(The Belarusian National Guide Association)
- Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting introduced: 1926
- Guiding reintroduced: 1991
- Became Associate Member of WAGGGS: 1996
- Membership 1999: 1,200
- WAGGGS Region: Europe
- Ranger 16-18
- Guide 12-15
- Bird 6-11
Rangers and leaders make the same promise as Guides, but also take on the added responsibility to be of service in the community, and to encourage the development of the organization.
Development of the Movement in Belarus
The initial development of the Movement took place within the framework of the Russian Scout Movement, as Belarus was firstly part of the Russian Empire, then from 1922 part of the Soviet Union, m 1921, a Scout Organization was founded in Kletsk, and at the same time Scouts appeared in Nisvizh and other nearby villages. In 1926, American Methodists helped found the Girl Scout Organization in Vilno. It lasted until 1929, but by the end of the 1920s, Scouting had been banned in the Soviet Union and the Movement's activities ended, with many leaders and members arrested and imprisoned. Emergence of democratic principles in the mid-1980s made possible the creation of alternatives to the communist Pioneer organization. Close connections were formed with Guide and Scout organizations of many European countries, when children from areas affected by the Chernobyl accident were invited to summer camps abroad during the Chemobyl Children's Project undertaken in 1990. Especially close links were developed with Cyprus, and between Minsk and the Guides of Lincolnshire, UK.
In 1992, Cyprus was officially appointed Link country to support the development of Guiding in Belarus, and in June 1993 the 1st Conference of the Association of Belarussian Guides was held in Minsk. In June 1998 the Association celebrated its fifth anniversary.
The programme incorporates a range of activities, designed to assist girls in the development of character, civic responsibilities and community service, plus life skills. The programme for girls is reviewed regularly to meet the changing needs of girls. It has been developed to suit all age groups, and each has its own progress plan that provides opportunities for personal growth and development of character through education and fun.
Working with the Community
Service and community development play an important part in the life of the Association. Guides visit hospitals, work in orphanages, help old people, and organize and participate in ecology projects.
Outdoor and Environmental Activities
Camping as a part of the programme is a popular activity, and camps are held throughout the year. Campsites are sometimes given free of charge by the local authorities. Guides also participate in tree-planting projects and help to clean public places.
The Association holds training courses lasting from one to six days. They are planned for Patrol Leaders, prospective and active leaders, leaders of the different age groups, camp leaders, prospective trainers, trainers, members of the National Board and Committees.
The Guiding in the Service of Society is a training programme funded by the TACIS Democracy Programme. It aims to train girls and young women in the skills of democracy, leadership and community involvement. The project has also included a seminar on human rights and a significant piece of social research which addressed the issue of female adolescents and their social problems in contemporary Belarus.
Communication and Co-operation
Last year the Association developed its own image.
A great deal of interesting information about Guiding in Belarus and abroad was provided to people through local and republican newspapers.
The Association of Belarussian Guides has good relations with local authorities, the Ministry of Education, trade unions, the State Committee of Youth Affairs, and other organizations. The work of the Girl Guides is based on the principle of co-operation with organizations which work for the community and to look for ways of joint action.