In February I travelled from wintery WAGGGS in London to sunny Sri Lanka, where I volunteered to teach English in a series of Girls’ Schools in the green and misty mountained city of Badulla, Uva Province. Set against the backdrop of windy roads around tea plantations, waterfalls, ancient temples and mischievous monkeys, I was warmly welcomed into the Girl Guiding family and got to sample the incredible hospitality of Guiding in Sri Lanka.
One morning, after my breakfast of home-cooked roti and papaya juice, I took my morning tuk-tuk, this time to B/Sujatha Vidyalaya School. At the gate I was greeted by two immaculately dressed Prefects bearing bouquets of tropical flowers and the teachers coordinating the partnership, who led me to meet their Madam Principal. It was here that I learnt (much to my surprise) that through the Guiding grape-vine they had learned of my visit and my role within WAGGGS and wanted me to lead some activities with their 35 Girl Guides! After shaking off the initial surprise and without a minute to think or plan my lesson I greeted my new students, and to quote one of my colleagues at WAGGGS, took a deep breath and thought to myself ‘I was made for this’!
The girls were model Guides; polite, respectful, compassionate and proud of their participation in a global Movement of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts whom they felt connected to, inspired to be part of and keen to reach out to.
As Rapid Response Coordinator for WAGGGS I explained to the girls that my job was to help bring Guiding to new countries, and that I needed their help to do this.
Check out some of the beautifully illustrated letters the girls wrote to a future Girl Guide to share their love of Guiding and to show other girls the benefits of joining the Movement!
As Guiding expands into new countries, and we welcome new faces to our growing Movement by sharing what we know and love about Guiding, what would you say to a Future Girl Guide?
- Zoe Carletide, Rapid Response Coordinator, WAGGGS