IT was a heartwarming moment when 1,800 Brownies, Girl Guides and Rangers donated money and pledged their support for peace and development globally.
The collection was carried out during the Girl Guides Association Malaysia national-level World Thinking Day celebration themed ‘Peace And Development Through Partnership’.
The event at Dewan Sri Pinang in Penang saw the girls from all over Malaysia renewing their Girl Guides pledge and singing tunes.
To mark the opening of the celebration on Saturday, a giant blue ball with the words ‘Girl Guides Association Malaysia’ printed on it was rolled to the stage and placed on top of a lighted box by guests.
Association deputy chief commissioner Puan Sri Zainon Zainuddin said the funds collected would be forwarded to its headquarters in England.
“The celebration managed to forge closer friendships among the Girl Guides from different states.
“It also raises awareness on the plight of the less fortunate.
“World Thinking Day is normally celebrated on Feb 22 worldwide as it also happens to be the birthday of Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout movement, and his wife Olave, who served as World Chief Guide,” she said.
Zainon added that currently, there were about 85,000 Girl Guides in Malaysia.
She said the association aimed to recruit more members by 2017 in conjunction with its 100th anniversary celebration (in Malaysia).
“Girl Guides activities are still relevant and apart from outdoor activities, we have programmes like leadership training.”
She also delivered the opening address on behalf of association chief commissioner Normala Baharudin, who called for members to be sensitive about current global issues and be ready to play an important role to ensure the world was a safe place for all.
The event’s opening act included a show with traditional dances.
Apart from that, members were also able to visit the booths along Lebuh Duke for more information about obtaining the Queen’s Guide Award.
Puteri Zulaikha Khalid and Nur Sabrina Shawaludin, both 15, from SM Sains Kota Tinggi in Johor, said they were thrilled to be a part of the celebration.
“This is my first year as a Girl Guide and I’m happy to make new friends here. Everyone is so friendly,” Puteri Zulaikha said.
Friends Ng Mei Ying, Choo Ching Szen and Disa Lim Hui Ru, all 15, from Chung Ling Butterworth High School, Penang, said they learned new rope knotting skills from their seniors.
Mei Ying said they also got to learn more about Girl Guides activities.
Also present at the celebration was association Penang branch patron Toh Puan Majimor Shariff.
Joining her were association Penang branch president Puan Sri Su Hashim and its chief commissioner Chan Kit Sin along with the chief commissioners of other branches.