Scouting in Africa - An Overview
Today there is Scouting in almost every country of the world, including 37 African countries. The Movement is almost 100 years old, and still growing.
Scouting is a specific system of non-formal education for the development of young people and the improvement of their communities.
Scouting has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in adressing challenges facing young peopl in developing countries. Scouting adapts to local needs: Scouting in the United States looks quite different than it does in Kenya, Senegal, or Russia, for example - but Scouts everywhere share the same Educational Methods and fundamental principles.
The educational method of Scouting was born and tested in Africa. Its values and principles are well respected by African societies and cultures.
Scouting is not recreation, uniforms or prescribed activities. Scouting is personal development, leadership skills, and helping others in meaningful ways. Scouting is an investment in the future.
Some special characteristics of Scouting
- Scouting succeeds because of the dedication of volunteers. Resources are needed in Africa to help make this volunteer dedication effective and productive.
- Scouting offers an infrastructure, without a bureaucracy.
- Scouting has a grassroot network of youth and adults which in many countries does not exist outside the school system.
- Scouts help each other. For many years, there have been excellent projects of cooperation between Scouts in Africa and Scouts in other continents. Schools have been built, health care provided, adult resources granted, and countless friendships across borders have been formed.
- Scouting is a force for peace through the values it instills, the education it provides, and the cross-cultural bridges it builds locally, nationally, and internationally.
Scouts in Africa are proud of their work in fields such as job skills training, child health care, integration of the disabled, small enterprise development, literacy, agricultural productivity, land-mine education, polio, leprosy, Oral Rehydration Therapy, rehabilitation of street children, HIV/AIDS awareness education and many more success stories.
Scouting, (the activities), how it is done (the method) and the reason why it is done (the purpose)
The objective of the 10 Year development plan is to ensure that by the year 2011, all National Scout Organisations /Associations will have:
Proper management of a Scout organisation is critical for the success of Scouting every where. This need is particularly urgent in Africa where resources are meager and competition for them is high.
To equip leaders with the necessary skills to mobilise necessary resources to support the growth and development of Scouting in Africa. Scouting in Africa suffers greatly from inadequate resources both material and human. Whilst this is partly as a result of the general situation in Africa, it is also partly due to inability of national Scout organizations to identify, interest and attract necessary resources to finance the expansion of the Movement.