In June 2007 Alcoa Foundation and the World Organization of the Scout Movement decided to launch a joint programme promoting sustainability awareness. It will be initially rolled out in five European countries and will be funded by a two-year $205,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation. The 21st World Scout Jamboree in Southern England, taking place until 8th of August, is a good opportunity to start to involve young people in the programme. Alcoa Foundation has supported a series of workshops based in the “Global Development Village”, where the Jamboree participants, aged from 14 to 17, reflected on issues and challenges facing the global community.
“We are doing workshops on climate change, disaster preparedness, renewable energy and on climate change”, says Keith Hoey, UK leader for Alcoa foundation. In the latter workshop, participants of the Jamboree see what the effects of the production of carbon dioxide are. “You need 13 trees to absorb the dioxide produced by a ten-hour-flight”, workshop-leader Sean Kets explains.
Participants at the workshop have discussed how they could change their own behavior in order to contribute to a cleaner world in using less electric energy. “You are the ones to make decisions in the future, you can really make a change”, says Sean Kets. A group of Scouts from Cyprus and Hungary came up with a possible solution for using less energy when having their daily breakfast. “We will have a farm in Texas with our own cow and chicken.”
In the renewable energy workshop young people have been talking about geothermal, solar, wind, water and bioenergy power. They can see how to cook with a solar cooker and how to heat water for a solar shower. The objective of the Alcoa Foundation’s contribution to the Jamboree according to Keith Hoey is “to make at least 1,500 young leaders of the future more aware of the role they can play in making this world a better place to live”.
Alcoa Foundation describes itself as a “source of positive community change and enhancement”. The Foundation is a corporate social responsibility project of the Alcoa company, the world’s leading producer and manager of aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities. The partnership with the World Organization of the Scout Movement consists of various educational tools and will be supported by an environmental ‘merit badge’ to be earned by Scouts in various age groups.