Visit to 5 NSOs in the South Pacific
A team from the APR Support Centre – Regional Director JR C. Pangilinan and the Director for Development Support and desk Director for Oceania Sub-Region, S. Prassanna Shrivastava, completed their chain of visits to five National Scout Organizations in the South Pacific namely Scouts Australia, Fiji Scouts Association, Kiribati Scout Association, Scout Association of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Scout Association from 12 to 25 November 2016.
The purpose of this long awaited visit was to meet with top leaders of these NSOs, address major challenges, and determine the nature and quality of support needed by each NSO.
For many years, Scouts Australia has supported several Scout associations in the South Pacific, technically and financially, especially in capacity building. The APR Team met with the Chief Commissioner Chris Bates, International Commissioner Andrew Cooper, and Chief Scout Executive Martin Thomas. They discussed Scouts Australia’s support in the governance and building capacity of associations in the South Pacific, and to inch them closer to the desired standards set by the Global Support Assessment Tool (GSAT). Taking this opportunity, the team also reviewed the progress of Scouts Australia on the GSAT recommendations, and their continued collaboration with APR Support Centre.
The President of Fiji Scout Association (FSA) Abhay Nand coordinated the visit and meetings with Fiji Scouts Association. Together with Abhay Nand and Dy. Chief Commissioner Dr. Brij Lal , the APR team had an audience with Chief Scout and President of the Republic of Fiji, George Konrote. The Chief Scout, who was a Scout when he was young, is very supportive to Scouting since he assumed office. Major challenges of Fiji Scouts including the need for resources were discussed with him for which he responded positively.
A road map was designed in the meeting with FSA executives to address resources development, youth program implementation, training of leaders and membership growth. Fiji’s Messengers of Peace Team welcomed the APR Team in Nadi and shared their achievements and the impact they created in rejuvenating Scouting in the islands.
The next NSO visited was Kiribati Scout Association (KSA) where the KSA President Martin Tofinga and Chief Commissioner Elect Amon Timan are reorganizing and inviting new leaders to support Scouting. The team met with the Vice President of the Island Republic H.E. Kourabi Nenem who represented the Chief Scout, the President. In a series of meetings with the leaders, a road map was designed to achieve the minimum growth rate of 3% annually and to address issues on governance, resources and leadership challenges.
Solomon Islands Scout Association (SISA) is a potential WOSM member in the South Pacific. Primary purpose of the visit was to meet the key leadership and government officials and support them in building capacity, which eventually would lead to meeting the requirements for WOSM membership possibly within the triennium.
Chief Commissioner Joe Billy Oge and his team, with guidance from the APR team, drafted the road map in achieving specific goals. Meetings were arranged with the Permament Secretary of Education Dr. Franco Rodie and Women, Youth and Children Ms. Ethel Sigimanu who both offered their support to SISA. SISA will host the next Council of South Pacific Scout Associations Forum scheduled in 2017.
An initial meeting was held with the Deputy High Commissioner of Britain and the Mayor of Honiara City where this forum will be held on 3-6 July 2017.
Papua New Guinea
Last lap of this mission was in Papua New Guinea. APR Chairman Paul Parkinson joined the team for discussion with the PNG leaders headed by Chairman Daniel Lingnoge and Acting Chief Commissioner Noel Pinda. They rendered a report on their progress since the last APR visit, and the changes are remarkable. The government of PNG had also offered financial support to the Scout association. A road map was mutually agreed to strengthen the organization’s governance with a target of 30% membership growth annually.
As a result of this visit, APR Team expects a substantial change in NSOs in the South Pacific with sustained support and focus on both sides to achieve the purpose of this mission.