First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger said educating, nurturing and supporting girls are the keys to raising strong women, in her address, Sunday, at a ceremony hosted by the Guyana Girl Guides Association (GGGA) in observance of World Thinking Day 2016, held at the GGGA’s Headquarters on Brickdam, Georgetown. The First Lady was also officially inducted as the patron of the Association, during the ceremony.
Mrs. Grangers said that in today’s world, young women and girls are confronted with numerous challenges ranging from how they are viewed within their own families, among their friends, within their communities and among their associates to how they see themselves as individuals.
“When we look around we see issues of depression, abuse, domestic violence, lack of education, trafficking in persons, rape and incest and suicide… we have stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS and many other matters that sometimes cause us to question ourselves and our capacity to hold on and to grow and develop and be the strong women we are meant to be,” Mrs. Granger said.
She reminded the audience that the girls of today will grow up to be the women of tomorrow, who will be responsible for holding up the world as mothers, daughters, wives, partners and professionals in all fields. As such, she said, they need to be nurtured, loved, honoured and encouraged to pursue their dreams.
“We must know that regardless of whatever skills we have and where we will make our contributions to society, every single person is unique and valued… As you observe World Thinking Day 2016, I urge you to develop a passion for compassion. Let us try to put ourselves in the shoes of our sisters and brothers as we go about our daily lives. In that way, we shall learn the value of empathy, we shall begin to mould a stronger community and a stronger nation so that regardless of where we live in our beautiful Guyana we shall recognise, understand, respect and honour our differences, while we also celebrate everything that makes us uniquely Guyanese,” the First Lady said.
World Thinking Day is a day set aside by Scout and Guide organisations and some boy-oriented associationsaround the world to get together to celebrate international friendships, reflect on their work and highlight issues that affect girls globally.
Delivering the World Thinking Day Message, Member of the Association, Ms. Ambalika Belle called on members of the Guiding and Scouting Associations to reaffirm their commitment to bringing together more young people united in peace and friendship and to support each other to ensure that young people benefit from the opportunities that both organisations can provide.
Meanwhile, Public Relations Coordinator of the GGGA, Ms. Schemel Patrick explained that over the years, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have used Thinking Day to raise awareness on global development issues, particularly the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This year’s observances were held under the theme, “Connect” in an effort to encourage the Association’s membership to connect with self, friends, and the movement as a whole.
During the ceremony, six girls received scholarship awards from the Muriel Wight Scholarship Fund. The recipients are: Ms. Christina Burrowes, Ms. Tiwana Chester, Ms. Tamara Braithwaite, Ms. Tameka Braithwaite, Ms. Trishel Jarvis and Ms. Abida Alexander.
The Fund was launched in February 2010 in honour of Guide Commissioner, Muriel Wight (now deceased), whose life’s work centred on the education and empowerment of girls. The fund is sustained through fund-raising, donations and sponsorship. (MOTP)