"Each year on 22 February, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world celebrate World Thinking Day. World Thinking Day was first created in 1926 at the 4th Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference, held at Girl Scouts of the USA’s Camp Edith Macy (now called Edith Macy Conference Center). Conference attendees decided that there should be a special day when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all around the world think of each other and give thanks and appreciation to their “sister” Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
The delegates chose 22 February as the date for Thinking Day because it was the mutual birthday of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, and his wife Olave, who served as World Chief Guide.
In 1932, at the 7th World Conference, held in Poland, it was suggested by a Belgian delegate that since birthdays usually involve presents, girls could show their appreciation and friendship on Thinking Day not only by extending warm wishes to each other but also by offering a voluntary contribution to the World Association.
Olave wrote to all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts after this idea was adopted asking them to help support the Movement by donating just a penny.
This is how the World Association's Thinking Day Fund began. The Fund helps off Girl Guides / Scouts to more girls and young women worldwide. The day was renamed World Thinking Day in 1999 at the 30th World Conference held in Ireland.
As World Thinking Day in 2012 focuses on environmental sustainability, it is important to acknowledge that girls and women are disproportionately affected by environmental issues around the world:
- Without the right to own land, women are often denied access to technologies and resources such as water resources, irrigation services, credit, extension, and seeds, which strengthen their capacity to manage natural resources in a more sustainable manner.
- Water contamination and deforestation increase the time women must spend, and often the distance they must travel, to secure fuel and water.
- Women are most often the primary users, providers, and managers of water in rural households, and guardians of household hygiene.
- With improved access to safe drinking water, women have more time to earn income, girls are more likely to attend school, family health and hygiene are improved, and women suffer less from the burden of carrying heavy loads.
- Lack of safe, private, nearby sanitation facilities exposes women to harassment, assault and erodes their dignity.
- Because of their higher levels of dependence on local natural resources for their livelihood, women are disproportionately affected by extreme weather events resulting from climate change.
WAGGGS works to ensure that Girl Guides and Girl Scouts everywhere are able to act as agents of change within their communities, finding ways to address these issues. We believe in empowering girls through a three-step process of belonging, leadership and advocacy. With your help to raise much needed funds through World Thinking Day, WAGGGS will continue to develop Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting around the world and make this possible.
With your support to the World Thinking Day fund we will:
1. Increase each girl’s sense of self through peer support and a place to belong
Strengthening the Movement so more girls can benefit worldwideTen million girls and young women are already benefiting from being a Girl Guide or Girl Scout, finding new friends and a safe place where they can explore and learn by doing. Learning through non-formal education girls and young women are developing leadership and life skills. Individual girls, groups, and associations are tackling the challenges of the Millennium Development Goals as part of our Vision for the future: “We are a growing worldwide Movement – the voice of girls and young women who influence issues they care about and build a better world”.
2. Increase her confidence by helping her develop as a leader
Developing the leaders of the futureGirls at all levels in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting learn how to be a leader. Internationally the WAGGGS Leadership Development Programme (WLDP) provides young women from around the world the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, acquire a better awareness of their leadership roles within their association, and also identify their own leadership path.
3. Increase her impact by teaching her effective advocacy, giving her a platform to speak from and encouraging her to take action on the issues that matter for her and those around her
The voice of girls and young women on key development issuesRepresentatives from WAGGGS attend many important global gatherings to ensure that the voices of girls and young women are heard. Recent examples include the COP UN Global Climate Change conferences, the annual session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women annual gatherings and the High level meeting on Youth in New York.
For World Thinking Day 2012 we have identified five countries (one from each region in which WAGGGS operates) to showcase what Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are doing to help achieve environmental sustainability and support these countries to have a long term, practical and beneficial impact on the communities in which they live. The five focus countries are:
- Guyana (Western Hemisphere Region)
- Ivory Coast (Africa Region)
- Japan (Asia Pacific Region)
- Russia (Europe Region)
- Tunisia (Arab Region)
This years badge looks like this:
To find out more about World Thinking Day please visit the official website here: http://www.worldthinkingday.org/en/home