The Girls' Friendly Society was founded in London in 1875 by an Irishwoman, Mary Elizabeth Townsend, to provide support and skills training for girls who came from the country to work in the city. It was the first organization for girls and women in the Church of England and was a society for friendship and recreation in which all girls might share, bound together in a fellowship of Christian love and service.
The movement spread rapidly all over England and then to other countries as well, influencing and enriching the lives of girls and women all over the world . Since then, the Society has broadened its scope and serves the needs of women in various ways in this changing world.
GFS currently exists in many countries throughout the World. Every three years, delegates from these nations join together for collaboration and discussion at a World Council meeting in a selected country.
The World Council 2011 will be held in Dublin, Ireland.
GFS World President (2008 - 2011) - Emila Corrigan
GFS Member Countries
Australia, Barbados, Cameroon, England, Gambia, Ghana, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Lesotho, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, South Africa, United States, Wales, Zambia.