Today is World Thinking Day, a day we have proudly celebrated since 1926.
From the moment I joined the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting Movement, 22 February has been an exciting day where girls around the world connect with each other. We have sent post cards, exchanged badges and shared knowledge about our cultures and Guiding activities.
Time may have passed, and the excitement I felt for World Thinking Day as a 7-year-old Brownie is even greater. As World Board Chair of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, I recognise the immense value of our Movement and the true power of our global sisterhood.
I see every day the influence of our voice on issues that affect girls and young women and the amazing impact we have on our communities as the largest voluntary organisation for girls and young women in the world.
I have the privilege of seeing the fantastic work of our Member Organisations and I hear so many inspiring stories of how Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting has transformed girls´ lives. It helps them to build confidence, to develop as leaders, to learn new skills and challenge themselves, to make friends and have fun, fulfil their potential, and speak out on the issues that matter to them with so many young women leading actions in such diverse settings.
This year’s World Thinking Day theme is IMPACT, a great opportunity to celebrate all we have achieved over the years. As we celebrate Lady Olave Baden-Powell’s birthday, along with a host of other activities, we’re throwing a big online birthday party to celebrate and we are asking girls from right across the world to join in and share their stories with us and each other.
From working with refugees, changing laws, mentoring their peers about climate change and speaking out on girls’ rights at global events to taking action in their local community to end gender-based violence and being a role model for girls on body confidence issues, our collective impact takes so many forms. Yet, despite the progress that had been made in the world, girls and young women still have fewer opportunities in life.
Now more than ever Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting continues to offer extraordinary opportunities to girls and young women to develop and lead and take action to make a positive change in their communities. My deep gratitude to our more than 1.5 million dedicated volunteers whose efforts and enthusiasm is inspiring and supports the impact and reach of our Movement, as every girl and any girl deserve the best they can be.
Connectivity and friendship is at the heart of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. We share this special day and common roots with the World Scout Movement whose members are also honouring sisters and brothers around the world on Founders Day. Today and every day, young people across the world should connect with each other and feel free to express their beliefs, ideas and meaningful experiences. Together we can lift up these voices of young people and collaborate on advocacy for the lives and opportunities they deserve.
By working together and learning from each other all of us can make an even bigger impact, reach more girls, make more change and create a more equal, safe and happy world for every girl.
Enjoy World Thinking Day 2018!
Ana María Mideros
World Board Chair