Being a Girl Guide is in their veins
Mabel Odonkor, the Regional Commissioner of the Girl Guides, and Aase Geel, the Finance Chairperson of the Girl Guides in Namibia, came together with a host of guides from Windhoek, late in February to celebrate the annual World Thinking Day.
The Girl Guides of Namibia had to delay their celebrations until the Saturday since actual Thinking Day fell on a weekday, Wednesday 22 February.
World Thinking Day is celebrated by all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. It is a day when they think about their “sisters” (and “brothers”) in all the countries of the world, the meaning of Guiding, and its global impact.
The significance of 22 February is that it was the birthday of Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the British army general who founded the Boys Scouts in Britain after his three-year service in South Africa during the Anglo Boer War where he lived through the siege of Kimberly.
Seeing the universal appeal of the Boys Scouts movement among the youth in Britain and spiced by many war legends General Baden-Powell brought back with him from South Africa, his wife, Lady Olave Baden-Powell founded the Girl Guides a few years later. She became the movement’s World Chief Guide
Mrs Geel said World Thinking Day offers a platform where the Girl Guides can speak out on issues that affect girls and young women, and this ties in with the health programme that is taught to them.
With this year’s theme, “Grow” in mind, the Girl Guides planted a tree at their campus in Klein Windhoek, hoping to see it grow and flourish, just like the Girl Guides movement. One of the girls said afterwards it was an exciting experience to plant a small tree which was grown from a seed, and to imagine nature and the outdoors life it represents.
On World Thinking Day, the Girl Guides collected N$400 which they will use to travel to various events. “Making a difference by fundraising for projects at the Girl Guides is also what Thinking Day is about, said Mrs Geel.
The local Girl Guides was founded in 1923. It offers informal educational programmes to develop girls and young women spiritually, emotionally, physically and socially. Guiding activities complement the school curriculum and are approved by the Ministry of Arts, Education and Culture.
The Girl Guides’ Patron in Namibia is the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.