Scouts of the World Award Voluntary Service in Singapore
On the framework of the Scouts of the World Award (SW Award), the Singapore Scout Association has developed the second SW Award Voluntary Service: the Project Orion. Project Orion is a two-week Youth Expedition Project supported by the National Youth Council, Singapore. Organized by eight Rover Scouts from The Singapore Scout Association and one Rover Scout from The Scout Association of Malaysia (Persekutuan Pengakap Malaysia) in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia, the project aims to promote turtle conservation in Setiu, Terengganu, and the development of the nearby village, Kampung Mangkok.
The Setiu Wetlands is the largest nesting ground for painted terrapin ( Callagur borneoensis) and is amongst the few remaining mainland nesting sites for the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas), both of which are endangered species. The wetland is also a major aquaculture area and plays an important role for the local villagers’ livelihood.
The project gave the team a chance to be an important part of the community and ecosystem. They were involved in assisting rangers in night patrolling for turtle nestings, hatchery work, and hatchling release amongst others. The team also planted a total of 1000 mangroves saplings along Setiu River as part of the UN’s Billion Tree Campaign. The team also raised funds for a portable stainless steel hatchery to replace the current wooden structure.
Despite the project being environmental in nature, the human aspect of the community was definitely not overlooked. The team engaged in English and awareness education with the villagers, interaction with Scouts from the local primary school. They also carried out minor repairs/refurbish of the WWF info centre, and even introduced a method to recycle used cooking oil into hand soap, which could be a source of income generation for the locals. The team also assisted two identified households with dire needs - a divorcee living in a dilapidated house with her young son and the other, a man with kidney failure who didn’t even have enough money to build a proper toilet and shower for his family.
The two- week project was a humbling experience for the team as they gained valuable exposure to the raw elements of nature and the humanity of mankind - probably a once-in-a-life time experience. As the team struggled to hold back tears when they bid farewell to a closed-knitted community which welcomed them with open arms and warm hospitality, some of them promised that they would be back. To uphold a Scout’s honour, Project Orion is set to return back to the golden sandy shores of Setiu again in 2010 and hopefully many years to come.
“No man can be called educated who has not a willingness and desire, as well as a trained ability, to do his part in the world’s work.” - Lord Baden Powell. This Scouts of the World Voluntary Service indeed gave the team members a chance to be called ‘educated’.
The Scouts of the World Award (SW Award) was launched in order to encourage a stronger involvement of young adults in the development of society by making them more aware of the present world issues and to help National Scout Organizations revitalise the programme of Rover Scout section. It is open to everyone between the ages of 15 and 26 years, regardless of ability, race, faith or location. It prepares young people for global citizenship focusing on three core-themes: Peace, Environment, and Development. It helps young people gain understanding, skills and knowledge, for life on a small planet.
It attracts, empowers and engages youth in actions of world importance. This action is based upon universal values - freedom, tolerance, equality, respect for nature and shared responsibility - respected in any culture and enshrined in the UN’s Millennium Declaration. Scouting has promoted these same values for over 100 years.
For more information on how to obtain the Scouts of the World Award visit: www.scoutsoftheworld.net.
Share your Scouts of the World activities with the World Scout Bureau by emailing email@example.com, Unit Manager Adolescents & Young Adults.
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