Sarah Omar and Satvika Ananth have been best friends and fellow Girl Scouts since elementary school. When it came time to choose their Girl Scout Gold Award project they knew they wanted to focus on their heritage and culture. Sarah is part Pakistani and Satvika is Indian. Their Girl Scout Gold Award project focused on the Kashmir region and three key objectives. First, they sent more than 1,000 solar-powered flashlights to the people of the Kashmir region. Second they created awareness among their friends, neighbors and their larger community about the difficulties that Kashmiris face today. And, last, through a letter-writing campaign, they began communications between youth in Texas and Girl Guides in Kashmir, India, and Pakistan, to create a bridge of understanding.
This project was wrought with challenges but in the end the girls exceeded their goals and accomplished a unique culture of understanding across the globe.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout may earn. It’s quite an achievement – representing approximately 80-hours or more individual leadership effort to execute a community service project that makes a sustainable and measurable impact and serves to educate and inspire others. For many, the leadership skills, organizational skills, and sense of community and commitment that come from "going for the Gold" set the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship.
The Girl Scout Gold Award project is something that fulfills a need within a girl's community, whether local or global, and creates change. The project encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. 94 girls received their Girl Scout Gold Award in 2009.