl Guides via social media and workshops to tackle the issue of plastic pollution. She has also been engaged in numerous clean ups to collect and dispose of plastic waste across her community.
- Alicia Moraa: a young leader and peer to peer trainer. Alicia has supported over 5,000 young people to complete on Plastic Tide Turners Challenge. She has also organized many sensitization events in her community and developed new ways to dispose of waste in Kisii County, Kenya.
Since the inception of the Plastic Tide Turners Challenge badge programme, WAGGGS has engaged Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 11 different countries: Nigeria, Uganda, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Gambia, Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Across these countries over 35,000 girls and young women have completed their Plastic Tide Turners training programme and earnt their Tide Turners badge.
In the most recent phase of the programme, another 2,000 Girl Guides and Girls Scouts have been trained as Advocacy Champions through an impressive cascade training model. These Advocacy Champions play a key role in leading change within their communities and beyond, targeting decision makers for important policy changes.
This work has delivered results. In Pakistan, for example, one girl-led campaign led to the installation of segregated trash bins across her community. In Bihar state, India, single-use plastic has been completely banned. And in Madagascar, Girl Scouts have managed to get environmental education - including the fight against single-use plastics – included on the school curriculum.
Throughout the programme, girl-led awareness raising efforts including offline and online (social media) campaigns, and community sensitisation events, including community clean ups, have led to significant behaviour change across all participating countries.
At the heart of the programme has been a non-formal education methodology, which puts girls and young women at the centre of their learning and supports them to take the lead in their lives, their communities and their countries.
WAGGGS looks forward to its continued collaboration with UNEP and DEFRA as the organisations move into Phase 4 of the Plastic Tide Turners programme, building more and more support for a reduction in plastic pollution that girls and young women so badly want to enable.