Two years ago, I was filling in the application form to contest the WAGGGS Europe Committee election and looking for travel options from Brussels to Split. I had been a regional and global level volunteer so I had a solid understanding of WAGGGS but being on the Europe Region Committee meant wearing a different hat. Fortunately, I successfully contested the election and joined the first Committee meeting in London at Pax Lodge, one of WAGGGS' five World Centres. I had been to Pax Lodge 20 years before with my local unit from Malta so I eagerly reached out to my former Guide Leader for them to post about it on the Unit’s Facebook page – I can tell you they were over the moon that a Girl Guide from their unit was on the Committee.
I am now working as the Committee’s external relations lead and the country contact for 8 of 64 Member Organisations (MOs) in WAGGGS' Europe Region. My first year in post was full of online introductory calls with the Committee, the staff, the volunteers and more. I got to know lots of new people who all had one goal in mind – to do the best they could for girls and young women in Europe.
The COVID-19 pandemic broke out just a few days after the second committee meeting in Germany and in just one bang - the world had gone upside down! All events were cancelled or were moved online and priorities changed for all of us. Monthly Committee calls focused on recruitment of the new Europe Region chair, the budget implications of COVID-19, furloughing of staff, teleworking, and preparations for the first ever online Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), which focused on the impact of COVID-19 on our Members. Rest assured it was not an easy ride but together, we made it!
We are now more than half way through our term as Committee members and next year we will be electing the next Regional Committee members. Through this blog, I would like to reach out to those who are interested in a role and invite them to take the plunge. Start thinking about what changes you would like to bring and where your strengths lie – be it strategy, governance, finance, decision-making, or communication, and highlight these in your campaign.
I am very aware that the decision to run for next year’s election is not to be taken lightly. As part of succession planning for the future of WAGGGS Europe, all Europe Region Committee members are open to sharing their experiences on what it takes to be on the Europe Region Committee with any interested candidates. Feel free to learn more about this journey – either through a virtual coffee, a walk in the park, or by email. We want to hear from you.
WAGGGS Europe Committee - External Relations Portfolio lead
To get in touch please contact the Europe Region Committee at: Europe@wagggs.org