Since the emergence of Pakistan and India as independent states in 1947, there have been several wars and border disputes between the two states. These circumstances have fueled animosity and negative stereotypes between the countries and their peoples.
Determined to change the prevailing situation Scouts from Pakistan and India have come together for a peace camp project. The first integration camp was organized by The Bharat Scouts and Guides of India in 2011 in order to increase understanding and dialogue between youth from both countries. After the success of the first camp, a second peace camp was organized by the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association in 2012.
The peace camps provide a platform for encounter, discussion and sharing of ideas. If young people get the chance to meet and interact through scouting activities, it can lead to mutual understanding, trust and an increased will to cooperate. By participating in activities together, Scouts from both countries can form friendships and have positive experiences that have a strong personal impact on their values and attitudes. If Scouts share their experiences, the positive impact can reach the Scouts’ families, peers and communities.
The program of the camps embraces and promotes a culture of peace and non-violence as an alternative to the prevailing attitudes. The camps also aim to empower youth to become actively involved in peace promotion in their communities. The formulation of action plans to facilitate continued cooperation on the promotion of peace further extends the integration camps’ impact. Idea sharing and friendships can be upheld through social media, which also contributes to the positive long-term impacts.
This project was supported by the Messengers of Peace Support Fund.
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