Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today - 5th December - is a very special day, not only for Scouting, but also for hundreds of millions of people who volunteer to help make the world a better place.
Today is the International Volunteer Day. On this occasion, we celebrate and recognize volunteering in all its facets and pay special tribute to the contribution of young volunteers who act as agents of change in their communities.
The World Organization of Scout Movement (WOSM) is one of the world’s largest volunteer and youth based organizations. World Scouting involves young people and adults from various socio-cultural/economic backgrounds to participate in activities and be involved in projects serving local communities.
World Scouting has demonstrated the importance of youth participation and intergenerational cooperation for more than a century now. I am proud to be a part of this big family, a true 21st century "leadership factory". Our flagship initiative - Messengers of Peace - will embrace more and more people to make a real difference in the lives of people.
As I write this message, a lot of our Scouts are participating in the UNESCO and United Nations Volunteers (UNV) joint conference on “Youth Volunteering and Dialogue” in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. UNESCO and UNV have recognised that Scouts are the key change makers amongst today’s youth and this is clear, as more than one third of the participants in this Conference are Scouts. Even those Scouts who were representing other organisations at the Conference came forward to say that their learning from Scouting was a key contributor to their success as volunteers. We will continue to invest in dialogue, opening our doors, and be courteous to accept the invitation from others to dialogue and live together in peace and harmony. We are creating a world full of Messengers of Peace.
World Scouting will continue to support global efforts for better recognition, networking and promotion of volunteering worldwide. We join our efforts with those who stress that volunteering contributes to human development and results in peace at local, national and global levels.
Let all of us commit to creating an enabling environment for individuals to engage in volunteering activities and to promote the well-being of volunteers, in Scouting and in the wider society.
World Scouting is perhaps the first global intergenerational organization, where millions of volunteers, adults and young people alike, serve their communities on a daily basis. We have a substantial and positive impact in the daily life of millions of people belonging to those communities.
We also need to tell the world about all these wonderful volunteer experiences and stories, so please share these within our Movement and externally through www.scout.org.
Happy International Volunteer Day!
Secretary General, WOSM