Around the world, The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (the Award) have a rich history of working together. Every year, thousands of Guides earn international recognition for their achievements through their local Guide Units.

The Award is a globally recognised framework, available in more than 130 countries to young people aged between 14 and 24. This non-formal education and learning framework is offered at progressively challenging levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold Award).

The Award is not a separate youth movement but rather a framework that can be aligned to many existing youth activities and awards such as the ones offered by Guides. The principles and activities of both organisations complement each other well, and participants can essentially receive double recognition with the same amount of effort. The Queen’s Guide Award particularly aligns closely with the Award at any level.

Both organisations also value the role volunteers play in helping young people succeed, and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award provides Guide Leaders a tried and tested framework for holistically transforming the lives of young people through developing and improving new skills, increasing physical activity and building healthy habits, working as a team and learning about the natural environment through an extended outdoor activity known as an Adventurous Journey, and providing voluntary service in their community.

Aside from developing well-rounded young people, it is a way to impress potential employers and universities. National Girl Guide Associations around the world are using the Award framework to add value to their existing programmes and enhance membership growth.

Here are a few examples of how the Award and Guides work around the world:

Philippines

The Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP), has been licensed directly by the Foundation to deliver the Award since 2011.

GSP and the Award have been working together for a decade and the uptake of the Award by Guides has continued to grow steadily, with hundreds of participants achieving their Award through Guide units over the years. GSP and the Foundation have worked closely together to map which Girl Scout activities can be cross credited towards the Award requirements. The activities mapping makes getting your Award started as a Girl Scout easier than ever. For more information how the Award and GSP work together, check out the Girl Scouts of the Philippines website.

Below we hear from three Philipino Award Leaders, Raquel, Karyll and Maria, as they discuss delivering the Award to dual Girl Guides and Award participants in the Philippines.

Malta

In Malta, the Girl Guides have been active in partnership with the Award since 1961, when the Award was first made available to young people in the Maltese islands. The Girl Guides deliver the Award through an Operational Authority licence, providing Guides nationally with the opportunity to take part in the Award. The Award’s relationship with the Girl Guides is very important in helping both organisations reach more young people and inspire them to dream big and challenge themselves to reach their full potential.

The Award in Malta shares common goals with the Girl Guides such as investing in the development of young people, promoting active-citizenship, giving back to the community and creating opportunities for youth to learn and work together as a team on challenges.

Contact Malta Girl Guides for more information about completing your Award through a local Guiding unit.

Aotearoa New Zealand 

The Girl Guides of Aotearoa New Zealand recognise the Award framework can reinforce Guiding learning and experiences while providing Guides with a respected global accreditation. Guides aged 14-24 across Aotearoa New Zealand can do their Award through their local Guiding Unit.

The Award and Girl Guiding Aotearoa New Zealand have a cooperative agreement, which involves what they call ‘mahi ana’ (working together). The Award and Girl Guiding have identified and agreed on the various activities Girl Guides are already undertaking that can be cross credited toward the Award. They have created a template to show how easy it is for to achieve a international accreditation while doing Guiding.

UK

Girlguiding programme and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (DofE) have a long history working together, with thousands of Guides earning their Award through their local Guide Units. Girlguiding is proudly working in partnership with DofE so that Guides can complete a fantastic, internationally recognised, challenge as part of their guiding experience.

Read more about Girlguiding and the Award in the UK here.

The best part of my DofE was doing my expedition to Greenland, crossing glaciers and seeing the Northern lights.

Hope, 18, Girl Guide
Guide Leaders also recognise the impact the Award has in shaping their guides:

 

Offering the Award within GirlGuiding helps girls grow in confidence and develop vital skills which help them later in life such as resilience, communication, team working and leadership. They have an opportunity to try new activities and spend more time outdoors- all good for mental health!

Rozzy S, Girl Guiding Award Leader
Australia

Each year hundreds of Girl Guides in Australia achieve their Award through their local Guide Unit. Many of the Guide programmes and awards in Australia can be cross credited-towards the Award. In particular, the Olave Programme, available Guiding members aged 18-24, already fits closely with the Gold Level Award. The Queen’s Guide Award, the peak achievement for youth members of Girl Guides Australia, also aligns closely with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. The Award is a great ‘add-on’ recognition for Girl Guides as their normal activities provide them with opportunities to learn a new skill, give voluntary service, participate in physical and recreational activities and take on expeditions and residential projects—all of which can be adapted to meet the requirements of the Award.

Read more about completing your Award through Girl Guides Australia.

What is more…

The successful partnerships have allowed both organisations to increase outreach to young people and provides countless benefits to the young people with whom they support. The Award provides a unique and internationally recognised framework to enhance existing Guiding programmes and celebrate young people for their achievements in a big way. The International Award Foundation has developed a new licensing model to better support Girl Guide and Girl Scouting member organisations around the world, and we are looking to partner directly with more national Guiding organisations to continue expanding access to the Award for young people everywhere.

WAGGGS members interested in finding out more about the benefits of offering the Award to Guides can contact us for more information on becoming an Operating Partner here: operations@intaward.org