Royalty graces World Thinking Day
By James Kon

Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah, the President of Brunei Darussalam Girl Guides Association, and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, the Vice President of the association, yesterday morning graced the Girl Guides' World Thinking Day 2011 celebration at the association's headquarters in Kg Anggerek Desa.

Upon arrival, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna were welcomed by members of the organising committee and members of the association.

In her welcoming remark, Dayang Hajah Viviyanti binti Hj Ali, the chairperson of the World Thinking Day 2011 celebration said, "World Thinking Day 2011 is celebrated every February 22 in conjunction with the anniversary of the founder of Scouts and Girl Guides, Lord Baden Powell and Lady Olave Baden Powell."

The theme, chosen by WAGGGS is "Gender Equality and Empowering Women". The theme is one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, set to become the guidance for future activities of the members of WAGGGS (World Associations of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts).

In connection with the theme, she also said, "Brunei Darussalam Girl Guides Association has come up with the theme of empowering girls in the hope it will change our world."

Highlighting the needs for empowering girls and women, Dayang Hajah Viviyanti said, "We need to raise the awareness on the challenges of what young women and girls have to face and how they can become an agent of change."

She added, "A number of campaigns that has been organised around the world gives opportunities to those who are less fortunate in terms of physical, emotional, economic and also social aspects. They managed to stimulate and empower girls and women's lives in a few countries by teaching them skills and imparting knowledge such as tailoring, making handicrafts as well as make use of other resources to bring in profits.

"It is hoped that the activities carried out today can instil the interest of saving as well as urging members to spend wisely and learn to earn money such as by making handicrafts, local food in small scale and gradually marketing the products."

Touching on the collection from the fund raising activities, she hoped the collection could also add on to the funds for WAGGGS to help develop girl guides in other countries that need it. With the fund, Brunei Darussalam Girl Guides Association can also hand over new uniforms to a number of members today.

A total of 17 underprivileged members of the Girl Guides Association received the new uniform for girl guides and brownies. Meanwhile, there are 50 schools nationwide who have received girl guides momento from Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah.

Prior to officially putting the signage for the World Thinking Day 2011, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna toured the World Thinking Day fund raising 2011 activities area with 20 schools taking part in the exhibition. - Borneo Bulletin (7th March 2011)