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World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

Chairman's message-February 2006

As World Thinking Day draws near, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on what World Thinking Day is all about.
Celebrating World Thinking Day gives us an opportunity to think about fellow Girl Guides and Girl Scouts across the world. Originally conceived as a day for reflection in 1928 and a fund raising day in 1932, World Thinking Day is a special day on which we can think about our friends and sisters across the world and actively help them through fundraising.

But how does World Thinking Day help girls and young women across the world?

World Thinking Day raises funds that keep WAGGGS and the International Girl Guide and Girl Scout Movement going. The funding provides high quality training so girls and young women across the world can enjoy the same high standard of Guiding. The fund allows field trainers in the Western Hemisphere, Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe regions to continue their work supporting Member Organizations.

In addition, money raised through World Thinking Day helps new countries that are coming into membership and also funds our important programme and project work on adolescent health, which we have chosen to focus on this year.

This year’s World Thinking Day website, part of our new look website, launched last autumn, features our advocacy focus for this year, adolescent health.

Through our first international research study, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides told us that adolescent health in some way, shape or form is an important topic around the globe, which is why we have chosen to focus on this topic for World Thinking Day.

The website contains top fundraising tips, programme ideas and more information on how World Thinking Day funds are spent.

Back in 1932, “A Penny with your Thoughts” raised £500 in the first year. In 2004, the theme, ‘food’, raised over £200,000. This year, we want to raise £350,000 so that girls and young women can think about, talk about and do something about adolescent health issues.

At the World Conference we adopted a new strategic plan and a new vision – to be the voice for girls and young women. We need your help this Thinking Day if we are to achieve this vision and provide many exciting opportunities for girls and young women across the world.

Elspeth Henderson 

About Elspeth 

Elspeth Henderson was elected new World Board Chairman at the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts 32nd World Conference.   

She was originally elected to the World Board in 2002.

Elspeth has been involved in Girl Guiding for most of her life and has worked at world level for many years, including as Chairman of the Europe Region from 1989 to 1995. She was awarded the WAGGGS Bronze medal in 1999 for outstanding service.

In addition, Elspeth has held the positions of International Commissioner and President of The Irish Girl Guides. Currently, an educational consultant, she has worked as a vice principal and principal of a post primary school in Ireland.