Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 12 Countries Partner to Protect the Planet
More than 6,000 Girls and Alcoa Volunteers Collaborate on Environmental Action Projects
NEW YORK, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Girl Scouts of the USA today announced that Alcoa Foundation is sponsoring nearly 700 Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 12 countries within the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) to "twin" together on local and global environmental "Take Action" projects. All of the projects will engage at least 400 additional youth, and more than 200 Alcoa (NYSE: AA) employees across more than six countries have already served as volunteers. The girls are partnering to reduce waste, conserve energy, and plant rain gardens as part of the Together Greening program.
In an initiative that embodies the environmental mantra "Think Global, Act Local," throughout July and August, more than half of the 20 groups will travel to meet their "twins" and see firsthand the environmental and societal challenges faced by their "twin" group.
"Traveling to other countries and working side by side with peers from different backgrounds provides many meaningful opportunities for young women to become active environmental ambassadors and, more broadly, learn about new cultures and gain valuable leadership skills. We're proud to partner with GSUSA and WAGGGS on this program and excited to see the impacts that the girls are already realizing in communities around the world," said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation.
The 12 countries with girls participating in the Together Greening project include: Australia, Brazil, China, Guinea, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Suriname, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The "twinning" activities include:
- Girls from Iceland traveling to Ohio to reduce the use of plastic bags and limit the amount of plastic debris in our waterways.
- Girls from South Carolina and Australia meeting at WAGGGS World Centre, Our Cabana, in Mexico, to join a recycling flash mob.
- Girl Scouts from New York traveling to England to teach younger girls about the merits of composting and recycling.
- Girls from Washington, D.C., going to China to build a rain garden and an organic vegetable garden.
- Girl Guides from Suriname visiting Arizona to learn about creating legislation to reduce plastic waste.
- Girls from Mexico meeting their twins in Tucson, Arizona to plant trees and vertical gardens.
"After a year of working together remotely and planning and sharing ideas online and on the phone, the girls will have the chance to meet face to face. By visiting their teammates abroad, the girls will see the positive environmental changes that their overseas partners have made over the year, and they will get to leave their mark by taking part in local environmental activities," said Harriet Thew, Project Manager; WAGGGS.
The environmental impacts to date include:
- 64 million lbs. of waste eliminated
- 250,000 kWh of energy saved
- 400 million lbs. of Co2 saved
"Environmental stewardship has been a key part of Girl Scouting since its inception and our partnership with Alcoa is an example of how today's girls work to protect the planet," said Anna Maria Chavez, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA. "By collaborating on these environmental action projects, our girls are making a lasting impact on the planet."
Find out more about Together Greening at http://togethergreening.tumblr.com.
About Together Greening
The Together Greening program is funded by a US$1.5 million Alcoa Foundation grant, which will support GSUSA's 100th anniversary program, Girl Scouts Forever Green, and WAGGGS' global "Girls can save our planet" initiative. It is estimated that more than 25,000 people worldwide will be involved in the program, including more than 600 Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, 7,500 of their friends, and 24,000 members of the communities in which they live.
The Girl Scouts Forever Green 100th-anniversary Take Action project was created when Girl Scout research found that an overwhelming number of girls said protecting the environment is a priority. This was proven during the project's pilot years, when the national effort saved more than 1.8 million kWh of energy, eliminated more than 2.8 million pounds of CO2, eliminated more than 700,000 pounds of waste, and saved nearly 200,000 gallons of water.
Globally, environmental issues and sustainability have consistently been identified by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts as one of the most important issues girls want to make a difference on. In a recent WAGGGS survey conducted in over 100 countries, 95 per cent of respondents worry about the environment, and more than a third worry about it ALL the time. Three quarters of respondents thought children and young people were the group that should most decide what happens to our environment, more so than teachers, politicians, and scientists.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$21 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company's signature Month of Service program, in 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,050 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 450,000 people and 2,050 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.
About Girl Scouts of the USA
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U or visit www.girlscouts.org.
About World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
With ten million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 145 countries across the world, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is the largest voluntary movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world. The World Association supports girls and young women to develop their full potential as responsible citizens of the world. WAGGGGS focuses on leadership development and active citizenship. These are delivered through our innovative global education and community action and advocacy programs. For more information about WAGGGS, visit www.wagggs.org.
SOURCE Girl Scouts of the USA