News from the Africa Scout Region
Scouting in Africa has traditionally been linked to schools. In most countries where primary school education is compulsory, Scouting has tended to thrive within the school system. This is even made easier because schools have a positive attitude towards Scouting, since they see it as a means of instilling discipline and sense of responsibility among the pupils.
However, Scouting in Africa has not penetrated beyond 1% among the young people, even though a large proportion of them have gone through basic primary education at one point.
These are some of fundamental questions that have necessitated the Africa Regional Office to facilitate a seminar of "Scouting in schools" to be held in Kenya between 17th and 21st February 2003.
Participants will comprise of Scout leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa. Government officials from the ministry of education in Kenya will also take part to provide and represent the necessary link between Scouting and the government.
The strategy that is being proposed, and which will be tabled for discussion is to strengthen and popularise Scouting in teacher training colleges and other institutions of higher learning. Students in such institutions are ideally in their Rover section in Scouting, and often move to become Adult leaders before they leave the institutions.
During their stay in these institutions, it is hoped that they can complete their rover section and subsequently undergo basic leader training. By the time they graduate and take up teaching jobs in schools, they will be fully equipped to adequately introduce and manage strong scout units in their respective schools.
It is hoped that Scout leaders from the invited countries will share their experiences about scouting in schools, and also take with them ideas from the seminar, to go and organise similar seminars in their countries.
In Kenya, the government has just declared at the beginning of this year, free and compulsory primary education. This has had an instant impact with most primary schools, especially those in low income areas, bursting with children who had otherwise been staying out of schools (some of them turned to street life) for lack of funds to pay for various school levies.
This overwhelming enrolment provides a great catchment for Scouting.
For all Scouts from Africa
20th World Scout Jamboree is over, but memories are here to stay!
Between 28th January 2002 and 7th December 2003, the 20th World Scout Jamboree in Thailand was home to over 60 Scouts from the Africa Scout Region. To most of them, it was an important experience in their life; it was the first time they were attending a World Jamboree, and it was also their first time to travel out of their home countries. It was therefore such a great way to usher in the New Year 2003.
True to the Jamboree theme; "Share our World, Share our Culture", Scouts from all walks of life met, made friends, exchanged experiences and cultural values and had fun in the backdrop of the rich Thai culture which all the Scouts had the opportunity to share. Through such activities as Gastronomic Delight and Cultural Nights, they were able to have a taste of different dishes, listen to a variety of traditional music and dances as well as see a variety of traditional costumes from around the world.
Scouts found fun in the variety of scheduled activities such as; Crossroads of Cultures, Face the Waves, Our Heritage, Exploring Nature, City of Science, Community Action Day and Tournaments. During their free time at their campsites, Scouts further enjoyed their own choice of activities. "It was fun through and through," reports Lucia from the Africa Scout office who took part in the Jamboree!
Water activities were the most popular for the free time and with good reason the temperatures were well above 30°C everyone could give anything to be at the beach!
Another prominent feature of the Jamboree was exchanging Scout items like badges,
scarves, and woggles popularly referred to as "swapping". This trading
reached fever pitch towards the close of the Jamboree that even
scout uniforms were being exchanged.
The Jamboree is over but the Scouts will retain fond memories and experiences
gained during the one week event. Scouts from Africa came back home excited,
richer in ideas and experiences than they had left and most of
all, they had made new friends and they had fun.
The Africa Regional Office would like to express appreciation to all those
who made it possible for the Scouts from Africa to travel to the Jamboree through
sponsorship, in the true spirit of brotherhood, and in the same breath, thank
the organisers of the Jamboree, and the hosts, and all those whose contribution
in one way or the other, made the 20th World Scout Jamboree such a precious
experience and memory for our Scouts from Africa
and all Scouts of the world who were in Thailand.
As Scouts all over the world prepare to mark the Founders day on the 22nd of February, the idespatch team based at the World Scout Bureau, Africa Regional Office in Nairobi takes this opportunity to send our warm greetings from Kenya during this build up period.
Most Scout groups organise activities throughout the week that will culminate with celebrations on 22nd February, 2002. Here in Kenya, Founder's day celebrations will climax with a huge parade and rally at Baden-Powell's graveside and Memorial Park in Nyeri where thousands of Scouts and friends of Scouts will be expected to attend.
National Scout Associations in Africa are now preparing for the celebration of the Africa Scout Day, on the 13th of March.
Every year since 1998, the Africa Scout Region marks the Africa Scouts Day on the 13th of March. This is a result of the OAU Heads of States Summit held in Addis Ababa in 1995, which voted in favour of an Africa Scout Day, as a recognition of the important role Scouting plays in developing the youth of Africa. On this day, Scouts in member countries organise special activities to sensitise the general public on the importance of Scouting to the growth and development of young people and to the society as a whole.