Organisation Promotes Scouting Growth in Nigeria

By Lekan Sowande, Abuja.

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The Chairman of the World Organisation of Scout Movement (WOSM), Mr. Andrew Chapman, has asserted that scouting has the potency to make people within the fold better and more useful in society than their peers who did not have scouting experiences.

Mr. Chapman asserted while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja, at the National Parade and Presidential Awards, organised by WOSM.

According to him, scouting is all about building confidence and self-esteem, learning important life skills and leadership skills, team building, outdoor adventure, education, and fun, stressing that Scouts learn how to make good choices and to take responsibility for their actions so that they are prepared for their adult life as independent persons.

The WOSM boss noted that this year’s scout jamboree taking place in the nation’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), would remind the young people that they are part of the global community.

Mr. Chapman, who came to Nigeria from Chicago, to witness the Scout Jamboree and Presidential Awards, expressed optimism, that scouts who would become leaders at various levels in the country in the future, would apply the noble skills and values they acquired in their early years in life, to render examples and exceptional leadership to the nation.

“Scouting reminds the young people and even the old people that we are all interconnected. So, we coming here to remind the young people that they are part of the global community. And during their bids to become the governors, the mayors, the presidents of this country, I believe they will demonstrate those values instilled in them in scouting.

“We have done a lot of studies on the social impact of scouting, and we have evidence and proofs in every continent of the world, that young people who joined scouting, later in life become much more likely than their peers to get better jobs and to be more stable in the family. 

“They are more likely to have a better formal education; they are more likely to make more money throughout life and they are more likely to get along with other people because what we do in scouting cascades to the afterlife. We teach young people how to get along with each other. Imagine if all the leaders of the world today are being involved in scouting, they will know how to get along with each other” he said.

Also speaking, the Director, African Region of WOSM, Mr. Frederic Tutu-Tutu Kama Kama, noted that highly qualitative Scouts had been brought up in Nigeria, assuring that they are going to have a positive impact on the lives of the Nigerians and the country at large.

He explained that, in scouting, they teach young people how to love each other, live in peace among themselves and give peace to society in general, stressing that the way to achieve world peace is not by war or the use of weapons, but through heart to heart and love for each other.

Mr. Kama Kama underscored the importance of recognising and rewarding people who have made meaningful contributions to the development of society, pointing out that troubles do erupt in societies because those who contributed so much to society are not rewarded or given recognition.

“Our visit is not just to meet the leaders or the patron; our visits is also to meet the Scouts, to look at the quality of the vocational skills we are giving to the young people today. And the quality of that offering is also a reflection of the quality of the Scouts we have formed in Nigeria. The quality of scouts in Nigeria is also going to have an impact on the lives of these young people 

“Our leader, Paul Baden Powell was a two-star general of the British Army. He fought in India, he fought in South Africa and he fought in Ghana. However, what was important he said was, if you want world peace, it’s not through war; it’s not through weapons, it’s through heart to heart. In scouting, we teach the young people to love each other. The experience these young people are having in this jamboree will last a lifetime. Between them, it’s very difficult for them to raise their hands in violence against each other.

“Psychology teaches us that the character we have in life is what we develop through our young age. And if you miss instilling characters in young people, later life is useless. So, what we do to young people today is to teach them friendship, love, character, and discipline. And these are the things that are going to present them as responsible citizens later in life and to be peace lovers.

“The significance of the award is much of recognition. Sometimes in life, we have disgruntled people because many people are not recognised. From my country, Kenya where I work, and from around the world, many of the people, especially the teachers, health workers and the soldiers have trouble in society because these people are doing much and are not recognised. 

“So, the world needs to recognise the contribution of each of these persons to the development of society. Scouting is very important to the development of the community, the development of the society and the development of the world scouting is for the development of the society. We don’t have the Nobel praise Prize to give, but in the world, it is a recognition that you have made a contribution and it’s very important for us to recognise you” he said.

About 1500 delegates across the 36 federation states including the FCT are taking part in the Nigerian National Scouts Parade and Presidential Award, the second edition, and the largest scouting jamboree in Africa.

 

Dominica Nwabufo

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