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Apr 15, 2008

Wanted: Girl Guides and Guiders

Story PictureIt’s the world’s largest association dedicated to women but like many volunteer groups, membership in Girl Guides is in a slump. While guiding is still relatively popular in the Belize and Toledo districts, the movement has not taken root in the rest of the country. In response, the national association is embarking on a recruiting drive. According to President Dr. Gilda Lewis, while many students are interested in becoming Girl Guides and Brownies, there is a lack of women to lead them.

Dr. Gilda Lewis,
“Young ladies of Belize, please answer the call, you are needed, the girls of Belize need you terribly, they need you and they are there waiting for you. But we as an association do not want to go and get girls enthused about guiding until we can give them guiders.”

Janelle Chanona
“Are you putting the call out especially to women that used to be guides themselves, brownies?”

Dr. Gilda Lewis
“Yes but it doesn’t matter if someone has never been a guide or has never been a brownie. They can become a guider still because we will hold their hand and guide them through and give them what training they need.”

Janelle Chanona
“What are the benefits of becoming a part of this association?”

Dr. Gilda Lewis
“You get to be someone like Dr. Gilda Lewis, somewhere down the road because guiding, I was a guider as young person and as I worked my way through my professional career, what I learnt in guiding helped me quite a lot. So there’s a whole personal development of guiding that is sort of intangible you know but you reap the benefits down the road.”

To bolster national efforts, this week officials from the international Girl Guides are in Belize to strategize and plan the recruitment drive. But according to Grace Goede-Martina, globally, volunteering is on the decline.

Grace Goede-Martina, Development Executive, Girls Guides
“It’s difficult nowadays to find dedicated persons, volunteers who want to dedicate their time to work with the girls and it’s important like Dr. Gilda Lewis said, that they realize that it is for their personal benefit too. You learn different skills, organisational skills, you learn to plan, you learn to work in teams and it’s not only to use for the association but you can use them in your professional life too.”

If you would like to become a guider or a girl guide, please contact the office of the Girl Guides Association at 86 Regent Street, across from the Anglican Cathedral or call 207-6166 or 207-6179.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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