World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)
Girlguiding is a member of the World Association of Girl
Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). The World Association was founded
in 1928 as the umbrella organisation for guiding and girl scouting
associations around the world.
What does WAGGGS do?
WAGGGS is the largest organisation in the world providing
non-formal education to girls and young women and has links with
many other organisations, including the United Nations. It works to
directly influence issues relevant to girls and young women, such
as empowerment, life skills, leadership and the fight against HIV
The same but different
All 10 million WAGGGS members in 144 countries share the
same traditions and aims despite ethnic, cultural, religious and
economic differences. Each national Member Organisation accepts the
basic principles and values of guiding, and works for the
self-development of girls and young women through programmes suited
to its own circumstances.
Symbols of unity
WAGGGS members' common commitment is expressed in the Promise
and Law, although these may be worded differently from country to
country. There are other links uniting Guides worldwide too:
- The Trefoil represents the three-part Promise. Each national
Member Organisation includes the Trefoil in its Guide badge.
- The Good Turn is the service given by all Guides to the
community. The youngest girls think of ways to do a Good Turn every
day. Older girls and young women develop this idea into local,
national and international service projects.
- The motto 'Be Prepared' has the same initials as the Founder
(Robert Baden-Powell) who introduced it. It's a reminder that
guiding helps girls and young women to prepare for life.
- The Guide sign and handshake can be used by Guides to greet
each other. The sign is three fingers of the right hand raised to
shoulder level. The handshake uses the left hand so that the sign
can be given at the same time.
- The World Badge can be worn by any member.
- The World Flag is common to Guides and Girl Scouts around the
- The World Song was set to music by Jean Sibelius and can be
sung in English, French and Spanish.
Find out more
Visit the WAGGGS
To see websites from other Guide Associations around the world,
visit the 'Our world' section
of the WAGGGS website.