Japanese Girl Scouts meet Aung San Suu Kyi
30 January 2012
A delegation of Girl Scouts from Osaka, Japan, has met with activist Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar government officials to discuss how to help Myanmar’s girls and women.
The Girl Scouts asked Ms Suu Kyi’s advice on how best to support girls and women in Myanmar. She answered: “It is very important to increase the education level. Literate children can share their knowledge, which makes children progress to the next stage.” She also advised the Girl Scouts to give “heartfelt smiles” to children in developing countries.
Kuniko Tatamitani, chairperson of Girl Scouts of Japan’s Osaka Council, also met with U Htay Oo, secretary general of the Myanmar government’s Union Solidarity and Development Party. They discussed how to improve welfare and education in Myanmar through cooperation.
Ms Suu Kyi's wish for Girl Guiding
Ms Suu Kyi has a personal connection to Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting as her mother was once a chief commissioner of the Union of Burma Girl Guides Association before it disbanded in the 1960s. At her meeting with the Japanese Girl Scouts, Ms Suu Kyi expressed a wish for Girl Guiding to return to Myanmar.
Girl Scouts of Japan young leader Kaori Kojima said she was impressed with Ms Suu Kyi’s courage. Kaori said: “Now I know if we start with big dreams and do our best, it gives greater change to open a lot of doors for us.”
Girl Scouts of Japan has now sent Peace Messengers to Myanmar five times since 2008. The Peace Messenger project won the Olave Award at last year’s WAGGGS World Conference. This visit allowed Girl Scouts of Japan to deepen its existing connections with girls and women in Myanmar.
World Thinking Day: Focus on Japan
Japan is a focus country for World Thinking Day 2012.
World Thinking Day is a day when Girl Guides and Girl Scouts think of each other and give thanks and appreciation for the international friendship they find in our Movement.
Find out more about Girl Scouts of Japan and World Thinking Day on the World Thinking Day website.