The Caribbean Link of Guiding has passed the test of time

Dear Editor,
In a wonderfully incisive column, ‘Fulsome words, faltering deeds,’ of Sunday April 19, 2009, Ian McDonald wrote about the fulsome rhetoric that speaks about global unity and of the world fast becoming a global village, while in fact we are faced with so much disunity.

Speaking specifically about the Caribbean, he laments that “we talk Caribbean unity, we act Caribbean  disunity and suspicion.” He adds “An exception to the general rule of disunity in action is still our cricket team.  They remain a glorious exception.  They deserve our praise.  When you have little left, the last possessions are the most precious.”

However, I wish to point out that our cricket team, though the most visible, is not alone as a “glorious exception”.  Far, far, from it.  Another glorious exception is the Caribbean Link of Guiding − a wonderful, vibrant organisation, consisting of Girl Guide Associa-tions from twenty Caribbean countries.

In 1958, when the West Indies Federation was formed, the Girl Guide Associations of those ten teritories met in Trinidad in April 1958 and formed The Federal Link of the Girl Guides Associations of the West Indies, simply called ‘The Federal Link.’  In 1962, even though the federation had disintegrated, a Commis-sioners’ Conference was held in Dominica, where the decision was made to continue the association.  The name was changed to the Caribbean Link of Guiding.

That Link has grown stronger with each passing year, and now it is celebrating fifty years of “forging friendships, nurturing Caribbean unity through Guiding.”   Two conferences, a Commis-sioners’ conference and a Training conference are being held from April 17-26 at St Paul’s Retreat Centre, here in Guyana.

Girl Guiding is a unique life-changing experience for girls and young women.  The well-rounded programmes give them the opportunity to learn while having fun, and train them in moral values, self discipline and skills that last a lifetime. The training provided enables them to develop their potential in every sphere of their lives and gives them the opportunity to forge and nurture friendships and unity.

The Caribbean Link of Guiding has passed the test of time because their work is not one of “fulsome words,” nor indeed “faltering deeds” but action that has impacted and continues to impact positively on the lives of the girls and young women of the Caribbean.
They too deserve our praise. They too are precious.
Yours faithfully,
Joan Collins
Guyana Girl Guides

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