The first Regional Director of the Eurasia Scout Region, Dr. Alexander Stepanovich Bondar, known as Sacha Bondar, passed away on 14 October 2012. Sacha had joined the World Scout Bureau Eurasia Region as the first Regional Director of the Region in 1997 and retired from his professional duties in 2008. Born on 15 December 1943, Russian national Sacha died after a brief period of illness. In his Scouting career, both as a volunteer and as a professional, Sacha contributed, in one way or another, to the rebirth (or the birth – in some countries) of Scouting in every country of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Before joining the World Scout Bureau Eurasia Regional Office in Ukraine, Sacha Bondar had worked at the then League of Red Cross Societies in Geneva from 1977 as a Youth Officer where he was appreciated by his colleagues for his open mind and his genuine engagement for matters related to youth. In 1982, Sacha went back to Moscow.
Scouting had been discontinued (or in some cases had become inexistent) in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) long before that time. However in 1989, there was a glimpse of hope for the rebirth of Scouting in the USSR particularly through ‘Operation Chernobyl’ which brought 3000 children from the atomic radiation affected areas in USSR to be hosted for summer vacations by Scouts in 15 different National Scout Organizations of World Scouting. Following this development, Sacha’s former colleagues from the Red Cross who were now working at the World Scout Bureau Central Office in Geneva tried to re-establish contact with him in the hope of seeking his help to re-start Scouting in the USSR.
Sacha accepted to help, first as a non-paid volunteer for a few years and then as a World Scout Bureau representative and executive, becoming the first Regional Director for the newly created Eurasia Scout Region in 1997. The creation of Eurasia Scout Region was the result of his tireless work under the guidance and with the support of the World Scout Committee and the World Scout Bureau Central Office. During this entire period Sacha fulfilled a difficult role in a very complex environment following the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, Glasnost and Perestroika. Sasha lived through these changing times supporting Scouting, ensuring there was a point of contact, offering advice from his vast experience, and providing a starting point to what we now know as the Eurasia Scout Region.
World Scouting honours his memory and offers condolences to those who are dear to him at this time of loss.