So, it has been almost a year since we met in Zambia for
ICGB 2018! How time flies.
A lot of exciting things have happened since then.
We launched the GB Advocacy tool kit in October 2018. I pray that you have found this a useful tool and are using it to make a difference and transform lives.
The Live Joyfully Resource and Prayer Calendar were launched in January 2019 and I hope this makes it easier and fun to be with the girls every week. Check out the Resource Page on our website. We would love your feedback.
GB is sitting at the table and your Delegation of Hope represented you at the Commission on the Status of Women conference (CSW63) in New York in March 2019. Watch this space and pray for doors of opportunity to open.
“Girls Living Life to the Full Challenge”. This is an exciting opportunity for girls to share their passion and be creative. The deadline for submissions is coming up soon. Find out more here.
So what’s next?
The International President’s Committee meets once a year to
strategise for GBI and Share what is happening in the GB world in the five fellowships
and in the member countries. Did you
submit your Country report to your IVP? Did you share good quality, high
resolution pictures? Share your stories.
We have had three Skype meetings since November 2018.
From 8 to 14 July 2019, the IPC will be meeting in the Cook
Islands. So what’s on the Agenda for the 6 Days?
The Agenda is packed! This is the first face to face meeting
since the new IPC took the reins at ICGB 2018. By the end of the meeting we
A Road Map for GBI for 2019 to 2022. We listened at ICGB at some of the concerns and recommendations that came out of the Discussion groups. Our strategy will be standing on Five Pillars:
Advocacy and campaign for social justice.
Sustainability initiatives (Focusing on the United Nation SDG’s)
Plans for ICGB 2022 and the Gathering.
Look at budgets and policy issues.
We will have time to pray for GB and listen to the voice of God.
We will pray for each other as a team, realising that we face different challenges as leaders and as individuals.
We will have a time for team building
Discuss what our status with UN Women means and see how we can get maximum Benefit.
We will have time for fellowship with the Cook Island girls and officers.
We are excited! I am sure exciting things will come out of our time together. We start travelling from 4th July, 2019 from our different locations and arrive in Auckland on 7th July and our final destination, Rarotonga, Cook Islands on 6th July. Confused? So are we! The Cook Islands are 12 hours behind New Zealand.
Please pray for:
Good team spirit
The Holy Spirit to preside over the meetings
IPC on Facebook. We will be posting updates throughout.
A message from International President, Priscilla Penny
Come and join The Girl’s Brigade as we come together in prayer as a family on 10th June 2019.
It was on 10th June, 1968
when the three organisations, The Girls’
Brigade (Ireland), The Girls’ Guildry (Scotland) and The Girls’ Life Brigade,
from a journey of pioneering that began in 1893, came together to form The
Girls’ Brigade! The Girls’ Brigade has
been and still is a Responsive, Relational and Relevant Christian Mission
focused on the Girl Child. The world has
evolved since 1893 and there is a desperate need to introduce the Gospel and
make disciples in this very challenging world.
on this our Birthday,
PRAY for The Girls’ Brigade to stand in the gap and reach out to the many girls
and young women who have no hope and no knowledge of the gospel of hope. We need leaders that are not waiting for
Girls to come to Girls’ Brigade.
PRAY for wisdom, courage and resources
to go out and tell our Stories of how GB is transforming the lives of girls and
We have not forgotten; in April, we
observed the 5th Anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls
and GBI Launched a powerful prayer resource to continue praying for those that
are still in captivity. PRAY without ceasing!
PRAY for all the GB Leaders around the
world who dedicate their time and resources to work with the girls and young
PRAY for our five Fellowships with our
diversity and cultural differences.
ONE GB, ONE MISSION.
PRAY for your IPC, as they will have
their first meeting after ICGB 2018, from 7th to 13th
July 2019 in the Cook Islands. Pray for
wisdom and for God to speak into their discussions.
GB Singapore are proud to unveil their very own Heritage Gallery, which commemorates their long history. This Gallery presents the vision formed by their GB pioneers, to nurture girls and give them opportunities to grow and develop into active contributors in their community. Most pioneers would agree that GB’s early years of our founding were arduous and unpredictable. There were times they even had to halt operations due to the war. However, the commitment of their founder Mrs Elsie Lyne and fellow GB members enabled the pioneers to overcome adversities and continue their outreach even up to this day.
30 March 2019, the Girls’ Brigade Heritage Gallery opened its doors to visitors
for the first time. Former Commandant and International Vice-Patron Mrs Tay Poh
Luan led the ceremonial opening, assisted by Brigade Commissioner Mrs
Evangeline Chong and Brigade President Mrs Tay Poh Imm.
dedication of the gallery was led by Associate Brigade Chaplain Rev Tan-Yeo Lay
Among the guests was Mrs Mary Tan, the immediate past Brigade Patron and wife of former President of Singapore Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam.
GB Officers and girls visited and had the opportunity to learn about the history of the Brigade. Pioneers in attendance reminisced the past whilst browsing through the stash of black and white photos and artefacts.
found me in a local community, taught me about Christ, responsibility,
leadership, discipline, self-control, self-esteem, love, kindness, service,
teamwork, programme planning and execution… And too many others to mention.
Girls’ Brigade gave me exposure from moving around my State to
other States in the Country, 27 actually. The first time I boarded a plane was
because of GB and consequently visited several countries.
I have learned so much from all of these exposures, one I will
never forget is South Africa 2013. I saw young girls like me controlling sound
systems, computers and projectors – things that at that time in my circle were
mostly left for the boys to do. There was a shift in my way of thinking that
has remained with me till date.
I have worked directly with over 1700 girls, with over 9000
indirectly, established 6 Companies (GB clubs) and strengthened over 10. In my
13 years of volunteering as a young leader I have planned national and
international conferences, organized rallies and campaigns. These have led to
creating awareness of the need to educate girls in local communities and
placing over twenty underprivileged girls on educational scholarships.
Girls’ Brigade has connected me with highly placed
personalities, one of such paved way for me to gain employment in a highly
competitive sphere. Today I have friends and sisters from around the globe
courtesy of GB.
Girls’ Brigade sums up my life in its entirety. Everyone that
knows me knows how I come alive whenever I begin to talk about Girls’ Brigade.
I write today because GB has yet brought about another blessing to my life. I recently got appointed as a ONE CHAMPION to work with ONE for the next year. I got this position using my work in the Girls’ Brigade for the application, 50 of us were selected out of 2877 people that applied.
I count it a rare privilege to which I intend to give my best.
ONE works to end extreme poverty, fight social injustice and give everyone equal opportunity. I am expected to harness what I do in GB with these mentioned above.
I hope to get maximum support from all of you to achieve this.
From 9 to 17 March, members from the International President’s Team attended the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York City. During this week, the ‘Delegation of Hope’ attended different workshops and events, participated in negotiations on gender policy and networked with other NGOs passionate about turning up the volume of hope for girls. You can read more about the event here.
The team were very active on the GB
Worldwide facebook page during the week – here’s some of the photo
Sunday 10 March – Attending Keeping
the Faith in CSW advocacy training workshop
Sunday was a 14 hr day for the Delegation of Hope (and CSW hasn’t
already officially even begin yet!) After attending the Consultation Day, the
team got a lift uptown to the Keeping Faith in CSW advocacy training workshop
at St James Church near Central Park. This was facilitated by Side by Side; a
faith movement for gender justice. 40 faith-based activists attended from all
over the world and it was so encouraging that many already knew about GB’s
fantastic ministry in their own countries. We hope that this is an
encouragement to all our incredible and dedicated leaders; keep on honouring
God through serving the girls and communities around you. You are making a
Monday 11 March – GBI has a front row
seat at the opening session of CSW63
Claire, IVP for
Europe, was really privileged to get a front row seat at the opening session of
the Commission on the Status of Women at UN General Assembly in NYC. This is
often called the ‘Parliament of Humankind.’ More than 9,000 representatives
from civil society organizations and NGOs have registered to attend, along with
193 Member States. The annual meeting of the Commission for the Status of Women
(CSW) is a force to be reckoned with. GBI’s Delegation of Hope is here to
advocate that Christian faith makes a positive difference in the lives of girls
Monday 11 March – International
President attended a CSW ministerial roundtable
GB’s International President Priscilla attended a CSW ministerial roundtable discussion with senior government representatives from over 20 nations. She shared: “What a privilege it is to represent GB (and you) at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). It has been an amazing experience so far and a number of important points have been made. Girls’ Brigade equips girls to be leaders; but let’s remember we’re not training girls for the future but for today. My favourite quote of the day is ’empowering girls and women is allowing them to fly and catching them when they fall.’ I love that GB around the world creates space to do this.”
Tuesday 12 March – Q&A event with UN
Quindell (IVP Caribbean-Americas) and Claire (IVP Europe) were invited to a CSW63 town hall event (Q&A) with the UN Secretary General António Guterres, an incredible and credible advocate for gender parity. ‘I am a proud feminist! We all need to be feminists to make sure gender equality is achieved. This Commission could be called the Commission on Power. Gender equality is fundamentally a question of power. We will push back against the push back until gender parity is achieved.’ As the UNSG was a little bit late, the women in the room started singing in their own language. There was an incredible moment when all of the room was singing ‘We will overcome, we will overcome’ just he entered the room. CSW women singing truth to power!
Tuesday 12 March – Tour of UN building
It was really useful to have a tour of the UN building and discover more about the history of this organisation. As you can see, we’re ready and willing for GB to assume a seat on the Security Council… we’re just waiting for an invitation!
Wednesday 13 March – Networking dinner
Delegation of Hope has been preparing for CSW for months by setting up
meetings. One of our aims is to connect with leaders from other Christian NGOs
and the best way to have intentional conversations is over food (of course!). Our
first networking dinner was with Amanda Jackson from World Evangelical
Alliance, Helene Fisher from Open Doors, Emma Dipper from All Nation’s College
and Kristen from A21. It was a great night of conversation which will hopefully
lead to action! Thank God for all the Christian-faith based NGOs and
organisations who are attending CSW and are advocating for the Good News that
Jesus brings. The team has several important meetings planned to explore future
collaborations with NGOs; pray that God would open doors of opportunities.
Thursday 14 March – Faith-based NGO
sessions on religious persecution
One of the most moving sessions was on religious persecution of Christian women facilitated by the World Evangelical Alliance and Salvation Army. A theatre group of young women from UK performed a number of small drama pieces including an abduction of a girl in Nigeria and used self-portraits of Boko Haram survivors from Nigeria. These stories and the young women’s creativity really engaged our hearts with the issue. GBI would love to bring the stories of our own GB members into the UN arena. Open Doors also revealed that women are often subjected to a different kind of religious persecution than men. Read more about the new report here.
March – wearing the GB logo in the corridors of power and raising hope at the
Attending CSW and gaining consultative status with the UN was an
accumulation of a two year process – the Delegation of Hope did not take it for
granted. 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.’ It
was incredible to represent GB at UNCSW and we hope and pray that many GB
members will follow in our footsteps after!
16 March – team time in NYC
After a busy week with early morning starts at 6am and walking
over 10km per day, the team had a debrief time and enjoyed some time in the ‘Big
of CSW63 – conclusions were agreed by governments!
Over the last two weeks, government delegations and civil society organisations (like Girls’ Brigade negotiated on a set of agreed conclusions prioritising social protections for women including maternity pay, safe transport, access to healthcare and pensions. The aim was to have an agreed set of conclusions by the end of CSW. Unfortunately at the beginning of CSW, we were told that the dial on women’s rights is actually regressing rather than progressing (one major country had already indicated that they no longer ‘reaffirm’ important past pieces of legislation on gender equality). The negotiations were fraught as a result of the current climate and there was no guarantee that the CSW would reach an agreed set of conclusions – this would have been devastating as we head into the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform – the first major global policy statement on women’s rights – in 2020. Thankfully, at the end of CSW, there were agreed conclusions reached and the CSW delivered a roadmap on ensuring women’s social protection, mobility, safety, and access to economic opportunities. Thank you God! These agreed conclusions can now be used to keep governments accountable. You can read more here.
From 9 to 17 March, members from the International President’s Team attended
the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women in New York City. During this week,
the ‘Delegation of Hope’ attended different workshops and events, participated
in negotiations on gender policy and networked 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.
Each year, the Commission
on the Status of Women focuses on a theme and this year, we’re exploring how
social protection and access to public services can help achieve equality and
empowerment for all women and girls. So what kind of issues are being discussed?
Elder care, maternal health and pension’s gaps. But also issues that directly
impact GB girls like safe public transport and sanitation in schools.
Attending CSW enabled 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
Who was part of
the GBI’s Delegation of Hope?
Representing GB International at the United Nations was International President, Mrs Priscilla P. Penny (Zimbabwe). She was 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 prepared for this exciting opportunity for several months by participating in several seminars and online calls.
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
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.
What was a
typical day like at CSW?
So what did a typical day at CSW63 look like? In essence, there was no
typical day as the Delegation of Hope members attended different events. But
here is a flavour.
6am: Wakey wakey (for Claire, it is earlier – 4.30am – as she manages social media)
7am: Brekkie and devotions
8am: Daily morning service at the Church Center
8.30am: Priscilla attends morning NGOCSW briefing in UN and others
attend parallel NGO sessions
10.00am: Betty, Quindell and Claire head to private discussion meeting
with Christian NGOs near Wall Street and Priscilla meets with the official
delegation from Zimbabwe.
Noon: Invited to a networking lunch
2.30pm: Betty, Quindell and Claire attend parallel workshops addressing
different women’s issues and Claire attends the formal session of #CSW63
4.30pm: Continue to attend different workshops and network, Claire
attends a UN side event in the Canadian mission to the UN on religious freedom
6.30pm: Networking dinner with different Christian NGOs
8.30pm: Collapse in bed!
Between sessions the team did try and find a space to breathe –
self-care is so important.
Girls’ Brigade International President Mrs Priscilla Penny from Zimbabwe
shares: ‘Thank you to the GB global family for praying for us. It was great to
see GB sitting at the table. We have met and networked with so many women of faith.
We have participated in exciting presentations on female empowerment,
leadership training for girls and persecution and abuse of women because of their
faith. We joined in discussions on how we can work together with other
Christian faith organisations. We have sat in the CSW63 Sessions and petitioned
governments to commit to the protection of women and girls. We are thankful
that GB has an opportunity to add its voice to this influential global place of
President’s Committee will be evaluating GBI’s future involvement at CSW this
summer and discussing how to empower our members to get involved in CSW
negotiations in their own countries.
How can you get
There are a number
of ways that you can get involved in raising hope for girls.
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. Download it free here.
the fifth anniversary of the abductions, Girls’ Brigade launched its new
#GBHopeEndures: Prayers for Nigeria resource.
The five year anniversary marks an opportunity for Girls’ Brigade to
raise hope for girls; an opportunity for us to pray for Nigeria and all the
people affected by Boko Haram’s violence. The programme and prayer resource can
be adapted for all age groups and can be downloaded free here.
GB International’s President,
Priscilla Penny, would like you to join us in celebrating our mothers, on
Sunday 12th May, Mother’s Day. We want to celebrate those who had
the vision to start GB, those who have carried the torch for the past 126 years
and those who are carrying the torch for the next generation. We want to give
thanks for all mothers – past, present and still to come, for their
unconditional love, patience and care. Happy Mother’s
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.
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