One historic event changed everything. It
changed the course of human history. More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus
miraculously rose from the dead. Two centuries later, that one event is still
radically changing lives: bringing healing to the broken, peace to the
restless, hope to the hopeless.
Jesus is the true message of Easter, and because of him mankind can have a relationship with their creator, and be with him for eternity.
Easter brings hope, new beginnings, and eternal Life, made possible by the one who loved us enough to die in our place, Jesus Christ.
Shortly before his arrest, in John17: 4 – 21, Jesus offered “the Great Intercessory Prayer”. Jesus knew what was ahead of him, the road to the cross was not easy, but he still found strength to talk to his father and intercede for us. What can give us more hope than just knowing that we were covered in prayer by our Master and King.
For much of the world, Easter is only a tradition celebrated by coloured Easter eggs and the Easter bunny. What does it mean to you? As we celebrate Easter this year, I challenge you to go deeper and reflect on the message of Easter. We are blessed with the knowledge that our sins are forgiven and we have the promise of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That alone should impel us to share the gospel with all, through our words, our actions and the lives we lead. May this Easter season inspire us to reach out to God’s people, to those in need and to the poor in spirit. Be Fruitful and Overflowing, and Live Joyfully. Our Joy comes from the Easter Story!
Girls’ Brigade is inviting its members and friends to participate in social media activism to raise awareness and mobilise the wider Church to continue to pray for people who have been impacted by violence in Nigeria.
14/15 April 2019 marks the five year anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls. Currently 112 girls remain missing; some of them are GB members; many are feared dead. Since 2009, 20,000 people have been killed and over 2.6 million have been forced to leave their homes. Girls’ Brigade is continuing to mobilise the global family to continue to pray and advocate with and for the Chibok girls and the many others impacted by violence in Nigeria.
We have not forgotten. Our GB Hope Endures.
On the week leading up to 14/15 April 2019 and after, the GB family is invited to participate in social media activism by uploading a #GBHopeEndures frame to their Facebook profile and adding a special status update.
To take part in this global social media activism, please follow the steps below:
Choose your new Facebook frame called GB International Frame
Update your status with the following text:
I’ve added a frame to my profile picture on 14/15 April 2019 to say #GBHopeEndures on the five year anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls in Nigeria. Currently 112 girls remain missing and over 2.6 million people have been forced to leave their homes as a result of violence in Nigeria. That’s why Girls’ Brigade members from around the world are joining together to continue to pray for many people impacted by violence across Nigeria. Please join us as we say #GBHopeEndures. Find out more about Girls’ Brigade new resource: www.gbworldwide.org/bring-back-our-girls/
This week, GB International has released a new programme and prayer activity resource to help GB companies and churches engage with praying for their Nigerian family. The resource include a story of hope from GB member Sarah who had been abducted by Boko Haram and was later released. Sarah thanks the GB family for their prayers and reminds us that God does answer prayer.
Created by two Nigerian GB leaders Miriam and Ruth, the #GBHopeEndures: Prayers for Nigeria resource can be used at any time of year and can be downloaded free here.
On International Women’s Day 2019, the International President’s Committee (IPC) is pleased to announce GB International’s (GBI) new creative challenge for all members aged 13-25. There are two age categories according to how old participants will be on International Day of the Girl – II October 2019: 13 – 18 and 18 – 25.
Do you have a heart for advocacy (bringing God’s hope and light into the lives around you)? Do you strive for justice and want to see the brokenness in the world restored? Are you passionate about making a meaningful difference?
What is your hope for girls around the world today?
The Girls Living Life to the Full challenge is to produce a creative response to the question above by designing a photo, collage, poster or sculpture.
This is an opportunity to for GB members to inspire others with their creative and hope-filled response to injustice as well as win some incredible prizes. One of the prizes is a funded place (accommodation/flight) up to the cost of £2,000 to be part of GBI’s Delegation of Hope at the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York City in March 2020 or the International Conference of Girls’ Brigade (ICGB) in 2022. The winners will be announced on International Day of the Girl – 11 October 2019.
Please download the guidelines below and read the Terms and Conditions carefully. IPC are looking forward to receiving your hope-filled contributions!
From 9 to 17 March, members from the International President’s Team are attending the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women in New York City. During this week, the ‘Delegation of Hope’ will be attending different workshops and events, participating in negotiations on gender policy and networking with other NGOs passionate about turning up the volume of hope for girls.
What is the Commission on the Status of Women?
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global policymaking body dedicated to gender equality and advancement of women with over 4000 activists and government officials attending. The Commission meets annually for a period of 10 working days each March in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide. You can read more here.
Attending CSW enables GB International to contribute its unique faith-based Gospel hope perspective, influence global policies affecting girls and women and network with high-level individuals and organisations leading to collaborative partnerships.
Who is part of the GBI’s Delegation of Hope?
Representing GB International at the United Nations is International President, Mrs Priscilla P. Penny (Zimbabwe). She is accompanied by International Treasurer, Mrs Betty McComb (England & Wales) and two International Vice- Presidents – Ms Quindell Ferguson (Caribbean-Americas) and Dr Claire Rush (Europe).
The team has been preparing for this exciting opportunity for several months including participating in several seminars and online calls.
What are the goals of the team?
In 2019, the team has three key strategic goals:
1. Inspire – The Delegation of Hope will inspire others about GB’s 126 years of ministry amongst girls across 50 countries as well as the positive impact of Christian faith-based movements for girls.
2. Connect – The Delegation of Hope will connect with other people and organisations to build foundations for relationships and increase the potential for collaboration.
3. Understand – The Delegation of Hope will form a better understanding of how GB and its members could use the CSW and other UN initiatives to maximise its influencing potential to turn up the volume of hope for girls.
Girls’ Brigade International President Mrs Priscilla Penny from Zimbabwe shares: ‘We thank God for this tremendous opportunity to turn up the volume of Gospel hope for girls in this influential global forum. Being recognised by the United Nations will amplify GB International’s platform to advocate for and with girls on gender justice issues and help empower girls to transform their communities. As one of a few UN recognised Christian organisations focussing on transforming girls’ lives, Girls’ Brigade has a huge opportunity to show how faith can make a difference in the lives of girls.’
How can you follow and support GBI’s Delegation of Hope journey?
The Delegation of Hope is representing you at the United Nations and would love to involve you in the journey. Here’s three simple ways which you and your GB company can get involved:
1. Pray – the team needs your prayers. Please download the prayer diary which provides more info about the schedule. Please cover the team in prayer.
2. Follow – Good wifi depending, the Delegation of Hope is planning to update the GB Worldwide facebook page with short films, photos and updates. Join the facebook page and follow along. Why don’t you engage your GB group with some of the photos and prayers?
3. Share your advocacy stories – We want to hear stories about how GB companies and national boards are challenging injustices that girls are experiencing so we can share this great work with others. Please complete the questionnaire here.
Friday 8 March is the UN’s International Women’s Day (IWD); a
global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political
achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for
accelerating gender balance. For Girls’ Brigade, it is a day to
celebrate how God has used GB to transform the lives of six generations
of girls and women across the world.
Keep a close eye on social media and your inbox on IWD as GB is launching a new resource and competition- exciting!
you anything planned to celebrate it? Here’s 5 creative ideas and/or
actions for how you, GB leaders and GB groups can celebrate
International Women’s Day.
If you’re planning an event or special project to celebrate IWD, we’d love to hear from you (firstname.lastname@example.org).
1. Raise hope for girls with GB’s Advocacy toolkit
Have you used GBI’s fantastic ‘Raising Hope’ Advocacy Toolkit? This free resource is part of GB International’s on-going advocacy strategy to enable girls and young women to turn up the volume of hope in their own communities. It can be used by leaders to facilitate girls and young women (10-18s) and can used at any time during the GB year. Each of the six sessions contains creative activities with a Biblical focus including games, art, team-building, discussions and creative prayers.
2. Inspire others by sharing your social action and advocacy stories!
GBI’s Delegation of Hope to the United Nations needs your help!
We want to hear stories about how GB companies and national boards
are challenging injustices that girls are experiencing. Social justice
issues include human trafficking, poverty, climate change, violence
against women, girls’ access to education, forced marriage, mental
Please complete the questionnaire if you/your local GB group/national board has/have:
– created resources to educate girls/wider community on a social justice issue impacting girls in your community/country;
– campaigned on a social injustice issue in a local company or as a national country;
– lobbied governments and/or local officials on social injustice issues;
– created a social enterprise initiative to help transform the lives of girls/women;
– supported girls to access education by creating sponsorship or any other initiatives;
– used digital media as a campaigning tool;
– or been involved in any other advocacy/social action initiative.
The #iamgb (I am Girls’ Brigade) video harnesses the transformational
impact of Girls’ Brigade across the world. If you’re on social media,
help Girls’ Brigade spread a positive and hope-filled message for girls
The job at first seemed that it would be a breeze collating all the stories, but as the time went on things became very stressful. Juggling jobs between proof reading, Girls’ Brigade and family, became a big task, but in the end, it was very rewarding to read all the wonderful stories that members sent in. We didn’t quite make the goal of 125 stories, but still I was very happy with what we have. There are so many wonderful Christian Women in Brigade, transforming girls and encouraging ladies to take up roles in Brigade.
If you still want to add a story, please contact us here and we will try and accommodate you.
I am privileged that I have been invited to share a Christmas thought with you all, as we come to the end of this year of celebration of 125 years of fruitful ministry for Girls’ Brigade. As I sit here, I am conscious that we will soon be surrounded by all things Christmassy:
good food and drink (too much),
pressies and cards (too many),
crackers and carols (too noisy)
shopping and cooking (too busy)
Whether you love all the trappings of Christmas or whether you find it all too much, I trust you will have time this Christmas to take a new look at the old story.
Jesus, God’s son, made man,
born in Bethlehem, the promised Messiah come to earth!
But, Christmas will come and go and soon we will find ourselves in a new year. For GB a new era will be born as we move on from our hectic year of celebrations. There will be more busy-ness, new agendas, new goals, new year’s resolutions. But, have you ever noticed how all those who took part in the Christmas narrative returned from Christmas in ‘a different place’?
Mary went to Bethlehem a virgin
and returned Mary the Mother of God’s son
(with new things to ponder)
Joseph went to Bethlehem a young fiancé
and returned as protector of the most holy gift
(with a new role)
The Shepherds went to Bethlehem to see a baby born
and returned glorifying and praising God
(with a new joy)
The wise men went to Bethlehem to find the new born King
and returned ‘another way’
(with new eyes)
And what of you and me? When we return to our desks, to our roles, to our busy diaries….. will anything be different because we have revisited the birth of the Messiah? I pray that you may have new eyes too to see what God wants you to do for Him differently, as we seek to be relevant to the 21st century mission we pursue.
Blessings of Christmas to you all – love, joy and peace!
2018 has been and has gone so fast. It has been a year full of excitement and celebrations as we looked 125 years back! What a journey it has been! We celebrate and salute those who were before us, our Pioneers, for answering to His call for a Mission for girls. We take pride in being the oldest, strongest Christian movement for girls.
How far God has taken us! But having come this far we face a challenge to remain relevant and responsive to the generation of today, while maintaining our Christian values. A group of us want to do things the way we have always done. Any deviation is met with anger and demands to do what we have always done. But that same passion is not evident about participating in work of the Gospel to transform lives. We spend hours discussing protocol, programmes, uniforms and sometimes we forget about the Great Commission.
Where is our focus as GB ?
We go into the New Year on the heels of ICGB 2018, where we were challenged to be Fruitful and Overflowing. Some of the key words/phrases that should continue to speak to us and help us start our journey for the next 125 years, intentionally, pioneer again, understand the soil, be authentic, embrace technology, be innovators, tell people how good your fruit is (be masterful), gusty (champion our uniqueness), make people (girls) our priority.
As we celebrate the Birth of Christ this Christmas may we be truly thankful and pray that we will “Be Joyful” despite the pressures of this world and continue to abide in Him and bear fruit.
Romans 12:12 “ Be Joyful in Hope, Patient in affliction, Faithful in Prayer “
I take this opportunity to wish you all and your families a very blessed Christmas and all the best for 2019. !!!
***HAPPY HOLIDAYS ****
On International Day of the Girl (11 October 2018), Girls’ Brigade International launched a free resource for local Girls’ Brigade leaders called GB’s ‘Raising Hope’ Advocacy Toolkit. [Download it from the link at the bottom of the page].
The Advocacy Toolkit is part of GB International’s on-going advocacy strategy to enable girls and young women to turn up the volume of hope in their own communities. The toolkit has two specific aims:
To equip GB leaders (particularly at local level) to be strategic and intentional about advocacy
To empower girls and young women to be at the centre of leading social action initiatives to transform their own communities
There are many definitions of advocacy but Girls’ Brigade believes it is ‘bringing God’s hope to people (particularly girls and women), who are experiencing injustice in order to bring about transformation in lives and communities.’
Girls’ Brigade International President Mrs Priscilla Penny from Zimbabwe shares: ‘When Margaret Lyttle established GB in 1893, she was advocating with and for girls. In other words, she was helping shape a different and more hope-filled future for girls. Advocacy – raising hope for girls – is in our DNA. The Advocacy Toolkit features stories of how Girls’ Brigade members across the world are transformers, generations-shapers and hope-bringers! This resource will help enable them to challenge injustices in their own community in creative ways and transform lives which will have long-lasting impact.’
The free resource can be used by leaders to facilitate girls and young women (10-18s) and can used at any time during the GB year. Each of the six sessions contains creative activities with a Biblical focus including games, art, team-building, discussions and creative prayers and explores:
a common understanding of advocacy and injustice through interactive activities
how Girls’ Brigade members are and can be advocates of God’s hope and life in our world today
where the deficit of hope is in local communities and helps young people decide on one key injustice to transform
the root causes of injustice and demonstrates how problems can be turned into opportunities for change
how to plan an advocacy initiative which will challenge structural inequalities
how God calls us to ‘live justly’ every single day.
Dr Claire Rush, International Vice-President for Europe, shares: ‘Through this resource, young people will gain an understanding that advocacy is not just a one-off initiative or campaign – it is part of our rhythm of discipleship with Jesus who calls us to ‘live justly’ every day. Following Jesus is a whole-life adventure. This resource will also challenge our perception of real change and transformation. The brokenness in the world can only be restored by Jesus but He calls us to partner with Him to renovate reality. Each of us has an important role to play in transforming our communities. Use the Bible studies, discussions and creative prayer activities in this resource to challenge the young women with this question: do they know the transforming power of Jesus in their own life?’
The launch of GB’s ‘Raising Hope’ Advocacy Toolkit follows the exciting announcement last week that Girls’ Brigade International has been accredited with special consultative NGO status by the United Nations. This is an integral part of Girls’ Brigade International’s future advocacy strategy moving forward and an achievement to celebrate on our 125th birthday year. You can read more here.
After a 15 month application process, the International President’s Committee is pleased to announce that Girls’ Brigade International has been accredited with special consultative NGO status by the United Nations. This is an integral part of Girls’ Brigade International’s future advocacy strategy moving forward and an achievement to celebrate on our 125th birthday year.
Girls’ Brigade International President Mrs Priscilla Penny from Zimbabwe shares: ‘We thank God for this tremendous opportunity to turn up the volume of Gospel hope for girls in this influential global forum. Being recognised by the United Nations will amplify GB International’s platform to advocate for and with girls on gender justice issues and help empower girls to transform their communities. As one of only a few recognised Christian organisations focussing on transforming girls’ lives, Girls’ Brigade has a huge opportunity to show how faith can make a difference in the lives of girls.’
What does having consultative status mean?
Having consultative status enables GB International and our members to:
Provide expert analysis on gender justice issues
Help raise public awareness of gender justice issues on the global stage
Play a major role in advancing United Nations goals and objectives on gender equality
Attend international conferences and events for free
Make written and oral statements to United Nations and influence policy making
Organize events at United Nations
Have opportunities to network and lobby (and make fundraising contacts)
It also enables Girls’ Brigade International to have a presence at the annual Commission of the Status of Women (CSW).
What is the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)?
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global policymaking body dedicated to gender equality and advancement of women. The Commission meets annually for a period of 10 working days each March in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.
Attending CSW would enable GB International to contribute our unique faith-based Gospel hope perspective, influence global policies affecting girls and women and network with high-level individuals and organisations leading to collaborative partnerships.
A few members of the International President’s Committee will be attending CSW in March 2019 in order to assess future opportunities. It is hoped that in future years, GB members of all ages will attend to develop advocacy, communication and leadership skills and faciltate faith-based workshops at the event.
Why is Girls’ Brigade developing an advocacy strategy?
Over the last few years, GBI has been developing its advocacy emphasis along with its missional and evangelistic ethos.
GBI President Mrs Priscilla Penny explains: ‘GBI’s advocacy development is about equipping girls and young women to turn up the volume of Gospel hope for girls in communities across the world. Girls’ Brigade cares for girls because God cares for girls. GB wants to celebrate the value and potential of girls and women across the world as they’re made in God’s image. After all, that’s what Jesus did.’
‘Unfortunately in many places, it is very challenging to be a girl. I’m more likely to not be able to read and write because I’m a girl. I’m more likely to have tears of sorrow (not tears of joy) on my wedding day because I’m a girl. I’m more likely not to have a choice about where and when my first sexual experience happens because I’m a girl.’
‘But there is always hope. God has used Girls’ Brigade to help girls flourish across the world by providing life skills, a caring family of leaders who invest in them and empowering girls to discover ‘life to the full’.’ Let’s continue to bring Gospel hope to lives and communities across the world.’
On 11 October 2018, the UN’s International Day of the Girl, GBI will be launching its new social activism toolkit to enable girls to transform their communities. It will be free to download from the GB International website.
Dr Claire Rush, International Vice-President for Europe, shares: ‘GB members across the world are transformers, generations-shapers and hope-bringers! This free resource will help enable them to challenge injustices in their own community in creative ways and transform lives. It is part of our on-going advocacy strategy to enable girls and young women to turn up the volume of hope in their own communities.’
This new resource builds on the Hope For Girls resource which explores gender injustice across the world.
How can UN recognition help my GB group and GB country?
Watch this space for more information about how this news can impact your GB group in a positive way.
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