Ticket To Life – taking Scouting to children living and working on the streets
Continuing on our Rio+20 focus, we present another inspiring story of success from World Scouting. In December 2006 the Asia Pacific Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement launched Ticket To Life – APR. The Initiative, modeled on a similar programme by National Scout Organizations in Africa, has been designed to address the needs of street children by enabling them to join Scouting. It began as a three-day workshop in Manila intended to train Scout leaders in the eight countries participating in Ticket To Life: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Philippines. Following the workshop, the leaders returned home and established Scout Groups for children living and working on the streets in their respective countries. The Project has now been working to help socially integrate these children and youth and offer education and skills training so that the newly recruited Scouts are able to live independently in future.
This outstanding programme has been a true success in the Asia-Pacific too, encompassing over 1,100 Scouts, in 34 Groups, in eight countries! At least 25% of the Scouts in the programme have advanced to the next level of Scouting and at least 60% have received valuable vocational training. World Scouting’s flagship initiative Messengers of Peace has been helping in the expansion of Ticket To Life.
Ticket To Life provides youth with beneficial skills such as first aid and lessons on health and hygiene. Most importantly, the Project engages the new Scouts in activities that help build self-confidence and develop attributes necessary to succeed, such as, discipline and acceptance of others. Mr. Morante, the Unit Leader in Leyte province in southern Philippines was astonished by the discipline of the Scouts during an investiture ceremony. He could not believe they had come so far only three months after joining the Group. Furthermore, one Scout recounted that despite his past mistakes, his Group has continuously welcomed him back with open arms. Almost all of the Scouts have checkered backgrounds, and being part of the Group has allowed them to learn how to accept and support everyone, no matter what mistakes they have made in the past. And this tolerance and acceptance does not end with the Scouts; Scout leaders and other Scouts have also developed a renewed sense of understanding about underprivileged youth.
The actions of Scouts working to better their communities illustrate just how much of an effect participating in the Ticket To Life Project has been. In India, Scouts from Ticket To Life participated in a health awareness campaign by promoting hand washing, drinking safe water, and teaching about the dangers of mosquito bites. In the Philippines, Ticket To Life Scouts joined Clean Up the World Weekend and worked to clean the coastline of Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area. Scouts participating in Ticket To Life have taken on the values of Scouting and are continuously working to create a better world. Having the opportunity to give back to their communities has given the Ticket To Life Scouts a new level of self-esteem many had never thought was possible.
Since its inception, Ticket To Life has held annual workshops with the leaders in each participating country to go over what has been accomplished, what worked best, and to develop a plan to ensure the success of the Project in the coming year. In 2010, Ticket To Life expanded its program to help youth who have been in trouble with the law and who are currently under the care of the social welfare department. Due to the overwhelming success of Ticket To Life, in January 2012 the Asia Pacific Region launched the next phase with the support of the Messengers of Peace Initiative. The leaders of Ticket To Life are now working to ensure the Project does not lose its momentum, ensuring street children will continue to receive every opportunity possible. Additionally, the Project’s new objective is to expand its programmes into other nations in the Asia-Pacific Region. Not only are there still thousands of street children in the countries where Ticket To Life already operates, but there are also thousands of street children in other countries in the Region such as Cambodia. Over a six-month period, the Ticket To Life Project intends to benefit 1,500 more Scouts and help them acquire the necessary skills and personal developments to spread peace in throughout communities.
Read more about Ticket To Life: "I am a Messenger of Peace - A story by Oliver Lim"
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