Scouts pledge to contribute to the SDGs, implement environmental protection
Scouts and Scout Leaders from Navotas City Council of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines bring the message of peace to the next level. This time, Messengers of Peace in this part of the country are taking on a greater challenge - environmental protection.
Through the Program Enabling Active Citizenship and Environmental through Scouting (P.E.A.C.E. through Scouting) project, Scouts are encouraged to be actively involved in waste reduction by way of recycling papers, cartons, and PET bottles, among others. In exchange, participating Scouts earn points that they can exchange for vouchers to defray expenses for their Scout membership fees, Scout uniforms, camping and other activity fees, as well as other school supplies and materials.
Given these mechanics, it provides opportunity for young people who have not joined the Scout Movement because of financial challenges, to be part of the Scout Movement simply by earning points through their recyclable materials. This strategy will pave the way for membership growth in Navotas City, north of the Philippine capital Manila, by targeting young people of Scouting age who come from low-income families.
In Tanza Elementary School, PEACE through Scouting is implemented with the support of all stakeholders - the school administration, teachers, parents, and the village youth council. Dr Salita L Salaysay, Principal of Tanza Elementary School, shared that the overwhelming support of all stakeholders has resulted in the collection of significant quantity of recyclable materials that could have gone into the dump sites if not properly disposed.
In their school, Girls Scouts and members of other school organisations have also pledged their support and participation to PEACE through Scouting project, making Tanza Elementary School as the highest contributor to the project in their community as of the first semester of 2019.
According to Mr Kim Robert C de Leon, Project Officer of the PEACE through Scouting project, the initiative was already able to recover more than 4,800 kilograms of paper products and more than 1,100 kilograms of plastic products that are mostly PET bottles. Points earned from these recycled materials are expected to help more than 5,000 Scouts and some other 5,000 young people who are actively supporting the project.
With the sustained implementation of PEACE through Scouting project, it is expected the Scout membership in Navotas City will increase and active participation in activities will be sustained especially those from low-income families. This will be made possible while contributing in the protection of the environment through waste management and recycling.
The PEACE through Scouting Project is supported by the Messengers of Peace Fund through the Diversity and Inclusion Challenge of WOSM’s Asia-Pacific Region. It is an active contribution of Scouts from the Philippines towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals Nos. 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 17
(Partnership for the Goals).
With reports from Kim Robert C. de Leon, Boy Scouts of the Philippines