Polska pomoc


AFRICA NOW – from sources of scouting to the continent of the future!

Despite its convoluted and often tragic history, Africa has a great, still untapped, potential. On the one hand, Africa is a continent which over the recent years has been showing the highest indicators of economic growth. On the other hand, it is becoming more visible worldwide in the fields of culture, art and sport. Over the last couple of years, economic and military powerhouses of the world have been implementing their strategies for Africa – which only seems to confirm that it is not an exaggeration to put forward a thesis that Africa is the continent of the 21st century. In the meantime, Africa is still relatively unknown in Poland, and the knowledge of the continent is encumbered by many stereotypes. This results in intolerance, sometimes racism on the one hand, and missed opportunities in many different fields that could have arisen from cooperating with the locals, on the other hand. While eliminating the knowledge barrier in the older generation can be a long and complex process, educating the youth seems to be a proper and simpler course of action.

The idea behind the project AFRICA NOW – From the Sources of Scouting to a Continent of the Future came into being in 2012, when in cooperation with the Polish Football Association, the Poland-East Africa Economic Foundation realised a different type of educational project called Magic of football, magic of Africa – united by football! The project proved that Global Education actions are much more effective and long-lasting when, instead of inculcating the youth and the elderly with abstract knowledge, that knowledge is infused into their passions and interests. In that case, it was football, and the educational starting point was the growing popularity of African footballers playing at European and Polish stadiums.

In the current project, its target group are young people sharing a passion for scouting. Apart from being a numerous group (Polish Scouting and Guiding Association has over 120,000 members, and the number of scouts in Africa is counted in millions), these people are above average when it comes to their interest in the world and openness to new experiences and differences. The scouts are a well-organized group, which increases the chances of leaving a long-lasting educational imprint on them.  

AFRICA NOW – from sources of scouting to the continent of the future!

The educational project AFRICA NOW, in implementation since December 2014, is to initiate a systematic process of building a reliable knowledge base on Africa and its inhabitants among over 120,000 Polish scouts, integrated into eight thousand troops. To achieve this aim, a decision was made in cooperation with the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association management to come up with a formal programme proposal for the Association’s instructor cadre, and troop leaders in particular.  The programme proposal, practically speaking, is a manual with gathering scenarios and additional knowledge compendiums (elaborations, films, photographs, links, reports, etc.), from which the troop leaders get their knowledge for their gatherings. 

To make the proposal on widening the knowledge about Africa more appealing, other typically scout activities are implemented, e.g. educational workshops for instructor cadre, educational competitions, scout badges, reports, etc. In its developmental guidelines, the current educational project is the beginning of the education and wider cooperation between scout members in Poland and Africa.

AFRICA NOW – from sources of scouting to the continent of the future!

The Africa Now educational project was in operation from 23 May to 31 December 2014. It consisted of the following undertakings:

1. Contacts with international scouting organisations in chosen African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Zimbabwe), aiming to acquire credible information on scout operations in Africa and to establish cooperation for the future

2. Formulation of complete educational materials for Polish scouts, which consist of:

a. Troop leader’s manual Africa Now, containing 20 scout gathering scenarios on four age levels (brownies and cub scouts, guides and scouts, senior guides and senior scouts, and rangers and rovers), along with a reliable compendium of knowledge about Africa (history, fun facts, photography, etc.)

b. DVD disc with additional materials for troop leaders to be used in preparation and conducting gatherings (films, photographs, reports, elaborations, etc.)

c. Scout map of Africa as one of the tools for education and conducting gatherings

d. A contour map of Africa as the basis for brownie/cub scout and guide/scout troops

In October 2014, the published materials found their way to eight thousand scout troops in the country and form the basis for regular gatherings. 

3. Educational workshops for the instructor cadre of the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association organised in the second half of 2014. Over 400 instructors and troop leaders from Poland participated in 10 workshops. They then applied their new knowledge in their districts, detachments and troops.

4. A competition for troops in Poland to prepare the most interesting educational maps attracted 623 entries from every Polish Scouting and Guiding Association’s district.

The premise of the project is to disseminate credible knowledge among 120,000 members of the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association. The important asset of the project is the fact that, as the scout experience shows, prepared materials and the idea of exploring Africa will be used for years to come.