If Africa Scout Day were a spacecraft, Burundi 2011, would go down in history as the launch pad that sent this day into the orbit in the skies of the African continent, and perhaps, overseas. When on 10 March 2011, delegations started to flock the Bungere Scout centre in Gitega, Burundi, the herald of a historic occasion filled the atmosphere of the green and hilly environs.
A memorable day
The historic nature of the event was evident to Ms Jemima Nartey, chairperson of the Africa Scout Committee, who while addressing the multitude said, “Today we stand at the threshold of history, as those of us here at Bungere Scout Camp, and all Scouts on the continent cross into an era when Africa Scout Day is marked in the most memorable way … Yes, Africa Scout Day was declared by the African Union (Then OAU) in 1995, but today almost two decades later, we have decided that this important day be commemorated in a special way”.
Youth from various delegations participated in workshops on topics such as peace education, climate change and food security. Other activities included community service (tree planting), a visit to the national museum and unforgettable entertainment galore by Burundi drummers, a music concert and performances from various delegations, etc.
Bigger and more regional
At the opening ceremony on 12 March 2011, the field that hosted the fête was filled to capacity, partly by a throng of members of the local community and partly by 1000 plus Scouts.
The following nationalities were present: Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgium, Sweden, Ghana, Swaziland, Senegal. The President of Burundi was represented by his Minister of Youth. Some of the notable guests included the Ambassadors of France, Kenya and Rwanda, religious leaders, Regional Committee members, the Regional Director for Africa Scout Regional Office and some of his staff, the National Commissioner of Kenya Scouts Association among others.
Reaching out through sports
The Afternoon of the opening ceremony was marked by a football match between the Scouts and a team from the local community. The Africa Scout Day campers went into a frenzy when the Scout team carried the day.
"Até logo!”… see you in Angola!
The next stop is in Angola. At a colourful closing ceremony, the Angolan delegation received the Africa Scout Day flag from Ms Jemima, so that they can hoist it at 2012 Africa Scout Day in Angola.
The successful organization of the event goes a long way in strengthening Africa Regional Office’s current public information plan that aims at creating a legacy of raising maximum awareness of Africa Scout Day.
Pictures: © WSB/ARO Euloge