Getting ready for Unguvu 2 - Right now I’m working on preparing myself, reading all important documents and of course starting to pack. Of course I will try to keep you updated how it is going.
I find it very difficult to describe what Scouting means to me with only one word - because I think there are so many different aspects that are important. Some of the most important ones are for me unforgettable memories and experiences and friendships made all around the world, living outdoors, getting to know limits, exploring the world, doing things you never imagined to be possible and just experience crazy magic moments you will never forget. Like lying in a canoe at night and watching the shooting stars fall, dancing in front of international negotiators at an UN Climate Change Conference, doing an action to raise awareness in front of Notre-Dame in Paris or spending an entire night at a fire, thinking about what really matters to you. But of course also all the little things, like that shy little brownie in your group which slowly becomes more daring and outgoing or when the father of one of your cubs tells you, how many awesome stories his child tells him about what happened at the scout activity.
My partner for the Unguvu workshop, as there are always two participants per country, is Miriam, in Scouts also called Orion. We met for the first time at our first briefing session. Together we had a few more meetings with people engaged in different projects regarding partnerships and intercultural openness at our organization. It was definitively very helpful for us to get a good overview about what our organization is doing. And of course we have been busy organizing what typical food, games etc. we are going to bring to Addis Abbeba.
To give you a bit of a background, where I am from: Switzerland is a quite small country in the center of Europe with a bit less than 8 million inhabitants. It is mainly known for cheese, mountains and winter sports, (expensive) watches and the banking sector, but also precision technology, tourism and chemicals/pharmaceuticals are very important. Very typical are the “Alps”, the mountains where many people enjoy to go skiing, snowboarding or hiking during summer. Our NSO, the Swiss Scout and Guide Movement is with approximately 42’000 members one of the largest youth organizations in the country, spread over 5 age groups. Currently there are active partnerships with Burkina Faso and Paraguay and joint camps and training courses with Georgia and Serbia. Unfortunately there is no English version of the information page about it: http://www.scout.ch/fr/au-quotidien/international/partenariat/engagement-et-echange-culturel?set_language=fr (FR)
Now it’s only a few days left until I will meet up with Orion in the train and get to the airport to fly to Ethiopia. I’m really looking forward to getting to know all participants and hopefully learning a lot about diversity and inclusion which can help our organization to improve integration.