A short history of Peace in Scouting
Back in 1922, Lt. General Robert Baden Powell, already a recognized person and leader of the emerging youth movement, had the chance to share his vision of what would become the World Scout Movement and Organization first at the Inaugural Conference, and two days later in the 3rd International Congress of Moral Education. Baden Powell who was at that time a war hero, advocated for the cause of peace. His experiences in battle led him to write ‘Aids to Scouting’ and “Scouting for Boys”, which enabled him to realize the impact of such writing upon the self-education of young people. It became obvious to him that his writings which focussed upon contributing to good citizenship had a wider impact on young people, in society at large, and in the world. During the summer of 1922 when he shared his vision in front of hundreds of Scout leaders it became the horizon of a world-wide Movement. “Where the young citizens, male and female, in all countries are brought up to look upon their neighbours as brothers and sisters in the human family allied together with the common aim of service and sympathetic helpfulness towards each other, they will no longer think as heretofore in terms of war as against rivals, but in terms of peace and goodwill towards another”. Baden Powell himself committed the Movement to being “summarized as a universal brotherhood of service”. There are many steps and phases in which the involvement of Scouting in promoting peace throughout the history of WOSM. And we find Scouts who serve as catalysts contributing to specific causes. Our Mission and Vision adopted during the 35th and 40th World Scout conferences respectively declare that Scouting will “contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society.”… “enabling 100 million young people to be active citizens creating positive change in their communities….” Aligned with our Mission, Vision, and purpose, the Messengers of Peace (Messenger of Peace) Initiative started in 2011 as a continuation of the Gifts for Peace Initiative launched in 2007, within the framework of the Centenary of Scouting: inspiring Scouts to engage in community service actions to address local issues. Among its main goals, Messenger of Peace aims to promote a Culture of Peace and Dialogue for mutual understanding, promote social entrepreneur initiatives led by Scouts, support the development of young people affected by conflict situations, and connect Scouts around the world in a global network of 20 million Messengers of Peace. From the past to the present a continuous chain of milestones connects Scouting’s timeline pursuing a peaceful world. Today more than 150 national Scout Organizations have adopted Messenger of Peace as one resource to strengthen the role of Scouting in constructing a culture of peace and positive change in their local communities. You can visit the full timeline from 1907 to 2014 compiled here: https://www.scout.org/system/files/intranet_library/MoP_TimeLine%20EN.pdf
The Messengers of Peace Programme
Scouts are already doing great things in their community. Through good turns and community service, scouts are making the world a better place and spreading a culture of peace. The Messengers of Peace programme aims to highlight this work by supporting scouts' community service and encouraging Scouts to share their actions with others to help build a global network of service. If a scout does a service action and shares it with other, they can earn a Messengers of Peace badge. The main goal is to inspire Scouts to continue their community service or to join efforts with other scouts from around the globe. You can earn the Messengers of Peace badge in 4 steps:
- Inspire: Explore and research about local problems, people in action and good practices.
- Learn and decide: Identify your motivation and talents. Choose a field of action. Select useful knowledge, skills and ideas to apply.
- Do: Plan your actions, execute, monitor, evaluate and report.
- Share: Share what you did, your experiences, outcomes and learnt lessons.
The Messengers of Peace Global Network
In 1922, during the 1st World Scout Conference organized in France, Baden-Powell shared his vision: “Scouts can gather in a Global Network of service”. The Messenger of Peace Network is a network of all scouts who wish to contribute with their individual or collective actions to spread a Culture of Peace through service actions for community development. The Network is kept active each time we invite someone to take part in our projects to help others. Every time you share a story, you contribute to inspire others with your example. One day, this will include all scouts in the world, who can actively help each other to create a better world. Some of the tools you can use to share your work? Scout.org, social media, instant messaging, radio, tv, newspapers... or simply talking about your work to your friends, community, and other scouts from around the world! Here on scout.org, Scouts from all over the world can showcase their Messengers of Peace (MoP) projects, and also share them on other social media platforms. They can meet online to exchange ideas, tell their stories and work together to inspire each other. The MoP Network is driven by Scout volunteers based in each Region and is available to all, Scouts and non-Scouts, who are running local service and peace projects. To show the amount of work that is being done through these MoP projects, the time spent by all the Scouts in a project is added together – so when 10 Scouts build a children’s playground, spending 20 hours each, the 200 hours of service are logged onto the platform. The first hour of service was registered in October 2012, and since then the number has kept ticking upward at an inspirational rate.
The Messengers of Peace Support Fund
The Messengers of Peace Support Fund was established for financially supporting Scouts worldwide in implementing MoP projects that fall into one of the following categories:
- Strengthening capacity (e.g. projects for renewing an NSO’s youth programme, or providing training for Adults in Scouting)
- Inspiring Messengers of Peace (e.g. projects related to spreading the MoP network)
As well as special projects (including, but not limited to):
- Support to youth in (post-)conflict zones (e.g. projects related to supporting refugees)
- Disaster response (e.g. projects related to providing immediate support to disaster-affected communities, or projects related to preparing Scouts for disaster response)
- Environment (e.g. projects related to reforestation, or cleaning up a river bed)
- Peace and culture of dialogue (e.g. projects related to providing training to young people about peace and dialogue)
Who can apply for MoP funding?
National Scout Associations and Organisations, World Scout Bureau (WSB) Regional Support Centres and Global Support Centres can submit applications. Local Scout groups must go through their NSOs to submit project applications. Preference is always given to NSOs, especially those in countries facing economic difficulties.
Are there any conditions for NSOs that can apply?
NSOs applying must be a member of WOSM and be in good standing, meaning that they should have no arrears on their membership fee, and are not under provisional suspension. If an NSO becomes provisionally suspended during the implementation of a project, any further disbursements will be halted until the matter is resolved.
Who do we send our application to?
All applications should be submitted to the World Scout Bureau Regional Support Centre of your respective region. For a list of contact details, please consult the following link: https://www.scout.org/wsb. You can find other answers to frequently asked questions in the MoP Fund guidelines here: https://www.scout.org/mopguidelines