Solomon Islands joins global Scout Movement
World Scouting today welcomed the Solomon Islands Scout Association (SISA) as its 172nd Member Organization of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). The move marks the continued popularity of Scouts across the Asia-Pacific Region, creating new opportunities for young people to experience Scouting’s transformative educational programme and learn skills for life.
Today, Scouting in Solomon Islands is comprised of more than 500 Scout members and 50 Scout Leaders who are involved through 10 local Scout groups distributed a majority of the nine Provinces of the Solomon Islands. By 2025, the National Scout Organization aims to grow to reach 3,000 members.
Scouting in the Solomon Islands, an archipelagic state in the southwest Pacific Ocean, started in 1928 as a branch of The Scout Association in the United Kingdom. Scouting was active in schools throughout the Solomon Islands from the 1950s to the 1990s. It eventually expanded across island provinces and territories when the South Pacific Emerging National Scout Organizations was created in 1992 (later renamed the Council of South Pacific Scout Associations) of which the Solomon Islands was one of its founding members.
Over the years, Scouting in the Solomon Islands has received strong support from National Scout Organizations (NSOs) in the United Kingdom, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand to offer capacity strengthening, exchange programmes, trainings and Rover expeditions for young people. Scouts from the Solomon Islands regularly participate in World Scout events starting with the 19th World Scout Jamboree in Chile in 1999.
In 2019, the Solomon Islands Scout Association, led by a team of volunteers, restructured itself to become operational and work towards meeting the standards for WOSM membership. In the process the organisation secured support from the government with the Governor General of the Solomon Islands acting as the Association’s Patron and the Mayor of Honiara City acting as the President of the Association. Through an internal consultation process and ongoing support from WOSM Services Consultants and NSOs in the Asia-Pacific Region, the Association created a roadmap for development and sustainability, focusing on the strategic priorities of good governance, growth, Youth Programme and Adults in Scouting.
“On behalf of the World Scout Committee and all Scouts worldwide, I wish to warmly congratulate the National Scout Organization of the Solomon Islands for achieving this important milestone,” said Craig Turpie, Chairperson of the World Scout Committee. ” We also recognise the support of the National Scout Organizations of the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the Asia-Pacific Support Centre and volunteers throughout the Asia-Pacific Region in supporting the Solomon Island Scout Association’s journey towards becoming our 172nd Member Organization.”
“We wish the Solomon Islands Scout Association all the best with the further expansion of Scouting in the Solomon Islands as they continue to enable more young people to become active citizens who are making an impact in their communities,” said Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General of WOSM.
“It has been 93 years since Scouting first began in the Solomon Islands in Guadalcanal in 1928. As we honour this history, it is an exciting moment as the Association joins the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and we look to continue to grow and expand the impact of Scouting for the future,” said Governor General and Chief Scout David Vunagi.
To reach their ambitious growth targets, the Association is further developing Scout manuals and offering training to prepare patrol leaders to run local Scout groups. WOSM Consultants are also assigned to support the Association with the development of their educational Youth Programme and Adults in Scouting with a key focus on active citizenship and community development.