UNICEF Finland Honours PARTIO's Work with and for Scouts and Guides with Special Needs
(SP-FS/Helsinki) - Smiling faces, clapping hands and other expressions of joy and emotion filled the hall the other day when UNICEF Finland honoured Suomen Partiolaiset-Finlands Scouter (SP-FS), the National Scout Organisation of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in Finland, with this year's Annual Child Rights Advocate Award for their work with and for Scouts and Guides with special needs.
Finland's First Lady, Ms. Jenni Haukio, spouse of the President of the Republic of Finland, handed over the Award and explained why UNICEF Finland had chosen to honour the engagement of the Scouts and Guides of Finland. “Fun free time activities and friendships are important to all children", she said, "and that is why we need free time activities that everyone can participate in. The Scouts and Guides of Finland's work with and for children and young people with special needs looks back on 85 very successful years and is a great example of providing just that for this particular group of our population.”
Kalle Majamaa, 18, was one of the Scouts present and recalled memorable events and activities he had experienced within the Scouts and Guides of Finland's Special Needs Programme during the last nine years: "The best parts of Scouting are that you get to learn new skills and others accept you just the way you are. My wheelchair has never stopped me from participating in camping and other activities.”
All over Finland, some 450 Scouts and Guides participate in this programme and it may well be that you meet some of them in Japan at the next World Scout Jamboree.