Learn about diversity and allyship this International Day of Friendship

New unit meeting activities to try

26 July 2022

This International Day of Friendship, we’re celebrating empathy, diversity and allyship with some new unit meeting activities.

International Day of Friendship, organised by the UN, is all about sharing the human spirit through friendship. Friendship between people, countries and cultures can build bridges and bring down barriers.

Members might have friends from other World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) organisations, nearby units and outside guiding entirely. With our new unit meeting activities, Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers can learn more about supporting and uplifting others. They’re all part of the Know myself theme and don’t need many materials to get them ready.

Rainbows will learn all about empathy in Fuzzy friends. By listening to a story, they’ll see if they can tell if someone feels left out and learn how to include everyone in their fun and games.

Brownies will become town planners in Brownie town. This activity is all about diversity. They’ll design their ultimate Brownie town in Sixes, and then imagine that new Brownies are arriving. What could they add to their town to make sure that any Brownie in the world would feel welcome?

The activity for Guides, My support chain, teaches girls how to challenge discrimination in places that are safe to them, like their unit and school. It starts with seeing how they’re similar and then finding out what makes them different from each other, and how sometimes people are excluded or treated differently because of who they are. Then, the unit will create a support chain, thinking about how they can take small actions every day to make their world a better place.

Allies unite!, for Rangers, gets members creating a allyship manifesto. Working together to create an inclusive future, they’ll learn that help is not always helpful, especially when others don’t listen or ask how they can help. It’s all about how important it is to listen to how and when people want support in the face of discrimination so they can be a good ally. By the end of the activity, they’ll have learnt that allyship is a journey and a commitment to small, everyday acts of inclusion as well as supporting larger campaigns for equality to create a better world.

‘The inclusion unit meeting activities were created by the programme team, the diversity and inclusion team and the organisational inclusion advisers together,’ say Mel, from the diversity and inclusion team, and Christina, from the programme team.

‘We worked together along with girls to explore what inclusion meant and could look like in a playful and creative format. The key themes that came out every time were empathy and allyship, so we knew this is what we wanted to focus on this time.

‘We are hoping that these unit meeting activities can highlight how inclusion looks in a variety of formats. And that being inclusive doesn’t mean just focussing on one area or characteristic.’

Want to understand more about inclusion? Check out the Including all training on our new learning platform, try the Better together unit meeting activity topic or book a peer educator visit.