While many people and organizations recognize and celebrated International Women’s Day Thursday, there are women in Williams Lake who quietly but consistently volunteer to make a positive difference in the lives of girls in Williams Lake every day.
“The more you mentor and encourage the girls to be happy with themselves and have self-worth, the better. We are always encouraging them to be the best they can be,” said Sandi Jesse, a girl guide leader with the 3rd Williams Lake Girl Guides.
Teaching girls outdoor skills, connecting them with other like-minded girls around the world and even simple things like changing the lyrics to the song She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain when she Comes, to sing “Can a woman be a doctor? Yes she can, yes she can” are some of the ways Jesse and the girl guides program works empowering girls to be their best selves.
“That gets them thinking it’s not just a man’s world out there,” said Jesse of the song. “We have girl power.”
The organization also gives girls the chance to go to summer camps which they may not otherwise experience.
“A lot of girls just don’t get out. They are at home on their devices,” she said. “We are really trying to get them out into their environment and connect them with other girls.”
Jesse said she does see girls struggle with their self worth — even trying to diet in Grade 5 — but she believes investing volunteer time with girls as part of the Girl Guides of Canada program makes a difference.
“The whole purpose is to make women and girls feel good about who they are. Girl guides give them confidence, it builds them up and gives them skills to be proud of,” Jesse said.
“We are all about the girls.”