Scouts and Guides are standing together #WithRefugees! - Photo Exhibition in Mundo B
On World Refugee Day, we reflect on the stories of Guides
and Scouts who were serving the refugees in different countries.
There are currently 68.5 million refugees worldwide, with half of that figure made up of young people. Scouts and Guides are strongly committed to supporting refugees in their local communities. WOSM and WAGGGS work together on human rights work, along with supporting and connecting their Member Organisations which are playing an active role in the current migrant and refugee situation in Europe.
At the WAGGGS 36th World Conference, a Motion was passed calling on WAGGGS to support Member Organisations taking action to supporting human rights and address inequality and inequity in response to the current migrant and refugee situation. WAGGGS is now mapping the needs and best practices Member Organisations already have on this topic. We are collecting and sharing amazing stories of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts taking action every day to create more open and inclusive societies. Furthermore, the joint WAGGGS and WOSM European working group Human Rights & Refugees has created an exciting game. This game will support Guides and Scouts to learn about the current refugee situation and help them raise awareness. Finally, a joint statement by the WAGGGS Europe Region and WOSM European Scout Region committees will invite European Institutions to move the focus of refugee policies from closing, to integrating Europe.
Scouts are often among the very first to respond to the migrant and refugee situation and they never leave. Apart from providing the displaced with necessities, they have opened Scout groups, trained new leaders, encouraged young people to join Scouting activities and programmes. The camps, skill development workshops and games, have proved to be a welcome respite for young refugees, giving them hope for the future. The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) has launched a new platform to structure and streamline the support available to its 169 National Scout Organisations (NSOs), to improve their capacity to deliver a better Scouting experience to young people worldwide. The online platform offer toolkits and guides as well as references to NSO best practices concerning the inclusion of migrants, refugees and displaced people.
In this framework, the Scout project Time to be Welcome encourages young volunteers and youth organisations to welcome asylum seekers and refugees. It promotes the integration process in new countries through non-formal education and youth work. Within the different project phases social campaigns are developed to raise awareness of project topics. It will also explore living conditions faced by refugees and the need for communities to welcome and integrate new members.
To support this work volunteers have developed a photographic report of their experience. These pictures will be part of an exhibition held at Mundo B from 20 June until the end of July. The images will move to Mundo J where they will be displayed until the end of September. The aim of this exhibition is to share project results and showcase this work to the international community, as an example of the work Scouts and Guides are doing in this area. This includes activities implemented in Greece and France, along with the framework of the EU funded Time to be Welcome project.