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Walesa becomes a 'Friend of Scouting'

3rd Aug 2007

Hylands Park, Chelmsford, UK – August 3, 2007 – During 2 days, the former president of Poland, Lech Walesa, visited the World Scout Jamboree. Joined by members of the polish contingent, he toured around the site to see many of the Jamboree activities, to talk to Jamboree participants, to be honored by the European Scout Foundation and ultimately to share his thoughts on World Scouting with the secretary general of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, Eduardo Missoni.

On August 3, Lech Walesa and secretary general Eduardo Missoni met to discuss the possible impacts of Scouting on the challenges of modern society. Lech Walesa is convinced that Scouting can find practical solutions and ideas for these challenges. “Scouting can break barriers by educating young people to Scouting principles, which become more and more important as civilization develops.”

Eduardo Missoni agreed that Scouting is promoting important values as a movement of peace and solidarity. “Scouting combines global principles with local differences.” As the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, Walesa is ready to support the nomination of the Scout movement for the Prize in 2008.

At a special reception in the historic rooms of Hylands House, Walesa was honored by Jørgen Rasmussen, chairman of the European Scout Foundation with the life membership of “Friends of Scouting in Europe”. Friends of Scouting in Europe is an initiative of the European Scout Foundation to financially support projects in the European Scout region as well as projects in Central and Eastern Europe.

“I became a friend of the Scout movement more than 50 years ago, and so I was wondering what Scouting is about today”, Walesa said. Remembering the years of changing political environment in Europe, Walesa thanked the Scout Movement for having continued to function even under these difficult and changing conditions. Walesa finished his short speech by looking to the future “I’m ready to work with you, let’s have some success together.”