Being a Youth Advisor to the 2014-2017 World Scout Committee
Every three years, at the World Scout Youth Forum, a team of six young people are elected. On paper, their main role is to serve as Youth Advisors to the World Scout Committee (WSC). However, in reality, their responsibilities are far more varied and complex.
In Slovenia in 2014, Daiana Neil (Argentina), Jérémy Apert (France), Luis Antonio Aguayo Miranda (Mexico), Maeed Mohamed Zahir (Maldives), Máire Fitzgerald (Ireland) and Montaser Hosny Abdelmaged (Egypt) assumed the mantle of Youth Advisors to the WSC.
Their three-year term comes to an end next week, at the end of the World Scout Conference, and so it’s time to take a minute to reflect on the past three years.
The 2014-2017 triennium saw a number of developments in Youth Involvement in WOSM, and the six Youth Advisors were right in the centre of it.
The World Scout Youth Involvement Policy was approved in 2014, laying a strong foundation, but it was the WSC members who welcomed the Youth Advisors into the fold, giving them full right of voice and the opportunity to engage fully as members of the WSC, except when it comes to voting. This created huge opportunities for the six Youth Advisors.
Maeed Mohamed Zahir served as a member of the Steering Committee, something which would have been unconceivable in previous triennia. Diana Neil and Máire Fitzgerald were appointed Team Leads of two units. All six Youth Advisors were deeply immersed in all aspects of the work of the WSC, as well as numerous other projects relating to young people and youth involvement, but also other projects that were completely separate.
In fact, in reading the WSC 2014-2017 Triennial Report, it’s difficult to find a project in which there wasn’t at least one Youth Advisor involved.
One challenge faced by the Youth Advisors was communication. Not only was it incredibly demanding to remain motivated and engaged in an international team literally spread across the world for three years, but it was also a challenge to keep in contact with those young people around the world who they were meant to represent.
Indeed, it was a challenge that the Youth Advisors couldn’t completely overcome, but they certainly tried. Another challenge was how best to support and promote Regional and National Youth Advisors/Representatives/Delegates and their respective Youth Involvement systems. A lot was done through Regional and World events, but there are always more opportunities to promote these important structures and systems.
As their term draws to a close, many people are curious as to what the Youth Advisors to the 2014-2017 World Scout Committee will do once their mandate concludes.
Given their wide-ranging skills and experiences, there are many possible paths they can take, so nothing is certain. However, one thing is certain. They worked hard, they worked for others, and they tried to leave the world (Scout Committee) a little better than when they found it.