GITEGA - From 28th July to 5th August 2012, Scouts from over thirty countries gathered at the Bungere Scout camp in Gitega, Burundi for the 6th Africa Scout Jamboree. The opening ceremony was graced by His Excellency, Gervais Rufyikiri, the Second vice president of Burundi. Also in attendance at the opening ceremony were ambassadors from the Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, officials from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture in Burundi, members of the Africa Scout Committee and staff from the World Scout Bureau - Africa Regional Office.
“True to the theme of this jamboree "Scouting for positive change," we can say that the development of Africa will not be realized if we do not invest in youth. For this to happen, Scouting at all levels, must be effective and recognized as a trusted stakeholder in the [development] process”, said Gilbert Mussumba, Chairman of the Africa Scout Committee during the opening ceremony.
For the next nine days, participants were taken through exciting inter-camp activities. Participants also interacted with other Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the Global Development Village (GDV). Notable among them was the 350.org which is an organization for young people that seek to support grassroots youth movements across Africa to call for solutions to the climate crisis.
One of the event highlights was an excursion to the Gitega Museum, the Karera falls in Mwishanga and the Kiganda treaty site.
It is important to note that two major events ran concurrently on the sidelines of the Jamboree: the 6th Africa Scout Youth Forum (“Reloaded”) and the Messengers of Peace Training. The Youth Forum gathered young people from 26 countries namely: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
At the end of the youth forum a team of six youth advisors was elected: Esther Hilundwa (Namibia), Felana Razanamirindra (Madagascar), Dossou Henri Joel (Benin), Nathaniel Likabi (Cameroun), Liberty Makonese (Zimbabwe) and Grace Nyaruai Michuki - Chairperson (Kenya). The team is now tasked with organizing the 7th Africa Scout Youth Forum scheduled for 2015 in Mauritius.
The Messengers of Peace (MoP) Community Leader’s Training saw the participation of 27 countries. They were: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Facilitated by Cynthia Marquez together with Collie Kavanagh, Kim Moller-Elshoj, Ronni Tino Pedersen, Christoffer Heindorff Malling and Regional Office staff, the participants were taken through various aspects of social media and communication for the implementation of the MoP initiative.
Picture: © WSB/ARO