In January, 2010, Ten Young men and women from all over the country gathered for two weekends for the first time in Costa Rica to explore, respond and take action within the Scouts of the World Award.
The Iztarú National Scout Centre, permanent Scouts of the World Base and SCENES (Scout Centres of Excellence for Nature and Environment), was the venue where the participants received workshops from experts on: Peace, Development and Environment, as well as professionals in the voluntary service projects field. From Iztarú the youths traveled for Explorations in two different routes which permitted them to face problems they would work on and be part of the solution. The Discovery is just the beginning of a process for them who already are designing their voluntary service that will allow them to obtain the Scouts of the World Award and become a member of the Scout of the World Network.
In the Environment team, solid waste management and watershed protection were included among other topics. The participants had the chance to compare a watershed with minimal human alteration and therefore clean, with another one in an urban area, and make health and Biomonitoring tests. They also visited the Río Azul rubbish dump which is in technical closure process where they experienced the effects of the mishandling of solid waste over the years. During the process they were accompanied by experts of the University of Costa Rica and other related organisms.
In a different group, the youths enrolled on Peace and Development started with a workshop about public safety and Victims Protection Program. On the second day, they continued with a workshop on Peace: the meanings and implications, they then traveled to Rincón Grande community where they had, with the company of the local youth association, another workshop about Human Development and Peace culture. The participants also shared with these youths their view of the community issues and the projects they are already working on. Lastly in the afternoon, they had a guided tour around the most vulnerable neighborhoods of the area.
Both groups got together one more time to study the national outlook, helped by a delegate of the Estado de la Nación. The remaining days were dedicated to receive useful tools for their projects, for instance: formulation, planning, financing and project evaluation as well as conflict resolution. The young men and women closed their participation with designing of their own action plans and sealed their compromise of fighting to change those issues they were the most concerned about.
The event was under the charge of the Scouts of the World Award Committee and all the participants were financially supported by the Asociación de Guías y Scouts de Costa Rica. This was the first experience of this kind in Costa Rica and set the start of a program that aims to revitalize the older scouting sections at the same time that invites young men and women from outside the Guide and Scout movement to know about it.
The next Scouts of the World Discovery is expected to be held by mid 2010, those interested in participating are invited to be attentive of the new inscription process.
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