"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."
So soon after the earthquake in Turkey came the one in Greece. The Greek Scouts were amongst the first to respond to the disaster. They were helping those in need within the first hour and within one week more than 3,000 Scouts were involved. We congratulate them on their quick and effective response. Scouts and Guides have pitched more than 1,500 tents in 19 different municipalities and are managing several camps for earthquake victims. They work closely with "Doctors of the World" and have distributed food and produced a leaflet entitled "How you can make your life easy in a tent". They also organise activities for children in the camps. In the camps there is a shortage of essential facilities such as refrigeration for food, as well as large tents to provide shade.
Scouts from Turkey joined the Greek Scouts in offering their assistance, in the same way that the Greek Scouts had assisted them the previous week. The Cyprus Scouts Association responded to the emergency by providing school bags (with books, pencils, etc.) for the children in the camps, as school has just started again. Our good wishes and prayers are with everyone affected by these disasters, including those in Taiwan, where the latest earthquake has struck.
In Thessaloniki, on the occasion of the launch of the International Year for the Culture of Peace on 14 September, the Peace Sailors officially presented the Peace Cruise Declaration to the Director General of UNESCO, the President of the European Union, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Secretary General of the Arab League. During a video conference, Frederico Mayor, Director General of UNESCO, officially declared the Peace Sailors "Ambassadors of Peace". The text of the Declaration reads as follows:
"We, the Peace Sailors coming from around the world, on the Peace Cruise, have embarked on an ambitious mission seeking to promote peace and reconciliation. We thank the following for their support: UNESCO, North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, European Union, World Organization of the Scout Movement, European and Mediterranean Youth Forums. Through a tough sea life we aim to bring different cultures together. We want the spirit of peace to be present in the minds and wills of people. That's why we are here, to make these ideas reality. We want to educate and train the next generation in order to help prepare the ground for peace. The Peace Cruise improves our thoughts about peace, cultural diversity, conflict management, negotiation, fairness, human rights, communication and the role of youth organisations."
"We, the Peace Sailors, are united by a dream of peace and harmony in the world. This we believe can be achieved by working together. For us peace needs:
Finally, we are sure that the peace is possible. We are convinced that youth has a very important role in establishing and maintaining peace. We believe that young people can achieve this by constructing a public opinion in their countries that calls for justice, protection of human rights, tolerance and mutual respect. We want peace to prevail in the next millennium all over the world."
The Peace Cruise sailed triumphantly into Piraeus on 19 September, where it was greeted by the Greek Scouts and Guides, members of other youth organisations and visitors from many European and Arab countries. On 22 September, a round table was organised on the role of youth organisations in peace, reconciliation and humanitarian emergencies. This was followed by the moving closing ceremony. Don't forget to look at the photos and read the Peace Sailors' diary on www.peacecruise.org.
Representatives of Scout associations in 8 European and 6 Arab countries met in Piraeus from 22-26 September to further develop Euro-Arab cooperation. The highlight was a discussion with the Peace Sailors on their experiences during the Peace Cruise and on ways of providing better support to young people's initiatives and projects. All the participants considered the Peace Cruise a unique and intense experience, which had helped them build close relationships across borders and opened their eyes to ways of taking on real responsibilities and making real changes in their communities. It was recommended to continue and extend the project to more young people in the future.
Other topics included: associations' presentations on Euro-Arab cooperation projects, identifying successes, difficulties and improvements to be made; preparing guidelines on Euro-Arab youth exchanges; the Euro-Mediterranean Youth Action Programme for youth exchanges and voluntary service projects; future activities at national and regional levels. Details of the projects and activities for 2000-01 will be included in the report, which will soon be made available on the regional web site. The 5th Euro-Arab meeting will be in 2003 in Lebanon.
In July's Europak all associations received an order form for the brochures and other items relating to Europe For You!, the European Scout Region's special programme for 16-22 year-olds. The 2000 editions of all the booklets are currently being prepared and will be printed very soon. If you wish to place an order, please send the order form to the European Scout Office in Geneva as soon as possible. If your order is received by 6 October, the booklets will be sent to you directly from the printer's. This will save valuable time and energy and ensure that your members receive the booklets in good time.
We would like give a special word of thanks to everybody who has contributed to and participated in Europe For You! so far.
The decision on which country will host the next Eurofolk will not be made until after the European seminar on "Challenging programmes for young people over 16". This will be held in Antalya, Turkey from 20-26 May 2000. Participants at this seminar will be asked to develop a new concept for a European event for young people aged 16-22, including a new name. The European Scout Committee would like to consider participants' recommendations and proposals before calling for candidates to host the event. Associations are also welcome to send proposals to Jacqueline Collier at the European Scout Office.
For the first time, members of national teams responsible for Scout/Guide programmes, Sea Scouting and environmental issues came together to find ways of enriching programmes for girls and boys aged 12-15 through water activities. The seminar was held at "Perkoz" EuroStep in Poland from 4-10 September. The programme included: identifying characteristics of adolescence; how to design a youth programme; analysing the link between Agenda 21 and the Scout/Guide missions; workshops and case studies on activities and projects for young people; exploring the lakes and forests of the Mazurian Lake District; discovering marine culture; workshops on adult leadership; individual and group projects.
Participants considered that this seminar constituted the first step in the right direction towards creating synergy between so-called "land" and "sea" Scouts/Guides. It raised awareness of the many exciting educational opportunities in and around water and motivated associations to strengthen the environmental dimension of their programmes for adolescents. The report will be sent in November's Europak and will present case studies, activity ideas and the projects developed during the seminar.
EuroSea 6, to be held in "Perkoz" from 8-12 June 2000, will build upon the results of this seminar.
You can find the invitation for the Mission of Scouting Symposium in October's Europak. This event will be held in Slovenia from 21-23 January. It will ensure follow-up in the European Scout Region of decisions taken by the World Scout Conference, particularly relating to the Mission of Scouting and the sharing of responsibilities between men and women at all levels within WOSM. There will also be an opportunity to identify ways of strengthening partnership and developing Scouting especially in the Balkan area. Don't forget that you can give input to the work on our mission on the regional web site.
A maximum of 3 representatives from each national Scout association may attend. Participants should be members of national teams in charge of educational methods and speak good English or French. The participation fee is CHF 300, with reductions available for central and eastern European countries.
The European Committee would like to receive reports on all projects supported by the Centenary Fund in 1999 by 22 October. The reports will be considered at the next committee meeting from 5-7 November, when decisions will be taken regarding payment of the final installment of the grants. Application forms for 2000 grants can be found in October's Europak and should be returned to the European Scout Office before 31 December.
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Official Eurofax home page: www.scout.org/europe/eurofax