(Translated by the World Scout Bureau from "La Croix" newspaper, published in Paris 4 December 2003. Original article in French, in pdf format)
Gathering: "Learning to live together": 1st World Scout Inter-religious Symposium held in Valencia
Scouts want to help transcend religious conflicts
VALENCIA From our special correspondent
The 4th General Assembly of the World Scout Parliamentary Union (WSPU) met in Cairo, Egypt in December. It was attended by 113 participants from 44 countries. A summary report of the event will be available soon.
The "Big 7" youth organizations, with the help of UNICEF, met in Geneva for four days at the end of November to discuss the participation of young people in decision-making.
Globally: The traditional Jamboree on the Air - using amateur radio frequencies - and the newer Jamboree on the Internet are becoming more and more the same. This year, for the first time, some Scouts' radio messages travelled part way via the Internet before returning to the airwaves. And, a new JOTI feature was the ability to talk on the Internet.
"I am now devoting my life to fight AIDS in Africa, especially with young people," declared Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa, when he accepted an award for humanity from the British Red Cross, presented by Jacques Moreillon.
July, 2003 - For 20 years Scouting and the Leprosy Relief Organization (AHM) have worked together to fight leprosy. Scout organizations in at least 18 countries work actively in this field, often in partnership with the World Health Organization. A 16-page booklet published by the Ranga Rao Leprosy Trust explains Scouting's success in this field.
July, 2003 - "Children in Difficult Circumstances" was the subject of a seminar conducted in Nairobi, Kenya by the Africa Scout Region in early June. Twenty-one participants came from Scout organizations in six countries in Eastern Africa. World Scout Bureau executive Dominique Benard helped run the seminar, along with two experts from World Scouting's Ticket to Life Network, created to support the work with children in difficult circumstances.
From 4 to 6 July 2003, a meeting took place at the WSB bringing together 8 leaders of the Guild of Former Afghan Scouts in Germany (including their leader Dr. Said Habib, whom the Afghan authorities have entrusted with mobilising support abroad for the rebirth of Scouting in Afghanistan).
Reprinted from <iDispatch>
News from the Africa Scout Region July 2003 Issue 27
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.