Over 155,000 Young People Create Virtual Memories at the 8th Africa Scout Jamboree
4 August 2021, Nairobi, Kenya: The virtual 8th Africa Scout Jamboree closed on 3rd August after six days of engaging, fun and learning activities delivered by the Uganda Scouts Association with the support of the World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre. Attended by 2,253 participants from 91 countries from Africa and beyond via Zoom and at least 155,971 others following the live stream via social media channels, the event brought together young people to gain knowledge, skills and reflect on their contributions towards building better communities, better Africa and a better world.
Speaking when she presided over the closing of the Jamboree, the Chief Guest, H.E Janet Kataha Museveni, First Lady of Uganda and Minister for Education and Sports observed that through the Scout Jamboree experience, the young people get exposed to and acquire valuable livelihood skills. Though successfully held, she noted that the event’s ability to bring thousands of young people from diverse nationalities together in a single location is a unique experience that cannot be matched with a virtual alternative.
“This event brings a rare lifetime experience that many of your peers would love to become a part of. You may step into tomorrow but to thrive you will need not only skills but enduring values such as integrity, empathy, patience, self-control, humility, and the like. These are virtues that no circumstance can take away from you as a young person but will instead take you through the circumstances tomorrow brings your way,” she said.
Commencing with an opening ceremony presided over by H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, the organizers delivered daily two-hour programmes over six days covering 14 different activities with the support of various partners. The participants showcased their talents, cooking, and camping skills in the jamboree’ Scouts Got Talent, Top Chef and Camping at Home challenges. World Scouting’s Earth Tribe initiative was also showcased with participants learning about how to combat plastic pollution and maximize the use of solar energy in a session co-facilitated by Solarfrica.
As the world and local communities continue to reflect an increasingly diverse society, the young people learned how to understand, respect and value individuals’ differences and to contribute to ensuring that all youth members and adults feel welcome in Scouting. At the Messengers of Peace session participants also learned how they can engage in local efforts to build a lasting culture of peace and dialogue.
With the help of the World’s Largest Lesson, the participants learned about the Sustainable development goals and were inspired to develop a commitment to act in the framework of the Scouts for SDGs mobilization. UNICEF East and Southern Regional Office together with GIZ were also present to create awareness on youth and adolescent nutrition and encourage Scouts to take part in the 12-weeks Digital Livelihoods Challenge being run on the YOMA Africa’s digital ecosystem that equips youth with digital tools and entrepreneurial competencies to express and monetize their unique passions.
Thanks to the support of the Uganda Tourism Board the jamboree was able to bring the Ugandan experience to the participants virtually with videos showcasing the beautiful landscapes, wildlife, music and dance, food, and other cultural aspects of the people of the East African country commonly referred to as “the pearl of Africa.” A music extravaganza, cultural evening and a virtual campfire made sure that the event was fun, entertaining, and memorable. The jamboree also observed the Scout Scarf Day on 1st August to commemorate the founding of the movement during the first Scout Camp on Brownsea Island in 1907 - also referred to as the "Sunrise of Scouting."
As the event ended, participants were introduced to and invited to the 1st Africa Rover Moot set to be hosted by Kenya Scouts Association from 15 to 25 April 2023. Themed "innovating the next steps" the moot, an event for Rover Scouts aged 18 to26 years, promises another memorable experience. It calls upon young adults to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to the current challenges facing young people and their communities; to take a lead and make their every move in life count as they seek to better themselves and those around them.
A colourful and well-choreographed closing ceremony capped the virtual event that helped participants to develop global friendships, acquire useful knowledge and skills and create wonderful memories at a time when the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic that has hindered in-person activities.
The ceremony was graced by the WOSM Secretary-General Ahmad Alhendawi, Vice-Chair of the World Scout Committee Jemima Nartey, Africa Scout Committee Chairperson Victor Atipagah, Regional Director Frederic Kama-Kama and Prof. Maggie Kigozi who apart from being the Chief Scout of Uganda was the Camp Chief for the virtual 8th Africa Scout Jamboree. They all recognized and thanked all partners and the Ugandan and Africa regional teams that worked had to deliver an amazing event under exceptional circumstances.
“From the number of countries represented, truly this seems to have been an international Scout jamboree hosted by the Africa Scout Region and Uganda Scouts Association,” said Ahmad in his remarks. “If there’s a dream that we all have is to continue having an enjoyable and impactful movement. A movement that can be part of the development and progress of Africa," he added.
Special appreciation was also given to the adult volunteers, parents and guardians that have supported the young people through the Scouting Movement, and especially during the jamboree.
“Do not tire of being a source of encouragement and counsel to the young people because that is the only legacy you can leave that will multiply what you hold dear to,” said the First Lady of Uganda.
Read more stories from the Jamboree at www.scout.org/africajamboree. The 9th Africa Scout Jamboree will be organized in 2025 at a date and time to be decided on and communicated by the Africa Scout Committee in future.