Why I Guide? Belonging.
Rana Sadeghi Chegani
Three years as a Guider in Coquitlam
“This is my first time involved with Girl Guides. Actually, we don’t have Girl Guides in Iran. So when I came here, I heard about it from Neha, my friend who’s involved in Guiding. She told me about it within my first couple of months of meeting her. I was so excited―I was like, ‘What’s this? What are you doing? It sounds so cool!’ I came to Canada 2015. 2016, before starting the year, she asked me, ‘Do you want to join Girl Guides?’ And I immediately said, ‘YES, I’m coming!’ She didn’t need to convince me. I was coming. I always say to my friends who’ve just come here from other countries to get involved in the community. For me, coming from another country, involvement in Girl Guides gave me the sense that I’m a part of this new place. I’m not an outsider. I’m not a foreigner. I’m a part of this community. I’m helping. There are other people helping me. I know other people outside my circle of people from my own country or people from my own school. Like, I’m out in the world. I’m not stuck in a bubble. It connects me to my new place. You might find this funny, but Girl Guides has forced me to get familiar with the childhood of people who grew up here which makes me feel more connected with people around me. And when I talk about my own volunteering experience, especially with other girls from other countries, I reflect on how we were not really encouraged in school to be independent and strong women out in the world. If you feel that absence, you can be part of the solution. Girl Guides can help you feel powerful and help young girls feel powerful. You can pass it forward. The positive energy you get back is worth the time you put into it. And if you don’t think you have time for it, just start volunteering part time. If you enjoy it, the time just opens up. Don’t hesitate!”