Tuesday, August 21, 2007

STAR goes Global at the World Scout Jamboree

STAR volunteers joined over 40,000 Scouts from around the world to make a difference to the lives of refugees…

This year the World Scout Movement celebrated its Centenary and to commemorate, the World Scout Jamboree was held in Chelmsford, UK, reflecting the home and roots of the Scouting movement. The 21st World Scout Jamboree brought together a massive 40,000 Scouts from over 180 countries, including Scout leaders and Scouts aged 14-18 and an additional 50,000, day visitors!

STAR partnered with UNHCR to deliver a range of exciting activities at the Jamboree, introducing Scouts to refugee issues. Over 2,000 Scouts engaged in simulation activities where they learnt just how hard life can be as a refugee and had the chance to show their support for refugees worldwide

Journey to Safety

STAR’s Youth Outreach Officer, Sarah, ran the workshop ‘Journey to Safety’ with the help of nine STAR volunteers, 3 French and 2 Hungarian Scout Volunteers. The international make-up of the delivery team was reflected in the participants we met, they ranged from Bolton to Bangladesh and brought with them a variety of experiences and knowledge regarding refugees. After taking part in Journey to safety one participant said the activity had “made us feel really lucky because refugees go through so much”.

Hands-up for Refugees

STAR and UNHCR also had an interactive stand at the Jamboree where Scouts were able to play the UNHCR computer game ‘Against All Odds’ and put their ‘Hands up for Refugees’. Eighty four square metres of fabric were covered with Scouts’ hand prints showing just how much support there is for refugees amongst young people.

Balloon game in action

Scouts also had to juggle some of the basic needs of a refugee: Food, Shelter, Language, Freedom and Education. With five balloons representing these needs Scouts found out just how difficult it is to keep them all in the air and to face life with one or more of these things missing.

The Jamboree also provided a great opportunity to talk to Scouts about their thoughts and experiences, the team heard how a young Scout from Columbia helped displaced people in his home country and how a Scout troop in Sri Lanka had distributed food and blankets to those left homeless after the Tsunami.

a href=“http://www.star-network.org.uk/index.php/getting_involved/index/”>Click here if you’d like to find out more about how you can get involved in awareness raising activities.

a href=“http://www.star-network.org.uk/index.php/young_people/index/outreach”>Click here if your youth group or school would like STAR to run an activity.

a href=“http://www.unhcr.org/scouts”>Click here to visit our Scout mircosite to find out more about the activities we ran at the Jamboree.

Posted by Russell Brooks on 21/08/2007 at 12:07 PM