GIRL SCOUTING IN SYRIA CELEBRATED FOR WORLD-CLASS EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES - As World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts welcomes six new countries at 36th World Conference
(Delhi, India) – DESPITE the challenges of conflict and adverse conditions, Scouts of Syria are delivering world-class educational programmes to girls across the country, says the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
Now, in recognition of their incredible work, Syria is set to become a full member of WAGGGS at its 36th World Conference in New Delhi, India – a big step for both the international movement and the national organisation.
Six years of conflict in Syria has had a devastating impact on the country and its young people. According to the UNDP in Syria, 45% the population has been displaced, while over 45% of school age children are no longer in school.
Under the ever-present realities of war, dedicated volunteers are working tirelessly to run Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting activities across the country, including in Damascus, Hama, Latakia and Aleppo. Over 1,000 girls and young women have been given a sense of normality and a safe space for them to play and make friends – and it’s having a huge impact.
Sham, 22, a Girl Scout from Syria, says:
“The war has taken its toll on my country, however, I am thankful it hasn’t affected me in-person. Instead, it’s made me stronger and helped me realise what I want to do in life. It’s made me understand the importance of education, which is now my priority. During the holidays, I attend Girl Guide activities. It has helped me no end and it’s one of the reasons I consider myself successful.”
Zain, 22, also a Girl Scout from Syria, says:
“Being a Girl Guide Leader from Syria has truly changed my life. I became the strong independent woman I’ve always wanted to become. Girls all around the world should feel what it’s like to be strong, to stand up for their rights and be in charge of their lives - this is what Guiding does.”
Diversity and tolerance
Along with Syria, Aruba, Azerbaijan and Palestine will also become full members of WAGGGS, while Albania and Niger will become associate members, celebrating the diversity and tolerance of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. As the world’s only movement for girls grows to represent 150 countries, it means girls will be given a stronger voice to make the world a better place.
According to WAGGGS’ World Board Chair, Nicola Grinstead:
“Wherever she is from, whatever her background, every girl deserves to grow up free from discrimination and inequality. Every girl deserves to play, explore and have fun. We are committed to growing and working in more communities so that more girls can reach their potential and change the world.
“At our World Conference in New Delhi, India, we are proud to welcome six new countries to our Movement. In these countries, and around the world, girls’ rights have never been more important.”
Held every three years, the World Conference brings together Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting leaders from around the world to celebrate, share ideas and work to build a brighter future for girls. In 2017 more than 120 countries will be represented at the 36th World Conference in New Delhi, India, which will take place from 18-22 September. The World Conference is the principal decision-making body of WAGGGS.
For more information, please contact:
Angela Singh, Communications Manager
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
Phone: +44 (0)20 7433 6460
About World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is the world’s only movement for every girl and any girl because we believe that each of them deserves to be the best they can be. The diverse Movement represents ten million girls and young women from 150 countries. Free to make what they want from the Movement, girls learn by doing, making friends and having fun. In safe, local spaces, girls develop the skills and attitudes to change themselves, their communities and our world. WAGGGS keeps the global Movement thriving, united and growing. www.wagggs.org