Making a difference
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"what a difference a Friend makes…. "
Friends of Europe Region WAGGGS have made a difference by funding a Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting event in Estonia: ’Moving Forward to the Future’
In Euros it may not be much but, for some of the girls who attended this Baltic Workshop, just the cost of the bus fare from Latvia or Lithuania to Estonia was the equivalent of a year’s pocket money and required some sacrifices.
It is not unusual for a Leader in this part of Europe to have a full-time job, say, as a teacher (the average monthly salary is €207) but also have to help on the family farm and, possibly, juggle family responsibilities in addition to the voluntary work they do with the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. So why do they do it?
This is a time of great change in these countries with their entry to the European Union. It is the time for youth organizations, like the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts associations, to take their place in society and particularly to help develop young people who are autonomous, responsible, committed and supportive. As the leading youth organization for girls and young women, we must be ready to accept and play this role in the Europe of tomorrow.
In these countries, where Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting is very young, this sub-regional event helped to strengthen the Guiding network in the Baltic region between countries with a similar background. Participants who would probably never be able to afford to attend training events in Western European countries, were able to share their experiences and best practices, spread information and create links between neighbouring countries. Overall, the event was very much appreciated and was made possible by the Friends of the Europe Region.
Here’s what the Trainers and Participants had to say…
It would usually be difficult to get even one representative to a training event held in a Western European city - but we had 10 participants from EACH country because the event was in Estonia. These young women will take back what they have learnt and impact several hundreds more girls in their countries and this will certainly have an impact on their local communities.
I am for the first time in such an event and received useful information in a very suitable form - the links I’ve made and experiences I’ve learnt have given me new ideas and improved the bigger picture"…. "Thank you - this event was needed for a long time!
I am going home with some specific ideas and examples in the fields of image, fundraising, membership recruitment and retention, as well as a general good feeling because of the great atmosphere… I am going home with the desire to work!