"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."
We have all been shocked by the terrible earthquake in western Turkey. The Guides and Scouts of Turkey have been playing their full part in the initial rescue work and we congratulate them on their prompt action. Now the focus is turning from immediate rescue work to longer term relief work for the homeless. We encourage all associations to continue to support the work of relief agencies. Together with the Europe Office WAGGGS, the European Scout Office will keep all associations up to date with information as we receive it from Turkey. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with all those whose lives have been devastated by the earthquake. Thank you to all those who have responded to the human needs in Turkey.
The official launch of the Peace Cruise took place on 8 August in Alexandria, Egypt. The young men and women of the first session boarded the Zawisca Czarny as she left for her long trip around the Mediterranean, which will end on 23 September in Piraeus, Greece. Since the launch, the Peace Sailors have attended Peace Events held in Haifa, Israel, and Larnaca, Cyprus. These were attended by top-level dignitaries and crowds of local young people. In Israel the Peace Sailors met Shimon Peres, joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The first crew of Peace Sailors handed over to their successors in Larnaca on 19 August, while the third crew will climb aboard in Antalya, Turkey, at the beginning of September. The last leg will leave Istanbul on 12 September, where plans are under way to ensure that the Peace Cruise and Peace Event can contribute to the huge relief effort under way in the wake of the earthquake. Don't forget to follow their progress on www.peacecruise.org, and read our special Eurofax supplement.
The document presenting the regional seminars and events planned for 2000 can be found in this month's Europak and will soon be available on the European Scout Region's web site. Please note that all venues and dates are subject to confirmation. Invitations and registration forms will be added as soon as the preparatory meetings have taken place.
For top leaders, the European Scout Region is organising the following: Mission of Scouting Symposium, Slovenia, 21-23 January, to ensure follow-up to the World Scout Conference relating to the Mission and equal opportunities; management seminar, Switzerland, 3-9 March, to strengthen the management of European Scout associations; International Commissioners' Forum, United Kingdom, spring, to encourage the exchange of information among international commissioners, regional committees and staff. There will also be sub-regional events on youth programme and adult resources in Cyprus in February, Denmark in May and France in November, to encourage Scout associations sharing similar languages or cultures to work together to develop their youth programmes and improve the management of their adult resources.
For young adults aged 18-30, the European Scout Region is organising the following: seminar on challenging programmes for young people over 16, Turkey, 20-26 May, to share ideas and experiences on how to improve programmes for the senior section; seminar on enabling young people to influence youth policy, France, July, to train young people to play an active role in national and international youth platforms; training course on building sustainable peace in the Mediterranean, in a Mediterranean country in September, to ensure follow-up to the Peace Cruise and help young people to play the role of mediator in their communities; seminar on empowering young people for decision-making at European level, Czech Republic, November, to prepare young delegates for effective participation in the next European Conference (N.B. special age limit 18-26).
This month, Ewa and Vladimir explore how a child's social environment gradually expands and he or she develops a personal identity by interacting with others. They discuss key issues such as the risk of traditional male and female roles in society restraining a young person's development, the importance of discovering the notion of rules and learning to reach compromises, the need to be part of a peer group and become integrated into society in an active and creative manner, rather than in a passive or conformist one. Why not join them on www.scout.org/europe?
Come to Györ in Hungary for the first annual meeting of the Friends of Scouting in Europe! Meet others who support the ideals and aspirations of Scouting in Europe and are keen to contribute financially to our Movement. The meeting will be from 8-10 October and there will be opportunities to discover the unique culture of the area and also pay a visit to the Slovak Scouts in nearby Bratislava. To register, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or send the registration form (earlier distributed to national associations by the European Scout Foundation) by fax to +4317105095.
If you like the idea of developing your leadership and personal skills, broadening your experience, brushing up on your foreign languages, making new friends and perhaps even doing a bit of travelling, then you will definitely find that EuroTrain is an exciting new project! It will enable Scout leaders from all over Europe to take part in training courses in other countries and enrich the training courses in your own country with a dash of foreign culture and new ideas. The call for training opportunities was sent in EuroPak in July and we need your input for the Y2K EuroTrain publication by 10 September.
The next meeting of the North-South and Overture Networks will be in Copenhagen from 22-24 October, at the Danish Guide and Scout Association's new headquarters at Holmen. The North-South Network will discuss ways of improving leader training, and developing new strategies and tools on development education. The Overture network will focus on communication and the image of Scouting and Guiding, and enable participants to try out tools and games for intercultural learning. Former participants will receive an invitation at the beginning of September. The participation fee is DKR 500. For information and to register, contact The Danish Guide and Scout Association, tel. +4532640050, fax +4532640075, email email@example.com.
There are many fantastic opportunities available for young enthusiastic volunteers to work at Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland. If you are over 18 years of age, a member of an officially recognised Scout or Guide association and speak and understand English, you can apply to join our team.
Volunteers join the international staff team for a period of 3 months, where they are trained and looked after by a team of long-term staff who ensure the continuity, management and direction of the Centre. The work done is very varied depending on the season applied for, with the aim of giving all volunteers experience in working in all areas of the Centre. The closing date for applications to be received in Kandersteg for the Winter season 2000, which runs from 12 December 1999 to 11 March 2000, is 18 September.
If you would like more information, please contact us: Staff Information, Kandersteg International Scout Centre, CH-3718 Kandersteg, Switzerland; tel. +41.33/6758282; fax +41.33/6758289; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The European Scout Office team is pleased to welcome Kristel Meunier, from Switzerland/France, as our new Financial Assistant as from 1 September. We wish Aidan Jones good luck with his move back to the UK and every happiness and success in his new post as Assistant Director of Programme and Development for The Scout Association.
If you haven't yet ordered your copy of the 4 World Scout video spots produced for CNN, you can still do so by contacting SCORE: fax +33450273710; email email@example.com. They are ideal for promoting Scouting in your own country and deal with the following topics: environment - making a difference; reaching out to marginalised youth; Scouting - fun with a purpose; peace.
A quick reminder that you can now buy Scout articles on www.worldscoutshop.org. Password protected information is also available for national Scout associations and national Scout shops with the possibility to benefit from wholesale/bulk prices.
Copies of the European Scout Region's Triennial Report 1996-99 and the following educational material can be ordered from the European Scout Office while stocks last: God, are You still in there? (French); Passport for Europe - log books and information kits (English, French, German); WTSIE '99 and EuroSteps '99 (English, French, German).
Note: seminar invitations and application forms are on the ESR web site.
For our Peace Sailors, it has not all been plain sailing, and the ship has had to make a number of changes to its route. On 11 August, the Peace Sailors were informed that they would not be allowed to enter Gaza by sea, even though this had been foreseen in the old fishing port, where everything had been made ready to welcome the ship. A proposal to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza that the young people could travel there from Ashdod by bus was also rejected, undoubtedly because of the disappointment felt in Gaza in the wake of the earlier Israeli decision.
Then during the same week the Peace Cruise learned that it would no longer be making a port of call in Beirut on 22 August. The decision was taken at the highest levels of the Lebanese state, and took all of the Peace Cruise partners by surprise, as the arrival of the ship and of the Peace Sailors was negotiated last November with representatives of both the former government and of the current administration.
For the Peace Sailors on board, these developments came as a great disappointment, although they soon realised that they really were learning through their experiences. The Peace Sailors' diary said, "We had suddenly been hit by reality and we had our first conflict. Paradoxically, the impossibility to go to Gaza because of two consecutive decisions from Israel and the Palestinian Authority put us in a real situation of negotiation and mediation. From an educational point of view and whatever were our feelings, this was very interesting".
Life on board is a combination of the challenge of life on a three-masted sailing ship, with all of its tasks and duties, with the training courses on conflict management. The boat provides a unique learning environment: "After lunch we had programme time from 3 to 5 pm, which was not very easy because of the weather, really warm(...) We had an introduction to theory of conflicts : sources, analysis and management of conflicts. Afterwards we tackled communication theory again and looked at the transactional analysis as a tool to look at conflicts in communication".
Other onboard activities have included music and singing, swimming in the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean, and watching for the solar eclipse. While on land, the Peace Sailors have stayed as guests of associations in each country. In Cyprus everyone camped in the mountains, in Egypt the base was the Alexandria Sea Scouts Centre, and in Israel the Peace Sailors stayed in a youth exchange centre.
In each port the Peace Sailors have found that the simplest of experiences have often been among the most important. In Israel everyone was invited for breakfast at the home of one of the Peace Sailors: "It was a magnificent moment when 16 different nationalities gathered in Adi's house for the breakfast, prepared by his beautiful wonderful mother. It was a moment of mixed emotions:: happiness, fulfilment and achievement, we felt that we were really the Peace Sailors and that was a special occasion especially for the Palestinians and Jordanians".
On the second leg of the Peace Sailors made a new attempt to enter Gaza and to meet Palestinian young people on its shores. Although this time the Israeli authorities agreed with the plan for the Peace Sailors to reach the shore in small Palestinian boats, sadly agreement could not be reached with the Palestinian Authority on exactly where the ship should anchor. The Palestinian representatives called on the ship to cross this line and to enter Palestinian waters to a distance of around 150 metres to the south, so that the boat would be clearly and symbolically lying in Palestinian waters. This solution, so politically desirable for the Palestinians, went beyond the proposal accepted by the Israeli Government for the Peace Sailors to disembark on the contact line. Once again the Peace Sailors left disappointed.
In spite of sometimes difficult situations, each leg of the Peace Cruise is promoting better mutual understanding, international solidarity and universal fellowship: "It was great to see so many people from different countries, background and cultures, sharing this life and working together. Of course, it is not always easy, but we are quite optimistic to overcome our differences".
It is clear that the Peace Cruise is building new friendships, new hopes and new dreams. It is hoped that with these will come new contacts, new partnerships and new projects for the future. They are taking home with them the unique experience of the Peace Cruse, which will stay with them for many years to come.
This article includes extracts from the Peace Sailors diary. You can follow the experiences of the Peace Sailors online, at www.peacecruise.org..
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