IN FOCUS: Messengers of Peace Hero Junbert T Pabon
Junbert Pabon is a Scout from Bacolod City, Philippines who leads a Scout group that implements a development programme that caters to children in conflict with the law.
In the Philippines, around 28 children get arrested every day. These children range from ages 15 to 18 and are referred as children in conflict with the law. They are housed in a detention facility or rehabilitation centre.
Junbert was able to see the living condition of these children when a humanitarian organisation partnered with their school for a volunteer work in 2016. He saw the unaddressed problems that included unsanitary environment, lack of basic needs including mental and emotional needs, and lack of proper intervention to empower these children inside the rehabilitation facility. These problems interfere in the improvement of the condition of the children.
Seeing the issues first hand had motivated him and his Scout group to create and implement a development programme for these children in conflict with the law. The project sought to reintegrate the children in the society by way of joining and undergoing through various Scout activities and programmes, and transform them from lawbreakers into peacemakers.
His programme was divided into five key areas: psychological, spiritual, culture and arts, environmental, and skills training.
One of the activities under the skills training was the “Boy Scouts Auxillary Brigade” where they created a Scout unit inside the rehabilitation centre and taught them timely Scouting values such as discipline and leadership. Due to this, a boy named John was able to be released from the centre and is now studying with a scholarship grant.
Junbert believed that these children are innately good and were only pushed to do bad things due to poverty and unhealthy environment. He believed that these people deserve second chances at life to do things right and Scouting is an avenue for this second chance that they deserve.