November 29, 2020

Waterford Girl Guide leads the way at prestigious international training seminar

A Waterford Guide Leader who attended an international leadership training seminar as returned to her county to make a positive impact on younger members of Irish Girl Guides (IGG).

Laura O’Sullivan, a Leader with Crystal Brownies (Brownies is for girls aged 7-10) and Crystal Guides (10-14 year old girls) in Waterford, was one of 23 young women from 18 countries who took part in the Irish hub of the Juliette Low Seminar in Gormanston Park, Co Meath.

Laura said: “The week was an amazing journey and it has given me a unique family that I wouldn’t change for the world – a group of strong, empowering women who I know will always have my back forever more.

“A single week in County Meath created memories that will last a lifetime. It was a week that challenged everything I knew to be true about myself, what I perceived to be a good leader and changed my mind on how I could make an impact, no matter how small.

“Together we learned the importance of teamwork through our community action project. We also learned the importance of listening to, and understanding, each other. Each individual session throughout the week not only empowered us to challenge what is currently accepted in society, but emboldened us to shout out and stand up for those who are not able to do so.”

The participants were among 500+ young Guide Leaders from across the globe to take part in the international seminar, which is organised by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) every three years.

The seminar took place in 18 countries simultaneously and it was the first time for IGG to host a hub. Those attending the event in Gormanston Park travelled from as far away as Lebanon, Malawi, Ghana, Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, USA and Barbados as well as other parts of Europe, including Spain, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Finland and the Ukraine. Three IGG Leaders were participants and two were facilitators.

Meanwhile, 11 other IGG members jetted off to hubs across the globe, including Poland, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Madagascar and New York. Nine were participants and two were facilitators.

The 500+ Guide Leaders across the world all followed the same Lead Out Loud programme to help them develop their leadership skills. Each of them has pledged to share these skills with girls and young women in their own communities. Assuming each participant reaches 200 girls over the next two years, a total of 100,000 girls and young women will be empowered to also lead and bring about positive change in their communities.

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