Did you know that Sunday is World Thinking Day? Girl Scouts throughout the world created this day to participate in activities and projects that center around an annual theme. This year’s theme of “creating peace through partnerships” is inspired by the United Nations’ Goal to develop global partnerships for development.
This goal is about all countries, rich and poor, working with one another to create a global partnership that will benefit us all. In order for poorer countries to succeed, more prosperous countries must provide more effective aid, sustainable debt relief, and fair trade rules.
World Thinking Day not only gives the Girls a chance to celebrate international friendships, it is also a reminder that Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a global community—one of nearly 150 countries—with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
We can take a page from the Girl Scouts’ book, both as an individual and as a community, to take time to think about how we all come together as global partners and support each other. In our BNI community, I’m thinking about how we can reach out to persons with disabilities in under-developed countries to help improve their lives.
We don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel in order to support this goal. There are several wonderful international programs that already exist. Two such ones that come to mind are Best Buddies and Special Olympics.
Best Buddies is a global volunteer movement that helps foster one-to-one friendships and integrated employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Volunteers annually contribute their time and services, a total that values $168 million USD!
The Special Olympics, founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968, provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Over 4.4 million athletes from 170 different countries have enjoyed participating in one of 32 sports competitions since its inception.
Our students are participants in the Best Buddies program and greatly enjoy it. Ryan’s been a Best Buddy for the last two years and has networked with typical peers from across the country as a result. It’s a very enriching and rewarding program, and best of all… it’s free!
What other ways or programs can you think of to achieve the World Thinking Day Goal?