The Guiding Overseas Linked with Development (GOLD) project is a five-year Girl Guides initiative which aims on collaborating with similar groups abroad. The scheme launched with a group of seven 18-24 year olds training leaders from the National Association of Girl Scouts Peru (ANGSP) on a range of themes and topics; including leadership, resources, recruitment, retention, PR and marketing. The aim of this scheme is to improve international relations, the current quality of guiding and widen the prestigious group’s field.
Jane Berry, Girlguiding Division Commissioner said ‘the more Girl Scouts who are enabled to take part in GOLD, the better the results will be for all children in Peru.’ The project was based in Lima, Tacna and Sullana and reached a fantastic 134 participants who will certainly pass on what they have learnt.
GOLD was led by Caroline Brown who has been a leader with 1st Covent Garden Brownies in St. Pancras Division throughout her studies at University College London. The 23 year old noticed the immediate success of their trip, saying ‘many participants were inspired to take away some of the more practical ideas from our trainings and implement them straight away in their own guide units and training programmes’.
A recent survey revealed that Latin America ranks lowest worldwide for respect towards women. That is why initiatives like this are so necessary, emphasises Caroline from Enfield. ‘Guiding is especially important as a female-only space in Peru…The ANGSP is particularly good at advocating on women's issues and they took part in an international 'Stop the Violence' campaign. The organisation also helps girls develop many of the skills to be competitive in a work environment that is biased towards the male sex.’
The Jack Petchey Foundation supported Caroline with a £250 grant because of its complete belief in the project aims. As well as strengthening the ANGSP leaders’ skills, the GOLD leaders have returned from their 3-week trip with a new found confidence. In fact, two leaders have joined Girl Guide’s peer education scheme and Caroline is in the process of becoming a certified Girlguiding trainer. The History and German graduate proved how valuable volunteering is: ‘On the day of my return to the UK, I had a job interview for a Projects Officer position. As I work in museums, a very project-based industry, this was the perfect opportunity for me to gain even more experience. I was able to give so many varied examples as a result of my experience leading GOLD, that I was offered the job immediately!’.
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