News from the Africa Scout Region
Jonas Obby Samalesu, a Cub Scout leader in Zambia's Mufulira Scout District recently saved 47 lives in an underground cave disaster, when the roof came crumbling down on the miners at Mopani Copper Mine, Mufulira Division in Zambia. Jonas, a Cub Commissioner who is also the District Scout Public Relations Commissioner, is an employee of the Copper Mine as an Underground First Aider.
Jonas was in the ill-fated cage when the disaster struck. According to Roby Zulu, Zambia Scout Association's Field Development Officer, Jonas heard a loud bang and suspected danger. He quickly stepped out of the cage and immediately started administering first aid to those who were unconscious. He then organised for an underground vehicle that took the victims to the surface from where they were rushed for medical treatment.
Six lives were lost in the tragedy. According to Jonas, "it needed courage, self-sacrifice and going beyond one's professional duty." He has been commended highly by Zambia's Chief Commissioner Mr. Raymond Jhala for his act of courage.
Call for registration
The League of Scouts of Mozambique (LEMO) is hosting the 5th Africa Jamboree at their national training camp in Catembe Island, off Maputo, the capital city between December 27th 2005 and January 7th 2006. Scouts between the ages of 12 and 19 are eligible to participate. As time is running out, and the hosts are in the middle of their preparations, those intending to take part are invited to submit their registration forms to facilitate their planning.
Details about the Jamboree can be found at:
The Africa Regional office will work with the hosts in preparing and coordinating the delivery of the program at the Jamboree, while the hosts are taking the part of logistics on the ground.
The Africa Regional office will launch a campaign to mobilise resources in support of a concerted and sustained effort to train scout leaders over a three-year period. According to the Regional Director, Kinuthia Murugu, " an analysis of our NSAs shows that a good number have no Leader Trainers, no Assistant Leader Trainers and in several cases, no wood badge holders. Such countries have no hope, on their own, of developing a well-trained leadership cadre. There are other countries that have a number of Leader Trainers and where the challenge is the mobilisation of resources required to organise the training."
In the fundraising drive, the Africa Regional Office will be approaching NSAs from Europe, Asia and America to support in various ways. One option is to select an NSA in Africa and offer financial support, and the Regional Office will identify trainers to carry out the training. Another option is for an NSA to provide support to organise the training and at the same time, send their trainers to that NSA to carry out the training. There is a third option, where an NSA gives a general fund to the Regional Office to use towards the training courses in deserving NSAs. In all situations, the Regional Office has developed the training materials for use in these trainings, to ensure that localisation is assured and standards maintained.
The call for support to train Scout Leaders in Africa will be launched during the forthcoming World Scout Conference in Tunisia.
The scout associations of South Africa, Mauritius, Burundi, The Gambia, Ethiopia and Niger are enjoying strengthened community involvement through the ongoing youth leadership development project.
Through this project, participating associations have engaged on a series of training of leaders at different levels of the association. The trained leaders, equipped with new management and leadership skills are showing increased levels of enthusiasm in carrying out their duties. One such area that is gaining positively is community involvement.
In Niger, training of peer educators has resulted in more capacity by the young people to carry out their HIV/Aids awareness project in the community. The young scouts hold sensitisation campaigns in the community on HIV/Aids as well as other health issues. According to the National Executive Commissioner, Mohamed Lawan, the training has helped to increase the number of peer educators to carry out the programme.
In Burundi, a selected number of Scout leaders are being trained to handle the special needs of children in difficult circumstances such as street children. Through this training, the association plans to expand its reaching out programme beyond the capital city of Bujumbura to the rural areas, due to the advantage of increased number of trained leaders who will carry out the programme.
The Mauritius scout association used to have a music band for the scouts, which helped those talented in music to pursue that line both as a hobby and also as a career. Through the programme, scouts learnt music courses and were even encouraged to take examinations with bodies such as the UK based Royal School of Music. There are many young people around Mauritius who made a career out of the Scout Band. The programme stopped due to lack of resources to run music courses and to replace instruments. Through the Jacobs Leadership project, the project has been revived. Introductory courses in music are currently being offered at the Scout Association headquarters. Many young people have shown interest and have joined in the new band, while those who trained in the band before it stopped, have come forth to help with the training.
In the Gambia, the association is stepping up its road safety campaign. Through this project, scouts take care of certain roads, maintaining them, and as a result, they get permission from the city authorities to post billboards with HIV/Aids awareness messages.
In Ethiopia, the project is helping the association raise the profile of Scouting, through scaling up its project of planting indigenous trees around the country. The association spearheads the project, and also encourages the community, through education, on the need to plant indigenous trees.