Wish you were here!

Four postcards from four global guiding adventures in Rwanda, the Maldives, Peru and Mexico

Zoe, Girlguiding Digital team
10 November 2018

Earlier this year, eight teams of young women went on the trip of a lifetime as part of Guiding Overseas Linked with Development (GOLD).

Each team was partnered with a different international guiding association, where they shared skills and made friends for life.

We asked our GOLD teams to tell us all about their adventures in a postcard. Here our first four teams give us the lowdown. Keep tuned for the next four!

Muraho from Rwanda!

Over the course of our three-week project we travelled from Kigali to Kivu, from Muhunga to Muhazi and from Gikondo to Gabiro. We trained over 700 girls and women in leadership, marketing, team building and first aid. We met new people, learnt a new language and experienced a very different yet familiar guiding culture.

One of the most challenging elements of project was trying to predict the number of participants. We made sure to always have contingency plans just in case – for our first team building training over 200 people turned up! Our favourite experience had to be going to the Association Des Guides du Rwanda National Camp. On the camp we were charged with training the girls and women in first aid.

Our personal highlight was learning that our translator and fellow team member, Super, had used the recovery position she learnt at our previous first aid session whilst at a wedding earlier that week!

On camp we were spoilt with fabulous Rwandan cooking, our favourite being African drop donuts which we often had for breakfast and ginger tea so sweet it powered us through long evenings of dancing. It’s safe to say GOLD Rwanda 2018 was an amazing experience and we would definitely encourage others to Go for GOLD!

Lots of love,
Katie, Elinor, Becca, Bethan, Alex and Frankie x

Greetings from The Maldives!

Over 63 hours of training, we reached 1,935 members of the Maldives Girl Guides Association. From Stars through to the leaders, we helped them develop positive leadership, communication and decision-making skills whilst creating lifelong friendships and incredible memories.

As a team, we developed our own confidence and leadership skills by immersing ourselves in a completely different culture and embracing every opportunity. We have all reached new milestones in our personal development.

The biggest challenge was a combination of lack of sleep and lack of free time. Many days, we were on the go from 7am to 10 or 11pm, with no time to ourselves in between. This made it difficult to plan sessions, and to relax as a team. In three weeks, we had only one day where we were by ourselves. However, this challenge was made easier by the understanding and thoughtfulness of everyone we came into contact with – especially the amount of food we were given to keep us going!

Our best memory is torn between the young leader weekend and our leaders’ session in Addu. The young leaders inspired us with their enthusiasm and determination. We were able to help the leaders in Addu develop realistic goals to develop guiding in the atoll. Both occasions left us enthused for the future of the Maldives Girl Guides Association. We also treasure being a part of the first ever guiding session in Meedhoo, an island in Addu Atoll.

LOGL (lots of GOLD love)
Team Maldives x

Hello from Peru!

In summer 2018, six members of Girlguiding set off on their GOLD project to Peru. The project included delivering training to facilitate a team of peer educators and working with the National Board to share recruitment and retention strategies. The highlight was working with all the inspirational girls and women that we met. The organisation in Peru only has around 2000 members but everyone we met had such a passion for guiding and made us feel so welcome. We particularly loved sharing a cultural evening with girls and leaders full of dancing and food. It was great to hear songs and traditions of guiding in Peru that are similar to home and reminded us that we are all sisters in an incredible worldwide organisation.

Of course, the project didn't come without its challenges. Working with people who spoke a different language to us was difficult, but we tried our hardest to learn some Spanish. We even attempted our Peruvian Promise, making it all worthwhile!

We were not prepared for the cold weather in Lima, so had to buy cosy alpaca-wool hats, scarves and blankets to warm up!

The team can’t believe this incredible journey is over but we can’t wait to share the GOLD love in our local areas. It’s helped us grow in skills and confidence ready to face our next challenge.  With new adventures, new challenges and new friendships, the GOLD project truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Lots of GOLD love
Team Peru!

Greetings from Mexico!

From the most southerly guiding unit in Mexico to a group right on the American border, GOLD Team Mexico 2018 has travelled over 6000km - training girls, exploring new cities, and making lasting memories along the way. Our group of six young leaders from all over the UK delivered activities on topics including recruitment, leadership, teamwork, and spreading the message of the Guias de Mexico. The ultimate aim of equipping leaders and girls with skills to develop the organisation long after our trip was over.

In each of the seven cities we visited, we were welcomed with hospitality and joy.

We trained 575 enthusiastic members - from girls aged three to women in their 70s. The project succeeded in inspiring both the participants and the GOLD Team in the excitement of international Girlguiding. We had fantastic experiences everywhere we went, from visiting Our Cabana and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, to Promise ceremonies and a campfire sharing our favourite songs. We can’t wait to watch Guias de Mexico grow and flourish as the skills we shared are used right across the country. Back home in the UK we are excited to put our new confidence and ideas into practice with our own units. This was an adventure of a lifetime, and one we can look back on with pride at our achievements.

Team Mexico

Find out more about GOLD

GOLD enables young women to develop their potential and make a difference in the world.