What has your donation helped achieve?
On 3 March WAGGGS launched its Emergency Appeal to help those fleeing the war in Ukraine and hundreds of you donated from all over the world. Here you can find updates on how your donation is being used and hear stories from Girl Guides and Girl Scouts on the frontline.
Our Member Organisations in Europe have applied for funds to help their relief efforts. Funds will help Slovak Scouting, Zwiazek Harcerstwa Polskiego (Polish Girl Guides Association), Asociatia Ghidelor si Ghizilor din Romania (Romanian Girl Guides Association) and Association of Ukrainian Girl Guides.
Slovak Scouting applied for 9850 Euros and are currently helping Ukranian refugees through their Volunteer Scout Initiative Service. The activities of the Scout Service and the care of volunteers in the field require various technical and material equipment and services. Donations from our supporters have made it possible to support these volunteers as they work throughout refugee camps and at the border. Currently more than 500 volunteers across 4 locations have dedicated over 4560 hours (190 days) to this project. The grant from WAGGGS has been used to provide suitable conditions for the volunteers to continue their work, including food supplies, transportation and supply packages as well as a volunteer coordinator to ensure they are efficient and effective in the help they provide.
Lucia from the 75th Scout Group in Poprad Slovakia, is one of those volunteers. She met a Ukranian Girl Guide on the border.
“Today’s meeting with the Ukranian Girl Guide is the freshest in my mind. She noticed my scarf and came over to me. She had just crossed the border and travelled from Kyiv. I asked if everything was ok and how I could help her. She just started crying. She approached me because she saw I was a Girl Scout and told me she was happy because it felt like she had met someone she knew. In fact she didn’t know me. It was just that she trusted me as part of the Scout Movement. It’s great that people see our scarves and are not afraid to reach out to us, they feel secure that we are scouts, and we are there to help them.
I didn’t wait for someone to give me a job, I am scout I am proactive. Scouts on the border have managed to connect other organisations and coordinate volunteers. Thanks to us things are more organised. I work in administration, I’m in the tent, I have no idea what's going on outside we are so busy. When I leave its like going to a new reality. It is very demanding and tiring, but we knew it wouldn’t be easy.
It is incredible that people want to help but you need to rest physically and mentally. When I lie down in the evening I don’t have time to process everything that happened throughout the day. All I think is I want to sleep so I can help tomorrow.”
The power that Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting has to unite us is incredible. Lucia was a shining light and comfort to a Girl Guide fleeing the war.
Livia from the 70th Scout Group Bratislava, Slovakiais another volunteer.
“I was motivated to enter the Scout service because I can do something good and help people who need it. During my stay I have been cleaning toilets, taking out garbage and peeling potatoes with thick winter gloves on! I have also worked in the tent, taking care of people who arrive and depart, helping them reach the places they need to get to.
I have been on the border for 3 days. I met a family where two children were scouts aged about 15. They were very excited to see the Scouts. I talked to them and learnt they had travelled to Uzhhorod for 4 days and waited 2 weeks. They were deciding whether to go further or return home.
I have missed school to be here, but it was too important. I’ll be sure to catch up on my classes when I return home. Everyone uses what Scouting has taught them. Slovak Scouting has given the border a structure and connected other organisations. Scouts are people who are not afraid to go and help. This way you can give back to Scouting what it has taught you.”
As a Girl Scout Livia has learnt to help others and support in any way she can.
Zwiazek Harcerstwa Polskiego (Polish Girl Guides Association)
Zwiazek Harcerstwa Polskiego (Polish Girl Guides Association) applied for 37,500 Euros to support their project which provides psychological support to local Girl Guide leaders who volunteer with refugees. The project also provides training to leaders who are hosting activities for Ukranian refugee children and equips leaders with the best ways to support them and the challenges they are facing.
ZHP are also providing direct financial support to local units who are accepting Ukranian children. The units need various resources, including:
- Materials to lead scouting and guiding activities
- Participation and accommodation fees for Ukrainian children attending summer camps
- Transport fees covered for Ukranian children attending activities
- Peacebuilding education projects involving Polish and Ukranian children and young people
- Service projects to help refugees settle into the community
- Intercultural exchange workshops
To fully execute this project a part-time coordinator will be employed.
Additionally ZHP will use some of these funds to replenish all camping equipment they donated to Ukranian refugees, this will ensure Girl Scouts in Poland have the resources to participate in events, camps and activities ahead.
We have received an application from both Asociatia Ghidelor si Ghizilor din Romania (Romanian Girl Guides Association) and Association of Ukrainian Girl Guides. These are currently under review, once safe-guarding measures have been met we hope to release funds to support them with their projects.
Asociatia Ghidelor si Ghizilor din Romania (Romanian Girl Guides Association) have applied for 3500 Euros to provide humanitarian and moral support to refugee children residing in Romania. They aim to organise meetings with 100 refugee children in the local centres. At these meetings they will host guiding and scouting activities, games and workshops with support from their local units. The refugee children will need school supplies to attend the local schools, and if approved the grant will make this possible.