1st Ever Scout Youth Forum for the Indian Ocean Countries Kicks Off in Seychelles
12 December 2019 - Victoria, Seychelles: Young people from the National Scout Organizations (NSOs) of the Indian Ocean Zone are meeting in Victoria, the Seychellois capital on Mahe Island, for the first ever Zonal Scout Youth Forum. The two-day event themed “be the change you wish to see in the world” is aimed at enhancing the participation of young people at different levels of governance in Scouting. The participants are drawn from Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles.
The objectives of the Youth Forum are to provide a learning environment through discussions on topics of interest and sharing of experiences; enhance the participants' decision-making skills for Scouting and society in general; develop friendship among the participants and create a network that can be continued beyond the Forum; and to give relevant inputs and make recommendations to be presented at the Indian Ocean Zonal Scout Conference.
Aside from the busy schedule of discussions, the young people will also have the opportunity to informally interact and enjoy different attractions that Seychelles has to offer. An international evening where all the participants are invited to present different types of their traditional dishes, folklore, songs, dances, scouting souvenirs, gifts etc will add pomp and colour to forum.
The Youth Forum in Africa has been continuously growing over the years and the Youth Advisor system has been strengthened in order to better provide the relevant support from the volunteers and increase the reach and voice of young people before, during and after the forum. At this forum, the young people will also elect their Zonal youth Advisors who will work together with the Zonal Secretariat to be established at the conference to further strengthen youth engagement in the Indian Ocean countries.
The forum will be followed by a Zonal Communication Workshop for selected youth and adult volunteers responsible for communication in their NSOs. The training will help to build capacity of NSO communicators on social impact storytelling, social media marketing, public and media relations, branding and strategic communications that is aligned with WOSM’s work on communications and strategic engagement and support the achievement of Vision 2023.
The 1st Indian Ocean Zonal Scout Youth Forum and 8th Indian Ocean Zonal Scout Conference have provided a great opportunity to strengthen Scouting in the Indian Ocean island nations as explained by Ms. Betty-Mai Sofa, the Chief Commissioner of Seychelles Scout Association, “The last conference in the Indian ocean was in 2007. With the support of Africa Support Centre, it is indeed a pleasure to witness this gathering today. During these events we will discuss and agree as a zone how we move forward… We have a task to increase our members and engage our youth. Through this forum we are committing ourselves to let the youth lead by example.”
The participants of the Youth Forum and Communications workshop will transition to the 8th Indian Ocean Zonal Scout Conference scheduled to take place from 16-17 December 2019. This will enable them to connect with adult leaders of the NSOs and participate in decision making processes affecting the zone in general and approval of recommendations for actions at the national levels.