Messengers of Peace Heroes celebrate 10 years of impact and turn to future

6 minutes

This week, 15 Messengers of Peace Heroes came together in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to celebrate a decade of Scouting’s peace-building efforts and set the stage for the next ten years of impact through the Messengers of Peace initiative.  

Over the last decade, young people have inspired, enabled and delivered over 2.5 billion hours of high-impact community service through the Messengers of Peace programme. From getting children off the streets in Bangladesh to increasing access to mental health services in Saudi Arabia, we’re creating a better world together.

The prestigious Messengers of Peace Hero Award recognises Scouts for exceptional community service projects. Throughout this week, Heroes from 12 countries took part in a series of celebratory and capacity-building activities and events to share the impact of their peace-building and inspire further action.

Activities included engagements with the Saudi government and civil society representatives, including HH Princess Sama Bint Faisal Al Saud, World Scout Foundation Board Member and Head of the Saudi Girl Scouts Committee; HE Minister of Education, Dr Hamad Al-Sheikh; Deputy Foreign Minister, HE Fahad Abu Al Nadr; a tour of the International Conference & Exhibition for Education; and a visit to the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue.

The week culminated in a lively Messengers of Peace Heroes award ceremony, celebrating 10 years of impact. Awardees shared their stories and ambitious vision for a better world. Special guests appeared on video, including Dr Hamad Al-Sheikh and HRH The Crown Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, Chair of the World Scout Foundation.

To prepare to become ambassadors for Messengers of Peace, the Heroes took part in communications workshops, where they mastered skills in public speaking, storytelling and peace journalism. They exchanged and learned from each other's experiences on advancing youth-led projects, and planned for an impactful future for the Messengers of Peace initiative.

"Being here and realising the efforts of my peers, the government and civil society organisations like Salam helped me understand that — despite all the problems in the world — there is so much hope. We can all contribute to more peaceful societies, no matter how small the deed. We can all be superheroes", said Junbert Pabon from the Philippines.

Over the past 10 years, the Messengers of Peace initiative has engaged nearly all 172 National Scout Organizations and enabled Scouts worldwide to contribute to building peace, dialogue and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From responding to natural disasters and leading peace-building, to advancing gender equality and welcoming refugees, Scouts are making their communities more peaceful and inclusive places for all. 

"As Scouts, we want to be part of the solution. During the pandemic, when resources were limited, we knew some were struggling to get enough to eat. We went door to door and asked people if they could spare a plate and collected more than you could imagine! As Messengers of Peace, we are the hope for our country," said Yossr Baaziz, a 21-year-old with the Group Grombalia El Madina in Tunisia.

Through generous funding from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Messengers of Peace initiative has supported a wide range of capacity-building efforts locally, nationally and internationally through support to over 10 million Scout Leaders delivering Scouting’s Youth Programme. 

Building on this incredible impact, the World Organization of the Scout Movement and World Scout Foundation are working together with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to renew support for Messengers of Peace, continue to inspire a culture of peace and dialogue, and further strengthen the impact of the initiative for the next decade in millions of communities. 

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