December 1997 Home

"Eurofax is the monthly newsletter of the European Scout Region. It is produced by the European Scout Office and is distributed to all member associations in the European Region, and others. Reproduction of articles without alteration is encouraged but Eurofax should be acknowledged as the source of the information."

World Youth Organisations Launch Education Initiative for the New Millennium

The Chief Executive Officers of five of the largest worldwide, non formal education organizations have shared and published their vision of the non formal education of young people into the next century.

The World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations (YMCA), The World Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies today collectively involve more than 100 million young people and have together contributed to the education of more than a billion young people this century.

The Chief Executives of these organizations believe that it is necessary to recognize the universal validity of the non formal education of young people. The purpose of education as a whole is to contribute to the full development of an autonomous, supportive, responsible and committed person. Education is provided through a number of channels; formal (e.g. schools), informal (e.g. family, media, peer groups) and non formal (e.g. youth movements and organizations). All these channels are complementary and interdependent but a major problem today is that, with the increasing pressure on young people to perform and achieve, very often the formal, academic education is seen as the only essential part of education. Thus non formal education, which is best equipped to prepare young people to cope with social changes, is often underestimated and its benefits undervalued.

Under the Chairmanship of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Chairman of the International Award Association, the Chief Executives came together to express their vision of the education of young people both now and into the next century. In the coming months, this Statement, entitiled The Education of Young People: A statement at the dawn of the 21st century, will be presented personally to world leaders including Federico Mayor of UNESCO and Emeka Anyaoku, the Commonwealth Secretary General.

Copies of the Statement (published in English, French, Spanish and Arabic) have been distributed to all national associations. Further copies may be obtained from the World Scout Bureau or the World Bureau WAGGGS.

Building European Citizenship, 1-8 March 1998

"Europe is ancient and modern at the same time. It's name may be 25 centuries old, but the area is still in the stages of development. Will our "old Europe" be able to meet the challenges it faces today? Will its great age be a source of solidity or weakness? Will its history facilitate the finding of a place in the modern world?"

Jacques LeGoff

Are these questions we Guides and Scouts should be asking ourselves and will the answers we find contribute to the development of Europe? This seminar aims to identify how Guiding and Scouting can contribute to building European citizenship and to manage the change taking place. It is addressed to national and regional leaders working on programme development, leader training or the promotion and development of Guiding or Scouting in their own country. The Council of Europe will sponsor and support the event which will take place at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, a perfect location for this seminar. The invitation and application forms have been sent to all Member Organizations and the planning team will be pleased to receive your applications by 15 January 1998.

Europe For You ! seminar, 18-24 April 1998

There will be a European seminar on Europe For You ! in Pappenheim, Germany, from 18-24 April 1998. The seminar aims to provide an introduction to the Europe For You ! programme, to encourage the creation of new EuroSteps and to improve the quality of existing projects. The seminar programme will include: analysing the needs of young people aged 16-22 in different countries, sharing ideas and experiences from existing EuroSteps, evaluating current projects and developing new project ideas and materials. Participants should be members of national programme teams responsible for developing programmes for young people aged 16-22 and organisers of EuroSteps. They should be committed to developing and supporting EuroSteps in their own country. There is no age limit for this event. The working languages will be English and French. The invitation will be sent in the next Europak.

Euro-Arab Meeting

The 3rd Euro-Arab Meeting was held in Kuwait, 25-30 October. There were 46 participants, representing 23 Scout Associations as well as the World, Arab and European Regional levels, including the World Scout Committee, Arab Scout Committee, European Scout Committee, Arab Scout Office, European Scout Office and the Arab Union of Former Scouts and Girl Guides. It was agreed to share educational materials, as well as invitations to youth events and leader training courses, and to work together to better meet the needs of young people from ethnic communities in both regions. Several associations used the meeting to establish new bilateral partnership agreements or to review existing ones. A Euro-Arab camp for young people aged 16 to 22 will take place in Tunisia from 1-10 August 1998 on the theme of coastal protection. Countries represented in the meeting were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

Informal networks

From 7-9 November, the 'North-South' and 'Overture' networks met in Toulouse, France, hosted by the Scouts Musulmans de France. 42 representatives from Scout and Guide associations in 11 countries attended: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The two networks started their work with a joint session to review participation in the Global Development Village of the next World Scout Jamboree. Most of the associations represented confirmed their intention to run workshops, stands or activities in the GDV. Key topics on the agenda of the Overture Network were the preparations for the European seminar on marginalised youth and the sharing of strategies and tools to promote Guiding and Scouting among ethnic communities. The first issue of the Overture newsletter was produced. The North-South Network reviewed the work done by participating associations in the field of peace education. Some topics were examined in more depth in small groups, including the Mediterranean Peace Cruise, the plan of action of the Co-ordination Committee of the Scout Associations of the Great Lakes region (Africa), Scout partnerships in the context of twinned cities, youth exchanges and training. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in Portugal from 20-22 March 1998, hosted by Corpo Nacional Escutas.

Marginalised Youth Seminar

29 participants from 18 associations in 12 countries attended this seminar at Ranmoor Hall in Sheffield, United Kingdom, from 22-28 November 1997. The aim of the seminar was to encourage national associations to promote equal opportunities for all young people and to undertake innovative and experimental work with disadvantaged young people. It focused on the needs of young people aged 12-22 in inner cities and provincial towns, who have limited access to education, employment and responsibilities in society due to their socio-economic or ethnic background. The seminar gave participants opportunities to share different approaches to youth work, compare projects in different countries, analyse tools to improve youth programmes, adult recruitment and support or establish groups in new areas, as well as the chance to discover several ethnic communities and Guide and Scout groups in the local area. The report will include recommendations for follow-up by national associations.

WAGGGS' World Citizenship Award

Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations, has received a WAGGGS' World Citizenship Award. She was selected for her humanitarian work worldwide and her determination to further the peace process in Northern Ireland. This is only the second such WAGGGS' Award to have been presented. The first was given to Nelson Mandela. The award was presented to Mrs Robinson during the recent launch of Building World Citizenship - The WAGGGS Perspective, a project which will be the driving force behing Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting for the next six years.

The final word

"Educational youth organizations offer opportunities to establish a real partnership between young people and adults in a situation where both are volunteers and recognise that they can learn from each other. This partnership implies reciprocal appreciation and mutual respect. There are very few places where such a youth-adult relationship can develop in a non authoritarian manner and voluntary youth organizations are the most significant of such places."

The Education of Young People: A statement at the dawn of the 21st century


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