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Afghan Scout membership goes up

26. Jun 2012

The growth of Scouting in Afghanistan is increasingly seen as more training of adult leaders and support continue. In the current collaboration of WOSM/Asia-Pacific with PARSA, 52 participants, including 6 female members are taking part in the 3rd Basic Unit Leaders Training Course (BULTC) held in Kabul city from 22nd to 28th June 2012.

PARSA is a non-government organization that partners with WOSM/Asia-Pacific to conduct Scout training in orphanages that PARSA operates in Kabul and in some provinces of Afghanistan.

In her opening remarks, PARSA Executive Director Ms Marnie Gustavson, mentioned that Scouting in Afghanistan is now 81 years old. “With the course going on here, the Afghan young people and adult leaders are connected to the world Scouting community through Scouting,” Gustavson said.

Participants are mostly Scout leaders in orphanages and provincial education departments, including eight participants from the Ministry of Interior supported by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan or UNAMA.

After the two basic courses in 2011, PARSA Scout membership went up from 500 to more than 1,000.

Mr Thian Hiong Boon from Asia-Pacific Regional office is serving as the course leader, assisted by Qureshi and Ramesh C Patniak from India; and local trainers Tamim Hamkar, Gul Mustafa and Mohd Jawad.

Special guests present at the opening ceremony were A.Heather Coyne from UNAMA and Rick Smith from Wildness Medicine Institute. In the conduct of this course, overseas trainers travel is partly funded by the Afghanistan-Japan Scout Exchange Program (AJSEP) while local funding is through PARSA.

The Ministry of Education recently appointed Mr Safiullah Subat as the Chief Commissioner. In Afghanistan, the Ministry of Education supports Scouting and it has a secretariat that coordinates Scouting activities. Presently, it has 4,192 student members (2,144 female and 2,048 male) coming from different schools and institutions in Kabul city.

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