Aidan Jones, on his first visit to the Asia Pacific Region as the new Chief Operating Officer of the World Scout Bureau, visited Karachi, Pakistan on 16th June with Asia-Pacific Regional Director Abdullah Rasheed.
Part of the visit was a meeting with Ticket to Life (TTL) Scouts where Aidan highlighted the efforts for the project, with shared goals and services similar to other Scouting projects going on around the world.
The programme was held at the auditorium of Commerce College in Karachi, along with other guests, Scout leaders, TTL Scouts and their parents. Among the key leaders present were Syed Pervez Ali Shah Jillani, member of the Regional Scout Committee, the former National Secretary of Pakistan Boy Scouts Association Mr. Ali Yameen Qureshi, Mr. Akhtar Mir, Provisional Secretary Sindh Boy Association, and Mr Imran Chishti, the Controller of Examination in Karachi.
This is the first time that regional Scout leaders witnessed a TTL project since it was shifted from Islamabad to Karachi. One of the parents spoke and appreciated how the program supports their children who have never been to school, or have been begging on the streets, but are now in school, some are even earning, and have a hope for the future.
TTL Co-ordinator Prof. Anwar Zain detailed out the work done in Karachi. In response, Jillani admired the performance of the TTL Scout troop. He said, "As Scouts, it is our duty to help these children and give them hope by engaging them in activities like Scouting".
Two young Scouts, including Obama, a TTL Scout who represented TTL during the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden last year, led the programme. Obama said that Scouting is making him more self-confident.
TTL unit leaders said that many activities are designed for the Scouts, such as outdoor activities, vocational training and proficiency badge. These unit leaders are in-charge of the four troops operating in Karachi in Bin Qasim town, Korangi Kemari town, Malir town and Shah Faizal town, catering to some 128 Scouts. Presently, there are only boys in the troop and no female members yet.
During the past year, TTL troop in Karachi, as planned across all the 8 pilot countries, focused the programme on vocation skills. Remarkably, 39 Scouts underwent various vocational skills in seven areas including bookbinding, tailoring, motorcycle mechanic, among others.
Out of 39 Scouts, 16 achieved their proficiency badge in book binding and tailoring. In the advancement scheme, a total of 115 Scouts have passed the second level, theTanzeem badge, and are now working for the next level, the Yaqeen badge.