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Forest Gate Girl Guide selected for Mongolia expedition

PUBLISHED: 13:17 25 February 2019

Girl Ranger Ophelia Scalzo is preparing for her trip to Mongolia after a lengthy selection process: “It’s going to be so different. I’m looking forward to the complete cultural change.” Picture: Christopher Scalzo.

Girl Ranger Ophelia Scalzo is preparing for her trip to Mongolia after a lengthy selection process: "It's going to be so different. I'm looking forward to the complete cultural change." Picture: Christopher Scalzo.

Christopher Scalzo

A 15-year-old Forest Gate native has been chosen for a Girl Guide expedition to Mongolia after an extended selection process.

In preperation, Ophelia is familiarising herself with Mongolian culture, including food and language. Picture: Ophelia Scalzo.In preperation, Ophelia is familiarising herself with Mongolian culture, including food and language. Picture: Ophelia Scalzo.

Ophelia Scalzo, 15, has been a member of 4th Wanstead Guides for four years and is going on the expedition after going to multiple events designed to work out the best team.

That team, a group of 10 girls from across London south east England, will carry out a community project for Mongolian children.

The majority of their efforts will be spent at the Child Smile Hope Centre in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

They will provide support and education to children through things like including English lessons to improve their wellbeing.

The Guides will also renovate classrooms to add to the spaces the children learn in.

While there, they will also experience Mongolian culture and study the country’s history, landscapes and people.

According to Tilly Grove, a spokeswoman for the Guides, a charity more than a century old, the trips are designed to aid the local communities.

At the same time, they are meant to develop each Guide’s leadership, teamwork and decision-making skills.

The team is currently familiarising themselves with the region and getting to know each other.

Ophelia was told she was going to Mongolia in 2018 and is now preparing for it. At the moment, she is learning how to cook Mongolian food.

Among here goals, she is hoping to grow more independent on the trip.

“It’s going to be so different. I’m looking forward to the complete cultural change,” she said.

“I think it’s great to have young people learning how to cook and clean and all those kinds of things, rather than watching TV.”

First joining the Guides to make new friends, Ophelia said of the charity: “There’s such diversity, you get people from all different areas, all different walks of life.”

She is currently being helped by girls who have previously been on one of these expeditions and when she returns, she will do the same.

Ophelia is raising £3,000 for the trip. Her fundraising page has already seen pledges totalling more than £1,000.

You can donate at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ophelia-goes-to-mongolia.

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