Scouts for SDGs launched as the world’s largest youth contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals
The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) today unveiled Scout for SDGs, an unprecedented mobilisation of 50 million Scouts to make the world’s largest coordinated youth contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York.
Bear Grylls, the new Chief Ambassador of World Scouting, launched the initiative in the presence of several guests of honour including Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, and heads of international organisations.
“Never before have so many Scouts come together around an engagement of this scale and I’m excited to launch this global activation for young people to contribute to the SDGs,” remarked Bear Grylls.
The historic initiative was warmly received by the UN and other delegates who recognise the unique role that Scouts can play to achieve the SDGs. Scouts have contributed more than one billion hours of service towards sustainable development through local projects under the programmes such as the Messengers of Peace initiative since 2013.
Among these projects are grassroots activities led by Scouts to provide access to clean drinking water for schoolchildren in South Sudan and promote peace in Colombian communities affected by gang violence and conflict.
According to Craig Turpie, Chairperson of the World Scout Committee, “Scouts for SDGs is all about the youth of today thinking globally and acting locally – being the change that they want to see in the world.”
Scouts for SDGs builds on these efforts with an aim to engage 50 million young people in a coordinated effort to deliver two million local projects and an additional three billion hours of service for the SDGs by 2030. It features a digital campaign and online SDG hub as well as new tools and resources for National Scout Organizations to raise awareness and take action for the SDGs.
“With Scouts for SDGs we are intensifying our efforts to unleash the power of millions more young people and tackle some of the most pressing social, environmental, and economic challenges facing our world,” said WOSM Secretary General, Ahmad Alhendawi.
In addition to that, the initiative will also provide financial contributions to local actions by Scouts thanks to support from Alwaleed Philanthropies, United Nations agencies, and a wide network of partners and volunteers that will help expand the effort.