News from the Africa Scout Region
A special Edition
The contribution of Scouting to the development of the youth around the world is well known and documented, and so is the impact of Scouting to the community.
In Africa, Scouting has for many years been actively involved in the improvement of the quality of life in the continent through community service and development programmes.
One can easily cite many examples of the good work Scouting is doing in Africa; Adolescence Reproductive Health programmes, water, environmental and soil conservation, the early response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, conflict resolution and peace education in war torn countries, reaching out to the less fortunate youth, public health campaigns and poverty eradication.
The efforts of the Scouts are not in doubt, but these endeavours are often hampered by inadequate resources.
The Scout Universal Fund or U-Fund, was established in 1963 to provide a means for members of the Scout Movement to help Scouts in other countries in their development activities.
Contributions are received from Scout Associations, Scout groups, Scout Leaders and individuals within and outside the Movement. The funds have been used to support a wide range of development projects and to assist in times of disasters and emergencies.
The Africa Scout Regional Office identified the U-Fund as a suitable vehicle for mobilising resources in support of Scout projects in the areas of HIV/AIDS Education, Peace Education and Scouting for Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances (orphans, street children, displaced children and children with disabilities among others).
Scout groups are doing a lot at the grassroots level in finding solutions to the challenges that face them and their communities. For these, they require financial assistance to scale up their efforts.
A proposal was made by the Africa Scout Region to the U-Fund Monitoring Group in Geneva for the Africa Region to administer the U-Fund over a period of time and utilise the donations to strengthen Scout activities in these areas. The Group accepted this proposal in July 2002 and consequently, the U-Fund has been dedicated to the Africa Region for the next three years, starting January 2003.
The idea is to have donations, however modest, into the U-Fund pool which will then be distributed to Scout Groups who in their little ways are mitigating HIV/AIDS infection especially among the youth, spreading peace in war-torn countries and extending Scouting to disadvantaged children in their midst.
It is envisaged that the contributions to the U-Fund will greatly benefit the Scouts in their quest to make a change and improve lives in their communities through their home-grown small projects and initiatives. The society will inevitably benefit from these programmes and the quality of life will be improved for all.
A number of donations have been received from individual donors and Scout Associations over the last six months. The Africa Regional Office has consequently sent out a standard application form to its National Scouts Associations to apply for the funds for various projects some of which are ongoing.
For a start, due to the limited amount of funds, the U-Fund will only give support of up to US$ 1,000 per project. already, a project on community HIV/AIDS awareness and sensitisation initiated and carried out by a Scout group within the Kenya Scout Association (Gacharage Scout Troop) have been awarded a grant to boost their campaigns. More are under review for consideration.
Scouts in Africa are bringing real improvements to their respective communities.
Much more remains to be done.
Every contribution to the U-Fund counts, each one of them will make a difference: buying school uniforms for an AIDS orphan, taking a street child for vocational training, enabling a group of Scout Leaders to reach Internally Displaced Persons, to preach peace, ....no amount is too small to make a change.
Your donation to the U-Fund will help improve the lives of young people in Africa, and that of their communities.
The Africa Scout Regional Office wishes to express heartfelt appreciation to those who have generously donated to the U-Fund.
We are grateful to them for answering to the call Oto help Scouts to make a
difference in Africa. Their generous contribution will go a long way in supporting Scout projects in the Africa Region. These include:
We continue to call upon our Brother and Sister Scouts all over theworld to
assist Scouts in Africa in translating their hopes for a better societyinto