MANILA, Philippines – Who run the world? Girls.
A total of 589 girls from all over the Philippines were awarded the Chief Girl Scout Medal – the most prestigious award given by the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) – at a presentation ceremony held Saturday, November 24, at the Aliw Theater.
This was after the girls successfully completed various sustainable community development projects under the Chief Girl Scout Medal Scheme (CGSMS).
An ongoing contribution of the GSP to the moral formation of young women, the CGSMS is a special program created in 1975 encouraging Senior and Cadet Girl Scouts (aged 13 to 21 years) to initiate and implement a one-year community project in their respective barangays.
A logbook of a participant’s activities has to be submitted to the GSP National Headquarters to be evaluated by a task force. Evaluation is focused not only on the the project itself, but more importantly, on the participant’s leadership abilites (such as follow-through of plans and networking), and personal growth spiritually, mentally, physically, socially and emotionally.
Having made a difference in the lives of 12,269 families and 4,856 children in 589 barangay/communities nationwide this year, the scheme highlights the role of girl scouts in nation building.
Each girl was free to choose the project she wanted to undertake in any of the following program areas: Ecology, Health, Livelihood, Cultural Heritage. Here’s a breakdown of how families benefited from the projects:
- 5,349 families in 259 barangays were beneficiaries of individual efforts by 259 girls who worked on one of the following: waste management; tree planting; seedling dispersal; reforestration; beautfication projects on parks, centers, children’s playgrounds, highways; construction of waiting sheds; and clean up of canals and streams.
- 750 families in 36 barangays benefited from the efforts of 36 girl scouts who focused on livelihood – skills training, cosmetology, weaving, food production, soap making, recycling, food preservation, vegetable gardens, and hog raising.
- 521 families in 25 barangays benefited from the efforts of 25 girl scouts who worked on the appreciation and promotion of Filipino culture and traditions through researches and sharing of Philippine dances, songs, stories, and poems; and, preservation of historical markers.
- 269 girls helped 4,856 children and 5,604 families in 269 barangays through mass feeding and health care monitoring; medical and dental services; personal hygiene; education; and organizing mothers’ classes for the promotion of proper nutrition.
Arbiters of change
Girls who enroll in this scheme are aware that they need to be ready to juggle academic, extra-curricular, social, family and other personal activities they have with developing a chosen community into a more conducive place to live in within a year; and that every now and then, they will have to sacrifice as time and devotion are needed to get things done.
Why do it? Not because of the medal, nor the praises, said Chief Girl Scout Medalist Julienne Marie SJ. Batingal.
“The fact that we have done something unselfishly is the achievement,” she said.
It’s about “the desire of changing the world, changing the nation, one girl and one community at a time,” Batingal added.
Here are the complete list of Chief Girl Scout awardees for 2012:
Stacy de Jesus is also a recipient of the Chief Medal award. Her Ecology project paved the way for the installation of the very first water system at a small rural town in Bago in 2007. She’s now with Rappler, helping move the Philippines one tweet and article at a time. This year, her sister Phoebe Lynne de Jesus also received the award.