Africa Scout Committee Holds First Virtual Meeting
On Saturday, 11 April 2020, the Africa Scout Committee held its first virtual meeting since the COVID-19 lockdown began across Africa to discuss and strategize the regional events considering the implications of the pandemic and how Scouting can still remain relevant for young people across the region. Present at the meeting were members of the Senior Management Team at the World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre (WSB Africa).
Together the meeting explored different scenarios on the impact the current situation poses for Scouting in Africa, major planned activities and ways of supporting African National Scout Organizations (NSOs) during these challenging times. Some fruitful decisions were made on the future of most planned regional and zonal events with further information to be sent out soon.
Considering the growing need to keep supporting the NSOs and to explore innovative ways to carry out both the Yearly Operational Plan of the WSB Africa and work towards the achievement of the triennial objectives, the committee reviewed and endorsed proposals on how WSB Africa intends to support NSOs during the health pandemic.
As a way of responding to some of the suggestions, and following the successful execution of the special JOTI, the following virtual meetings have been lined up in the month of April
- Tide Turners Challenge Project Training on 15th April 2020 from 1500 hours (GMT+3) for selected NSOs focal points.
- Scout Donation Platform Training on 16th April 2020 from 1000 hours (GMT+3) for selected participants from respective NSOs.
- Special Training for Members of the MoP Regional Decision Committee on World Scouting’s Grant Management Software "FLUXX" on 18th April 2020 at 1200 hours (GMT+3).
- Communications and Brand Protection Workshop on 22nd April 2020 from 1600 hours (GMT+3) for NSO focal points who are members of the Communications Network and other key communications volunteers in the region
- Disaster Preparedness and Humanitarian Action Toolkit Presentation on 29th April 2020 from 1600 hours (GMT+3) for leaders of selected NSOs.
Similar events will be organized in the future based on the different needs and priorities.
Other key measures discussed included the launch of World Scouting’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund and the need to encourage NSOs to utilize this fund for safe-to-do community level interventions. The Chair of the Africa Scout Foundation, Prof. Maggie Kigozi who was also present also announced the launch of the Africa Scout Foundation Youth Fund to help Scouts with implementation of COVID-19 response initiatives. An announcement on the same will be sent out to NSOs in due course.
Appointments into the Regional Workstreams were confirmed after receipt of endorsements from all concerned NSOs. This will help increase the much-needed strategic manpower to support NSOs during this period.
The committee also urges African NSOs to cast their ballots on the ongoing referendum by the World Scout Committee that seeks to consider postponement of the 42nd World Scout Conference and 14th World Scout Youth Forum from August 2020 to a similar period in next year but no later than 31st August 2021.
Furthermore, the meeting reiterated the need for all Scouts and volunteers to keep safe during this pandemic period and continue to observe the health protocols announced by World Health Organisation and respective government authorities.
“COVID-19 is indeed a huge challenge to face humanity in the recent past. With concerted efforts to mitigate on its negative impact at all levels, it is also a test that requires all of us to bring out the Scouting in us. The values, our resilience, creativity and innovation become relevant and direly needed more than ever before. Working together, we shall make a contribution to addressing this challenge,” said Victor Atipaga, Chair of the Africa Scout Committee.
Progressively, the committee will meet every three weeks (or as necessary) to review among other items; the situation of Scouting in the region, the work of regional workstreams as launced in the regional operational framework, ongoing support to African NSOs, the health situation and provide any guidance to NSOs as and when necessary.