By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
THE BAHAMAS Girl Guides Association (BGGA) 2013 week of celebrations closed out with some of the most memorable festivities.
“Our focus is always on advocacy and this year we encouraged our young women to show their support for the Thinking Day themes, “Every mother’s health is important” and “Reduce infant mortality”, in the form of poetry, spoken word, rap and song,” said Sheena Davis, BGGA International Commissioner, who has the responsibility for “World Thinking Day” and “Guide Week”.
The Thinking Day Ceremony took the form of a sunset service, last Friday. Held at the Ministry of Education’s headquarters on Meeting Street, Ms Davis said they chose this particular location because it is the source of the decisions made, concerning individual health and the health of the nation.
“We thought it would be fitting to celebrate at this place,” she said.
Ms Davis said the Guide Week kicked off on February 16, with an exhibit and health fair at the Mall at Marathon. It was held under the theme of the World Association: Every mother’s health and life is precious—Together we can save children’s lives.”
The Mall outing also included a human library, where elders from the guide community were available for the girls to speak with. Ms Davis said the human library is a new and different way for the association to transfer information.
The human books included Marjorie Davis, a former director of education and former chief commissioner of the BGGA, Dr Dahl Regis, former Queen’s guide, pediatrician and CMO, and Elma Garraway, former chief commissioner and former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health.
“We hope that the conversations were so interesting that the girls would want to pick up a book and read even more. Health screenings were also available at the mall for our leaders and parents. The Healthy Lifestyles Department staff tested the weight, glucose, and blood pressure of persons attending,” said Ms Davis
“Every year we try to find a non-conventional way to educate our girls and our community. Last year we used place cards as we advocated for persons to protect our environment. This year our twin theme that focuses on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, led us to have the girls prepare posters. Our youngest girls, the sunflowers and brownies, prepared pictorials that expressed the importance of hand washing and good emotions verses bad emotions.”
The older girls prepared tri-fold boards on topics such as “why it’s not a good idea for teenage girls to get pregnant” and “stop the violence”. Ms Davis said the goal of these boards were to allow the girls to do research and discover information and knowledge for themselves and for them to transfer what they learned on paper and allow their peers and other persons in the community to learn from their work.
“The BGGA motivates young women by giving them a safe meeting place, where they can express any issues they may be facing with school work, family or friends. Girl Guides works on different levels, it gives young girls the interaction with each other, allowing them to make new friends in a different environment from school or church. It also gives them another relationship with an adult female who can act like a big sister or a mother figure that they can call on for advice,” said Ms Davis.
Being a leader for over ten years, Ms Davis said her unit is at the Holy Family Catholic Church.
“Some of them attend private schools and some attend public schools, but when we get together we are sisters and we work together, play together and learn together. I also serve as a member of the training team and assist new leaders in learning what the BGGA is all about,” said Ms Davis.
For young women interested in joining Girl Guides, Ms Davis said they are always looking for new leaders. Anyone interested can contact the Association at 322-4243.