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Europe badges will broaden girls’ horizons!

Our members are set to broaden their horizons with the introduction of three Europe badges!

The new badges were launched by Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee TD at a special Europe Week event held in Iveagh House, the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on 7 May 2019.

The badges, which IGG developed in partnership with European Movement Ireland (EMI), will help girls gain an understanding of the European Union (EU) and how it affects the lives of Irish citizens.

In order to earn their badge, Ladybirds (aged 5-7) will learn to recognise the EU flag, learn greeting customs from three other EU countries, name some other EU countries and make rubbings of Euro coins.

Brownies (aged 7-10) will discover which countries are members of the EU, learn about the role of MEPs and, through a variety of activities, identify ways of respecting and including different cultures. They will discover who their local MEPs are and will write letters to them.

Guides (aged 10-14) will learn why the EU was formed in 1957, when Ireland joined (1973) and the advantages of being an EU member. They will make posters illustrating why Ireland is a member, will celebrate an international cultural festival (e.g. host a Eurovision-style talent competition) and invite a politician to come and talk to them about the EU.

Launching the badge, Minister Helen McEntee, said: “This is a fantastic initiative that I am delighted to launch today. The initiative developed by the Irish Girl Guides and European Movement Ireland is yet another way to promote, learn and understand the workings of the European Union.  It is vitally important to educate our young people about why the EU exists in a way that engages them and encourages them to want to learn more.”

IGG Chief Commissioner, Helen Concannon, said: “The Irish Girl Guides has always been a movement of young people, responding to the needs of our global society. In recent times, our news channels have been filled with talk of Europe, the EU and potential leavers. As a responsive organisation, it made sense for us to enter a partnership with another non-governmental organisation to enhance the girls’ understanding of the relationship between Ireland and Europe.”

Jillian van Turnhout, Vice Chair of European Movement Ireland and former Chief Commissioner of Irish Girl Guides, said: “The Irish Girl Guides empowers girls and young women to be leaders. The introduction of a Europe Badge will give members an opportunity to develop their knowledge of the European Union equipping them to engage and shape the European project.”

Noelle O’Connell, Executive Director of European Movement Ireland, said: “As an organisation founded to develop the connection between Ireland and Europe, EM Ireland is delighted to be partnering with the Irish Girl Guides on this exciting and timely new project at a crucial time in Ireland’s EU relationship.”

Thank you to the 10 IGG members from Banagher who travelled all the way from Offaly to take part in the launch photo shoot! They were chosen in recognition of the super Fun Run they organised for their local community at Easter.

You can read the full press release for the launch here.