International president visits Cayman brigadiers

The Cayman Girls Brigade played host to international President Ruth Chikasa on her tour of the Caribbean and Americas Fellowship last week. 

During her visit to Cayman, Mrs. Chikasa toured the island, met with girls, chaplains and captains in a luncheon and visited the office of Health Minister Mark Scotland and Brigade Patron Marie-Beatrice Taylor, wife of Governor Duncan Taylor, before enjoying a fellowship meal at the Elsmlie Memorial Church hall. 

At the hall on Wednesday, Cayman girls got the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Chikasa, who shared with the group many highlights from her home country of Zambia and listened as brigadiers spoke about Cayman’s culture. 

Encouraging the girls to remain in Girls Brigade because their journey would be a smooth one through meeting Jesus Christ, she thanked parents for bringing the girls to the Brigade. 

“It is good to have your support, Girls Brigade is a place of safety and a lot of lessons can be learnt. In Africa, girls have to compete with boys for everything and girls are at a disadvantage, but when you come to Girls Brigade, you can be stars for Jesus,” she said. 

“How does it feel to be an international president?” asked one brigadier.  

“It is not so overwhelming. I am a team leader in my company and it is not that difficult. To me, it is a privilege to be in the position to share what the organisation is about. The core essence of the Girls Brigade is the same everywhere; a platform to talk about Jesus. I hope one day you will be one,” she said. 

Asked if the clothes she was wearing were typical of African dress, Mrs. Chikasa smiled and said yes. “It’s what I would wear when attending a function. My country has a lot of traditions. In Africa, we celebrate everything, we love parties and sometimes a church function can last from one to four hours,” she said. “It is a landlocked place and we don’t get to see the sea, not like how it is here, that is why it is something cool for me to be here enjoying your beautiful island.” 

Mrs. Chikasa went on to share with the group that Zambia was a huge place. “We have over 11 million people with many languages; the traditional food is maize meal or corn meal, which is eaten with a verity of meat sauces. There are 9,000 girls within 78 companies of the Girls Brigade in my country,” she said.  

One brigadier took the opportunity to ask her how many languages she spoke to which she replied five out of the seven. 

“We are basically the same, although we live in separate countries,” she said. “Through the Girls Brigade, we get to meet a lot of different people. There are challenges but you meet people who help you through loving the Lord.”
Mrs. Chikasa said she learned a lot of lessons within the Girls Brigade, which had directed her path. “Take the lessons you are learning. They may seem tedious at times but one day they will bear fruit, stay in Brigade and get to know Jesus,” she urged. 

During the day of fun and fellowship, Mrs. Chikasa also got the opportunity to see and arts and craft display, traditional songs and local foods.  

Mrs. Chikasa was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 and is the first to serve two terms as international president of Girls’ Brigade.  

The Girls Brigade is a uniformed Christian youth organisation for girls. It seeks to help girls to become followers of the Jesus and through self-control, reverence and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life. In November 2011, the Girls Brigade in the Cayman Islands celebrated 65 years of work and outreach in the Cayman Islands.  

The organisation was started in all five districts of the Cayman Islands in November 1946 by Olive Miller and she continues to be involved in the life of the Girls Brigade at the age of 90. She is presently the president of the Cayman Islands Girls Brigade and Iva Good is the vice president. 

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Girls Brigadiers present International President Ruth Chikasa with a gift.

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Virgina Rankine idenifies people in a photograph for Girls Brigade International President Ruth Chikasa. – Photo: Jewel Levy