Still in Service…Girl Guides Going Strong with help of Supporters and Guides

More than 70 awards were handed out at the Girl Guides Association of Jamaica Awards 2023 Ceremony on Saturday, April 22. 

For many, ‘Girl Guides’ is reminiscent of a long-ago primary-school activity with camping adventures, uniforms and badges. But in reality, The Girl Guides Association of Jamaica is all about volunteerism and redirection for young women, and the organisation wants Jamaica to know that they are still in service.

President of the 108 year old association, Mrs. Jossett Francis Wint expressed that now more than ever, their services are critical for young people as she declared that, “Our teens are in trouble!”

Pointing to a demonstrable crisis among the youth, with issues such as the highly publicized instances of suicide, and an uptick in violent behaviors in schools, she says Girl Guides is just the social agent to intervene. The local branch of the global charitable organisation has units where women and older girls volunteer and become mentors to the young people in their units.

“This is how we find out what’s happening with our young people and find out what they need. This is how we meet their needs,” stated Mrs. Wint. She added further that, “They learn first aid skills, they are given opportunities to lead, to create programmes for their meetings and so on. So it’s a myriad of life skills that they learn.”

With outposts across the island, Girl Guides has impacted thousands over the decades. And it's all thanks to the legions of uniformed and non-uniformed Guides who volunteer and a lot of much needed support from a few other companies and foundations like the Tip Friendly Society and the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation.

The Association on Saturday April 22 took the opportunity to celebrate their work, and the past and current Girl Guides in an awards ceremony at the Girl Guides Association of Jamaica headquarters on Waterloo Road in Kingston.

In honouring their corporate supporters, Vice President of the Association, Mrs. Althea Walters also said, “I want to thank National Baking Company for giving us those cookies and creating the designs with our logos on it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Former Chief Commissioner of the Girl Guides Association of Jamaica, Lily Claire Bellamy presents the Special Recognition Award to National Baking Company Brand Identity Manager, Amber Dennis. 

National Baking Company was one of three companies given Girl Guides Association of Jamaica Special Recognition awards for support to the organisation over the years. According to Mrs. Wint, the cookies supplied by National are the primary revenue source for the Girl Guides and helps fund their daily operations.

“To be a Guide is to be a part of this world organisation that gives you the opportunity to serve…We are here, we’re still relevant,” added Mrs. Wint. “And there is always space for others to join.”

(L-R) Girl Guides Association of Jamaica Chief Commissioner, Karen Francis, Girl Guides Property Chairman Ray Howell, National Baking Company Brand Identity Manager, Amber Dennis, President of the Girl Guides Association of Jamaica Jossett Francis Wint and Former Commissioner Lily Claire Bellamy pose for a group shot following the 2023 awards ceremony.  

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