Scouting’s non-formal educational programmes form a strong basis for its contribution to preventing violence among youth. With a belief that the educational programmes in Scouting based on the Scout Method can be successfully used in this respect, the Scouts of Georgia decided to launch a Messengers of Peace project “Scouts Promoting Non-Violence among the Youth” targeting youth aged 13-16 years. The project aims to help raise awareness and build capacity amongst Scout mediators for them to serve as a positive force that can help change the attitude of all other youth towards various kinds of conflicts. Through the project Georgian Scouts also hope to encourage higher levels of peer support amongst children and youth by strengthening their knowledge and capacities about non-violent conflict resolution, dialogue and decision-making. Another interesting aspect of the project is that it has already attracted many children and young people from Georgia who were not involved with Scouting in the past have now joined Scouting. Read more to know how this was achieved.
Violence amongst youth is a recurring societal problem in many countries. Violence is often perpetrated both by and against young people, and results in enormous physical, emotional, social, and economic consequences and no community is immune to its devastating effects. Despite many prevention programmes carried out by both governmental and nongovernmental institutions, cases of peer violence (bullying, teasing, physical abuse, etc.) related to discrimination based on gender, religion, homophobia, race and ethnic identities are increasingly becoming obvious in Georgian schools. These issues are especially crucial for schools in Tbilisi (capital city of Georgia), where peer violence has been observed to reach incredible limits.
Here are some of the activities carried out under “Scouts Promoting Non-Violence among the Youth” along with young people’s impressions, quotes and interviews:
Peace activities at Tbilisi Green School
To help support this project, the Tbilisi Green School organised an art competition, an exhibition and a series of presentations on the topic of Mediation and Conflict Resolution. For a whole week, different materials about violence and conflicts were displayed in the school library.
Scouts explained to the visitors how violence influences the personal development of youth, what the psychological characteristics of violent people are and how conflicts can be peacefully resolved.
Interview with Keti Piranishvili, Georgian Scouts National board member
How has the project made an impact on Georgian Scouting?
I am the leader of this Messengers of Peace project, Scouts Promoting Non-Violence among the Youth, on behalf of my Scout association. This project is a great way for us to change habits and views among youth, to give them the reason to think about living peaceful lives.
Scout activities at Robert Schuman European School
In June, two Scout groups visited the Robert Schuman European School of Tbilisi to organise Scout activities for the students with the purpose of promoting the Scout Method and to involve more children and young people in the Scout Movement of Georgia.
Scouts had the opportunity to show what Scouting is all about and this created a real interest amongst the participants about Scouting.
Interview with Salome, Rover Scout and school leader
What did the project bring to you on a personal level?
At a personal level, as I am living in Georgia, it is obvious from everything we have been through as a country, that peace is the most important thing. But before I was just thinking about it, and now I am doing activities for ensuring there is peace, so I am able to contribute to it.
“Peaceful 2012”, the Camp
Following these different activities, the Scouts of Georgia organised a Scout camp called “Peaceful 2012”. From July 17th to July 23rd, 100 participants from different parts of the country gathered to learn more about Scouting and enjoy outdoor life and activities.
Working in small groups, the participants of Peaceful 2012 went through trainings on Peace education, Environmental protection, First Aid and Scout skills.
The participants also took part in hiking, sports activities, orienteering and team building games, which further enriched the camp life providing them with meaningful and pleasant experiences.
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