USA GIRL SCOUTS OVERSEAS: Determined to Succeed & Tear Down Walls
With a focus on leadership development, cultural competence, and global impact, USA Girl Scouts Overseas supports girls with quality, high-level programs focused on acquiring new skills and becoming courageous leaders. As a Girl Scout, you use both service and action to live out the Girl Scout Promise & Law and “make the world a better place!”
Girl Scout Troop 32011 in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, embodied the go-getter Girl Scout spirit when they were determined to help children living in a local residential center. The center was home to over 100 children, of all ages, all from various situations of crisis, trauma and abuse, and the Girl Scouts became familiar with the center as part of another volunteer project. While volunteering, they recognized that the children needed access to a better environment, which included more play. These Girl Scouts then took action and decided to build a new playground at the residential center for their Silver Award project. Utilizing troop funds and donations to acquire playground materials, and their own two hands, the Girl Scouts started to build a new playground. Halfway through construction, they realized that there was not enough space for all of the new equipment. Instead of giving up at this point, the Girl Scouts decided to literally tear down walls.
To open up the space, the girls needed assistance. Again, determined to overcome this obstacle and finish their project, the girls received the best kind of help—from members of the United States military. An active duty soldier, based in Japan, heard about the project and immediately flew down to Manila to help. After seeing how much work was needed, the soldier asked for assistance from two friends, also based in Japan. With the strength of three members from the U.S. military assisting them, the Girl Scouts were able to build a space for the children to play and grow—and just be kids. For the children in the orphanage, this herculean effort has made a huge difference in their lives. Play is so important in child development that it has even been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.
Through the multiple obstacles the Girl Scouts faced during this project, they never stopped trying—again, and again, and again. They demonstrated extraordinary leadership and, with committed volunteers, have positively impacted the lives of children who now have a safe space to play and grow.