I LOVE the idea of a little bit of blogger activism . Actually, I like activism. I used to be much, much more active on things like the env...

I LOVE the idea of a little bit of blogger activism. Actually, I like activism. I used to be much, much more active on things like the environment, the portrayal of women in the media, rich vs poor, gay rights and bad urban planning – to name a few. I’ve mellowed a little and directed my efforts a little closer to home in more recent years. All my little projects are still super important but my No.1 way to change the world, I think, is to educate the children I am raising (not mine by birth, for those who don’t already know) and the children I have contact with through Girl Guides.

Some will have read before that my involvement with the Girl Guide movement is my single best way to save the world. Not only is it an adventurous game of leadership and personal challenge played in the great outdoors, it is at once an organisation supporting girls and women all over the world, an organisation supporting the development and free expression of young people, an organisation with sound environmental credentials, a humanitarian organisation and – not many people know this – a charitable world aid organisation.

You can read more about the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world here. Guides around the world are working on micro credit programs, on HIV/AIDS education, on literacy programs, are supporting former sex workers in Asian countries and young women sufferers of domestic violence.

There’s more than 10 million Girl Guides around the world. We’re huge. A force to be reckoned with. If you came across me, my fellow leaders and our band of 18 Girl Guides you’d be in awe – well most of the time, they do have their moments. These kids are ready to take on the world. I am ever so proud of them and have a lump in my throat as I write.

My first glimpse of real poverty was as a Girl Guide. I was 18 and had put my hand up to work on a co-operative Girl Guide and Scout project in Bangladesh. I was in Bangladesh for a month: digging wells for clean water, handing out oral hydration packs and helping in child health clinics. While there I held a newborn in my hand. The baby was so tiny and the first newborn I’d ever held. It was precious. If it has survived monsoons, tidal surges, river delta flooding and the related disease and insecurity of housing it would be 15. I have a 14-year-old at home. A strapping six-foot something fella who will never, ever, ever, in his lifetime – knock wood – have to face the lifetime of hardship that 15-year-old on the other side of the world has already faced.

That, my friends, is the poverty divide. We are truly, truly, truly blessed.

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  1. My two daughters have just joined Guides and have thrown themselves into it - my 'princess' is super keen for her first camping experience (dirt and all) and my 'go-getter' can't wait to get her hands on her first badge. I hope they stick with it for many years to come - such great values and friendships and experiences to have.

  2. You are pretty amazing. And what an experience at 18.

  3. What a beautiful post, I love people who take the time to volunteer, and such a worthwile cause!

    I volunteer for a little local organisation called petlinks who link up elderly pet owners with volunteers who come to their homes to care for and walk their dogs. I love it!

    Thanks for the lovely comment on my other blog (vegan and vintage), you are so cute!

    Hollie xx

  4. been feeling the need to get involved in something charitable whilst focusing on raising my kids. you've inspired me with your work with girl guides. am defo gonna check out the website. might also be a good way for me to get the 'little girl thing' out of my system - totally swamped by boys here. gorgous post and v special photo of you tenderly holding that precious bub!

  5. wow. thanks for sharing. :) was good of you to be a part of that.

  6. It is so inspiring to read your beautiful post, an amazing experience!

  7. Thank you for sharing your experience in Bangladesh. That sounds like quite a wonderful organization.

    I blogged about poverty today too, and I am really excited to see the ways that everyone is contributing.

  8. what a great post Katie! i think its wonderful that you are involved as a leader with the guides - im sure your girls are equally proud of you too!!
    to have visited Bangladesh at such a young age must have been awesome experience! we are blessed and so many people just take that for granted!