Scouting in Ethiopia Turns 100
The Scout movement in Ethiopia has turned a century old. Since its establishment in 1919, Scouting has grown to a current membership of over 75,000 young people residing in communities and villages across the country. To mark this milestone, the Ethiopia Scout Association held centenary celebrations that included the 7th National Scout Jamboree held from 3-10 February 2019 at the Ethiopia Youth Sports Academy in Addis Ababa under the theme “100 years of Volunteerism and Active Citizenship”.
Attended by over 800 participants and 500 day visitors the celebrations were graced by government officials, diplomats, partner organizations, the Royal Family, former Scouts and the leadership of Scouting in the country and in Africa. The Chief Guest was Hon Mrs. Yealem Tsegay, Minister of Women, Children and Youth Affairs in the Federal Government of Ethiopia. In general, the centenary celebration activities directly impacted over 2,600 people with an estimated 5,000 others indirectly.
The participants went through a series of activities which included training on the Better World Framework initiatieves of World Scouting including; Messengers of Peace programme, Dialogue for Peace, Scout of The World Award, World Scout Environment Programme and Scout go Solar. Awareness sessions against Female Genital Mutilation which widely practiced in Ethiopia were also conducted. Other activities included campcraft, proposal writing and fundraising training as well as community service actions.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Regional Director for Africa Frederic Tutu Kama-Kama thanked the Government and people of Ethiopia for the support given to the Scout movement in the country over its century of existence. “We believe that these centenary celebrations offer an immense growth opportunity for Scouting of Ethiopia. With the support of the government and other stakeholders, we believe the membership can grow ten folds,” he said. He further challenged Ethiopia Scout Association to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals and African Union Agenda 2063, in its programmes saying that, “…National Scout Organizations in Africa need to align with these development plans and position themselves to contribute even further to the development of the nation by educating more of its young people through the Scout programme and, thus, play constructive role in their communities and country.” He expressed the World Scout Bureau’s commitment to continue supporting and working with the Association as it begins the journey into the new century of Scouting in Ethiopia.
The National Jamboree and the Centenary celebrations brought together Scouts from all parts of Ethiopia to a common location and enable them to take part in activities and programs which promote unity, friendship and mutual understanding. It also created a platform for young people to interact with and learn from each other, discuss issues affecting youth in the country and to appreciate different cultures.
The media publicity to over one million viewers received from three of the country’s largest media institutions helped to boost the image and profile of Scouting in Ethiopia by demonstrating the unique value of Scouting to the public. The Scouts also renewed their commitment to show greater concern for the nature, the environment and their communities.
Photos Courtesy of Ethiopia Scouts Association and video courtesy of Fana Television