Scouting programme for children in conflict with the law
Marikina City Council in the Philippines launched a campaign to support children who have been in conflict with the law and are currently under the social welfare department. The project, using the same title as the APR flagship project – Ticket to Life, will provide Scouting programme to these children as a means of giving them hope and confidence for a better life. With an initial enrollment of 30 children, Marikina City Chief of Police Romeo S. Magsalos has volunteered to head the project.
The launch was held on 16th October at the Marikina City Hall quadrangle under the patronage of the City Mayor Hon. Del R. De Guzman. The keynote speaker was the Senior Vice President of Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and Davao City Councilor Wendal A. Avisado who had earlier started the Ticket to Life for street children in Davao City, and he inspired Marikina City to do the same.
Regional Director Abdullah Rasheed expressed appreciation to the group of 50 volunteers who are financing the project. In addition, the Chief of Police said that he is hoping to see the police officers under his command to adopt the children as their foster children, and guide them to become useful citizens and protectors of law, and may consider becoming police officers. He also said, "I believe that Scouting could help harness the talent of these children". Indeed, the children did their share of displaying their talents at the ceremony.
Mayor De Guzman reiterated that he will support his colleagues in government and in Scouting to improve the living quarters of these children. He said, "these children were once delinquents. Now we are working together to pave a better road for their future". He encouraged more donors to come forward for support. He also advised the children to always keep the Scout promise and law.
This is the fourth project site in the Philippines under Ticket to Life and the first one to start by its own funds. Other troops which are running for about two years now directly under Ticket to Life are located in Manila, Davao city, Zamboanga city with over 160 children.