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That's something else, Scouting has a lot different meaning to most of those kids than it does to most American kids. That article definately gets printed out and put where my Scouts can see it (especially the "My parents want Eagle for my college resume" ones)
Marvelous. BP always said Scouting was an international movement. I applaud Ms Gustafson, but the article and pictures raise some questions for me.
Boys and girls together? In the same troop? No head scarfs on the girls? The mosques of my experience here in the US are'nt quite that "progressive".
Still, I wish them much good fortune. "Inshallah"
Old school scouting...community leadership, simple functional uniforms...focus is on civic duty instead scouting being a "past time"...neckerchiefs look like they can actually be used as a bandana or cravat....
And progressive. Boy and girls in the same organization.
As I travel for Uncle Sam, I'm amazed at the difficult challenges children deal with in other countries. Orphanages are common. Some are strictly for "throw away" kids...one might have kids with kidney failure, another for kids with cancer...no treatment available, they literally stay there until they die.
For kids that live with their parents, schools may not have electricity, or heat, or indoor plumbing. Our standard scout camp latrine would be a luxury to them.
These circumstances breed lack of identity and discontent, and make the kids targets, as victims of all kinds of crime to include human trafficing, child labor, or extremist ideology.....
Yet I'm continually amazed at how strong people can be, despite the difficulties and having no safety net.
I guess I'm agreeing with all, that scouting is a godsend for many children.
I think in America, ironically, our scouting program may not prepare our kids for adulthood as well as some of the small but mighty programs in impoverished countries....
And we have kids in America that are living in just as dire circumstances as I've described, to one degree or another. Scouting would do well to reach out to them. But we don't have that old troop planting philosophy as we did in the early day of scoutings. And frankly, I don't think alot of scouters at district level and higher are up for it. Our great movement has solidified itself as a middle class past time (yes, thankfully there are exceptions). The BSA could make a big difference in people's lives; as a hobby though, it's going to stay static or recede.
PS. I'm just as guilty of the "past time" approach to scouting programs label as the next guy, if not more. Just observing and realizing.
That was a great and inspiring article and it proves what the scouting movement potential truly can become. In this wartorn nation with virtually no infrastructure that scouting is helping these youth to cope with and contribute to the betterment of their country is truly miraculous. Our scouts could learn a great deal from their Afgan counterparts. I truly hope these scouts can survive this new insurgence and the carnage that will result.
After this is all over I hope that we will try to help rebuild and give support to this orphanage and other groups like them that have something really worthwhile to contribute to their country.
The world Scout shop sells patches from around the world (including the one featured at the top of the Wikipedia article) with some funds going to Scouting movements in the developing world. The original article had links to PARSA and from at that site there are many ways to donate, including the sending of boxes to Afghanistan (via APO, so shipping is reasonable).
Please note that in Afghanistan Scouts are administered by the Ministry of Education. I am not alone in thinking education can make a difference. The book "Three Cups of Tea" details an American's mission to build schools for Pakistan and Afghanistan.