Network Meeting – Malta

The Network Meeting is a joint event with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in Europe, which brings together people from across Europe who are active in representing their organisations on external forums, such as on their National Youth Councils. IGG Leader Jemma Lee, who was on the planning team for the Network Meeting as a Europe Region volunteer, writes about her experience:

There were seven of us on the planning team, two volunteers and one staff member from both WAGGGS and WOSM, as well as a member of the Malta Girl Guides who were hosting the event this year. We met in London for a planning meeting in October, which was really useful and it’s sometimes just easier to get work done in person rather than over the internet! We planned most of the event in two days and all went home with a long to-do list to get all the sessions finalised.

On 6 November I flew to Malta and we had one day to put the final touches to our plans before the participants started to arrive. We had 29 participants from around Europe, including a Georgian Girl Scout who had been on activity staff at IGGNITE and was very excited to see me in my camp t-shirt!

We also had a number of experts and guest speakers fly in over the course of the week, one of whom I had volunteered with in Sangam in 2008 and hadn’t met in person since. It always amazes me how small the world Guiding and Scouting community really is!

During the week we took turns delivering the sessions. Participants learned about the European decision-making structures, they presented to us their own country’s work on external relations and they identified priorities for advocacy and taking action after they went back home.

We were also very well looked after by our Maltese hosting team who organised the evening programmes, taking us to the walled city of Mdina for a ghost tour and late night snacks, and over to Gozo island on a ferry for an evening of traditional Maltese food.

As a Europe Region volunteer, I’m excited to see what kind of projects I end up getting involved in over the next two years! My main role at the moment is to link with the European Women’s Lobby and to continue to find ways that WAGGGS Europe can get involved in gender equality issues in Europe.

You will be able to read more about my Europe Region volunteering experiences in the International edition of Trefoil News, which will be available from 8 January 2018.