The Afghanistan Scout Association (ASA) rejoined the World Organization of the Scout Movement in January 2020, marking a the resurgence of Scouting in Afghanistan following a period of reconstruction and reunification that has been supported by local and regional leaders and government partners.
Over the past year, Afghan Scouts have been instrumental in peace building and youth development in their communities around the country. ASA has been working to reach more Afghan youth to join its membership and equip young people with the skills to contribute as active citizens towards building a stronger, more peaceful society.
In April, the Association held a training in Kabul for local Scout Leaders that gathered over 40 young people from across Afghanistan who were eager to be involved in Scouting and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With the support of World Scouting’s Asia-Pacific Support Centre, the training was offered as part of Scouting’s Messengers of Peace (MoP) initiative that the Movement has been implementing on a global scale for the past decade. The programme has involved millions of Scouts around the world in peace education, enabling them to lead solutions to local issues and build more resilient communities.
Among several trainings in 2020, ASA awarded the first Wood Badges to female Scout Leaders in the country in a continued effort to encourage more young women and young men to take part in Scouting and learn about the important values of service, dialogue and peace-building.
“Right now Scouting in Afghanistan is predominantly government school-based with a few other open units. There are 485 private schools in Kabul alone, and these schools could provide a great opportunity for us to extend Scouting,” said Madhusudan, a WOSM Consultant who has been supporting ASA in the design and implementation of their recent Scout Leader training. “The government is constructing 6,000 new schools by 2023, of which nearly half of them are currently ready. This is an area where the Scout Movement can support ASA to develop a growth plan to involve more Afghan youth in Scouting.”
Building on these efforts, Madhusudan has linked ASA with the acting Minister of Education in Kabul, who has offered to grant land for the Association to build its national and regional offices in the country.