The Girl Guides Association of Zimbabwe (GGAZ) recently held its Annual General Council Meeting and awards ceremony where it celebrated outstanding girl guides as well as its longest serving guides. Hosted by Girls High School, the conference saw girl guides from all over the country converge to celebrate the growth of the organization.
Schools with successful guiding clubs were given awards and while girl guides from primary and secondary schools all over the country were treated to live entertainment at the awards ceremony.
Girl Guides Association of Zimbabwe commissioner Ms Florence Madhuku said although the association had suffered setbacks caused by a low number of guiders available to teach the girls, this situation has since been rectified as more guiding clubs are being established.
“We had stopped for a while when we no longer had guides. However, we are now working to establish girl guides clubs in rural areas which had been sidelined for a period of time.” said Madhuku.
The Girl Guides Association in Zimbabwe was founded in 1912 and has been a part of school girl lives for over a century. The organization arose out of the need to create a counterpart to the boys-only scouts.
“We work with girls training them to be independent and teach them life skills in accordance with our mission statement to be responsible.” added Madhuku.
Any girl can join the Girl Guides whilst they are in school where they become part of different groups depending on their age. Sunbeams are the youngest from four years old up until the age of seven. From seven to ten years of age, girls become part of the Brownies who wear a brown uniform and yellow sash. Girl guides wear blue uniforms from the age of 10 to 14 years of age. At this age, most are graduating high school and while many stop here, the club caters for those aged 14–17 years old. These are called rangers and upgrade to young leaders from the age of 17 to 30 years old and later qualify to be guiding leaders who train the younger ones.
Girl Guides are taught skills such as cooking, needlework and camping. They are also taught self-reliance in line with their motto “Be Prepared” which cultivates girls into confident, young women.
Girl Guides aged 18–25 years old have the opportunity to participate in the Youth Exchange South to South (YESS) Movement, a program that brings together young women from Africa, increasing and diversifying membership.
Image: Girl Guides at the recently held Conference and Awards Ceremony held at Girl’s High School recently.