Pakistan strengthens youth participation in decision-making
Pakistan Boy Scouts Association (PBSA) creates the National Youth Council as a way of strengthening youth participation in decision-making.
“Scouting is a Movement of young people, supported by adults; it is not a Movement for young people managed by adults only. Thus, Scouting offers the potential for a learning community of young people and adults, working together in a partnership of enthusiasm and experience.” (Policy on the Involvement of Young Members in Decision-Making adopted by the World Scout Conference thru Resolution 2/93)
In 26 September 2017, in a historic decision of its highest policy-making body, the National Executive Committee has approved the creation of the National Youth Council.
According to the PBSA Headquarters, the National Youth Council is a body of the National Executive Committee directly under its general supervision. It is composed of 35 Scouts aged between 15 to 25 years old, who serve as representatives of their respective provincial Scout associations.
“The youth can be a creative force in decision-making in Scouting. They are a vibrant source of innovations, and they contribute towards making our programs more responsive and more attuned to the call of the times,” said Mr. Zahid Mahboob, Secretary General of the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association during the briefing of the members of the NYC.
The NYC was organised to provide a platform for the Scouts to explore their talents and potentials. More importantly, it serves as an avenue to directly involve young people in the decision-making processes. Its creation is premised on the idea that effective youth participation is always about creating continuous learning opportunities for young people to be involved in influencing, shaping, designing and contributing to policy and the development of services and programmes. This brings forth the potential for a learning community of young people and adults, working together in a partnership of enthusiasm and experience.
Less than six months after its creation, the PBSA Headquarters has convened the National Youth Council for its 1st Gathering on the 20th until the 22nd of February 2018. The gathering was attended by a total of 29 out its 35 members. Under the guidance of the senior leadership of the PBSA, the NYC drafted and eventually approved its rules of procedures to govern the conduct of its gathering and operations.
The PBSA is also looking at institutionalising youth councils in all its provincial branches, ensuring the inclusion of the young people in decision-making in all levels of organisational processes. They are catapulting on the ability of the young people to contribute to the achievement of its overall goals – focusing on enabling young Scouts and Scout Leaders to become active leaders in national, regional and global efforts to achieve sustainable human development as a long-term investment.
To run the affairs of the National Youth Council, the representatives elected its first set of officers for a period of two years. Shakir Ullah (KP BSA) was elected as its very first chairman. Raja Noman Waheed (AJK BSA) and M. Shiraz Ahmed (Punjab BSA) were elected as vice chairman and secretary respectively.
With reports from Mr. Zahid Mahboob and data provided by the National Headquarters of the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association in Islamabad, Pakistan