‘imagine more- connect. grow. impact’
Earlier this month, representatives from 108 Member Organizations met, sang, danced and celebrated together in Hong Kong and made some vital decisions that will shape the future direction of the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting Movement, all in the space of four action packed days!
The theme of the 2014 World Conference was ‘imagine more- connect. grow. impact’ and we certainly did so. During the Orientation session delegates where challenged to connect with a fellow delegate, then to grow their connection into a group - and then to pledge to work together in the future to impact upon the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting movement (or beyond!) in the coming Triennium.
We also welcomed with joy (and lots of impromptu singing and dancing) five new Full and Associate members into the WAGGGS family- warmest congratulations to Association Nationale des Guides de Guinée (ANGG), Republic of Guinea (FULL) , The Girl Scout Association of Mongolia (FULL), The Girl Guides Association Cook Islands (FULL), The National Union of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts of Armenia (FULL), Association des Guides et Eclaireuses du Cameroun, the Republic of Cameroon (FULL), The Myanmar Girl Guides (previously the Union of Burma Girl Guides Association) (ASSOCIATE). The Girl Guide Association of South Sudan was also welcomed as a Full Member of WAGGGS, one of several changes of entity.
With a Thunderclap (where 250,000 people in the world were reminded of the fact that we are all ‘one in ten million’), the Loch Ness Monster introducing the highlights of the past Triennium and the Hong Kong Busy Bees surprising us with a delightful dragon dance, the Conference was underway. The Opening Ceremony on Sunday evening was a real highlight for many, from the acrobatic lions to opera, with a spectacular Chinese feast to match.
A packed agenda of sessions and exceptional roster of Key Note speakers made the Conference one to remember. We listened to a pationate group of women all vying for the vote to be appointmed to the World Board. The successful group were voted in on Tuesday and were greeted by cheers. Congratulations again to: Ana Maria Mideros (Peru), Anne Guyaz (Switzerland), Connie Matsui (USA), Haifa Ourir (Tunisia), Nadine Kaze (Burundi), Natasha Hendrick (Australia). Our World Board Substitutes are Heidi Jokinen (Finland) and Lara Tonna (Malta). We also celebrated the success of Tunisia’s bid to host the 36th World Conference in 2017.
The International evening and World Market was a resounding success, full of vibrancy, colour and excitement. The closing ceremony held at the Sky Marriott Hotel was a chance for many of the organising staff to venture outside for the first time and enjoy the warmth of Hong Kong. Many delegates had enjoyed a tour of Hong Kong after a successful voting session that morning. A further feast was enjoyed by all. We all bade farewell to each other and Hong Kong, with happy memories, new friendships and a renewed vigour for the future of the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting movement.