Guiding Overseas Linked with Development (GOLD) enables young women to develop their potential and make a difference in the world
Improve your skills, experience new cultures and make a long-term impact
From joining campaigns to end violence against women and girls in Malawi, to encouraging young leaders in Latvia – GOLD empowers young women to work in partnership with other guide associations around the world. It's great for our GOLD teams, who have fantastic adventures, and it's great our partner organisations too.
GOLD has been working with member countries of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) for 30 years. So far, we've given over 900 members of Girlguiding an adventure of a lifetime.
Projects that make a lasting difference
Past GOLD projects have travelled to more than 41 countries including Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malawi, Peru and Sri Lanka. Each project is tailored to the local needs of the host country, to provide community or guiding based development projects.
These projects range from leadership skills training to delivering advocacy programmes to young women. Designed in partnership with other guiding organisations. These sustainable projects make sure that the positive impacts of GOLD are still felt after everyone has gone home – so they make a real difference!
Projects usually last three weeks, with teams travelling to their partner country. In 2020 and 2021, GOLD went virtual because of Covid-19, but GOLD teams were still able to collaborate with guiding organisations across the world! GOLD teams worked with their partners to deliver live online trainings, create new resources, run social media challenges and more!
What will I do on GOLD?
We put together teams of six members – five participants supported by a Leader with previous GOLD experience. In this team you will work with a Member Organisation of WAGGGS on a specific area of developing guiding. You might run leadership skills training, develop a recruitment strategy, set up a new section or lead workshops on body confidence.
On your GOLD journey, you can:
- make friendships that last a lifetime
- make a real difference to communities and guiding overseas
- learn about new cultures and meet new people
- learn new skills – great for you and for your CV
- bring back your new found skills and experience to local guiding.
What will GOLD look like in 2022?
As the effects of Covid-19 are still affecting the world around us, we expect there will be a mixture of face-to-face and virtual GOLD projects in 2022.
If you take part in a face-to-face project, you'll travel to your partner country for three weeks with your team to work with their members on the ground (travel and Covid-19 restrictions permitting).
If you take part in a virtual project, you'll be delivering between 10 and 20 hours of content with your partner organisations over a three-month period.
How much does GOLD cost?
Face-to-face GOLD projects in 2022 will cost £2,420, regardless of your destination. This fee covers travel, food and accommodation for briefing and debrief weekends in the UK and all costs for your project trip.
Virtual projects in 2022 will cost in the region of £400 . This fee covers travel, food and accommodation for briefing and debrief weekends in the UK, resources for your project, and administrative support.
There’s lots of support available to help with fundraising towards your participant fee, and you will be able to select which version of GOLD you would prefer to take part in.
Follow a GOLD journey
Get a sneak preview of what a GOLD journey looks like in this video.
Young woman 1: GOLD is different from a lot of the other events that we offer. It's a programme of events that runs throughout the year and we also have obviously the in-country element to the events. So the actual projects are three weeks long and you go to a completely different country, you get immersed in their culture, you learn new things. You also develop your leadership skills and you make friends for life as well.
[Screen showing calendar: 28 February – The first briefing]
Young woman 1: So we all come together as a group all the eight girl trips so far we've been learning about all of the different roles you can have in a GOLD team. So whether you're going to be the project leader, which is obviously an experienced GOLD member, or down to the first aider, down to the treasurer...all of the different roles that were going to be taking on.
Young woman 2: By having to learn about different cultures, about life in different countries, how to train women and girls...I learn about myself find out what I'm good at, how I can help other people.
Young woman 1: I'm going with five of the members of my team. So they come from all across the UK and very, very different backgrounds: from teachers through to scientists. So we're a varied bunch but we've actually come together really well and we're going to be a great team.
[Screen showing calendar: 25 April – The second briefing]
Young woman 3: All of the different team members have different roles so every team member has been in a different training. I've just been in first aid training and we've all led sessions on either information about our country or an example of the project...of something we'll be delivering on project.
Young woman 4:It's nice to be here together with other GOLD teams to follow them on their journey. It's not just six of us going out there, it's 48 of us going out all over the world so it's good to keep up with each other.
Young woman 5:Everyone's got special skills and experience that they bring to the project so you know you're really useful and you're meant to be there. And you help everyone else who's on the project and everyone else on the project helps you.
Young woman 6:I keep actually forgetting that we're going to be going in a few months but with every training session we have I feel more prepared, more relaxed about what's going to come.
[Screen showing a plane travelling around the globe and "Here we go!"]
[Multiple scenes of girls doing work with girls in other countries]
Young woman 7:Today is all about finding out how the other trips went. So there's four teams with us today and we're just gonna get better information and a better journey and how we got on, and then also we're going to learn about tomorrow's talk about what's next for us.
Young woman 8: I'm so disappointed to be back because I had an amazing time and I felt very inspired about some of the work that we've done and I'm really looking forward to going and talking about it o a lot of people in my local area.
Young woman 9: So developing girls leadership was so important and even in the sessions we ran it was amazing to see the girls just growing in confidence. And you actually could see it in a session.
Young woman 10: GOLD is not a cultural exchange. GOLD is about going to a country, carrying out a project and making a difference. So if that appeals, definitely, it's fabulous. You can go, you meet people, you learn new skills but it's not about the travel.
Young woman 9: The projects do have a massive impact where it needs to have the impact with the girls as they grow up through the movement.
Young woman 10: You need to be fully prepared to put in, like, 100% in all of the trainings, in all working on the project-side bit, because that is what GOLD is about. So if you're prepared to put in the effort you'll get so much back from it.
Young woman 9: I've just graduated and I'm applying for project management and I'm getting call backs the next day. They love GOLD and that's one of the things that really stands out on my CV. Like that's what they said to me, that's why I've been called back. So it's not just about what you can give to GOLD but GOLD gives a lot back to you.
Young woman 2: I was umming an erring about whether or not to apply for GOLD as it was a big commitment and I didn't know whether or not I'd have the ability to do it. And I'm so glad I applied for it I've met amazing people, done amazing things and it's changed me.
[To find out more about GOLD visit www.girlguiding.org.uk/gold]
How to apply
To go on GOLD, you first need to attend the Go for GOLD selection weekend, this event is free to attend. You will need to arrange your own travel but you may be eligible for a bursary to support these costs.
The next Go for GOLD weekend will take place in the Cheshire Forest area, from 6pm on Friday 24 until 3pm on Sunday 26 September. Applications for this weekend have now closed.
'It was a shock for us to see the day-to-day life of a child in Malawi and the burdens so many of them have so young. There was one message that rang out: Guides in Malawi are taking a stand to end violence against women and it is making a difference.'
'During my GOLD project in Chile I dodged sea lions, went on 24-hour bus journeys, met important government officials, shared clothes with four teammates when our luggage went missing, and worked through the night to change training plans.'