Kenya Scouts Association donates full Scout uniforms to Muruguru ESP Unit
Kenya Scouts Association donated full Scouts uniforms to Murugaru special school (Giraffe Scout patrol) in Muranga County, on 10th April 2015. This unit was established in 2012 and had 16 members. The unit received the uniforms under the Extention Scouts Programme initiative, after performing exceptionally during the 2014 National Scouts Competitions held at Rowallan Scouts Camp.
Speaking at the function, the Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Executive at the Association, Mr Patrick Wambua thanked the parents and teachers for their continued support and efforts in ensuring their children participated in Scouting activities stating that this raises their self-esteem and exposes them to the outside world. He further appreciated the spirit of oneness at the school which has seen these students realize their dream of participating in fun and educative activities that the Scouts Youth Programme has to offer.
Mr Musa Mukagwa the executive in charge of special programmes, reminded the Scouts of their duty to self, stating that it is their responsibility to enhance themselves in all spheres of life. He urged them not to relent in their efforts to learn as nothing good comes easy
Mr Nkanata the Scouts Commissioner, Muranga commended the Association for it’s efforts in ensuring that every youth is accommodated in the Scouting Youth Programme irrespective of the challenges they face. He promised to continue supporting the unit in its endeavors andurged well-wishers to support such initiatives.
The Head Master Mr. Maina thanked the Association for fulfilling their promise of provision of Scouts uniforms for the unit urging other well-wishers to emulate the same. “These students prove that disability is not inability”, he said and with our support, they will become constructive members of our society.
The Scouts Patron at the school Mr Joseph Juma is a happy man now that his students are able to participate in Scouting activities in full Scout uniform. “We had challenges especially during competitions because some of our Scouts lacked full Scouts uniforms but now this challenge is behind us “he said.
“Scouting has enabled my students enter into competitions, get exposure and have high self-esteem and I am grateful for such a programme”, remarked Ms Pauline Kamau the schools Deputy Head Teacher and assistant Scouts Patron.
Since 1992, the Kenya Scouts Association has been implementing a nationwide programme to reach out to Children Especially in Difficulty Circumstances (CEDC) KNOWN as the Extension Scouting Programme (ESP). The association has realized that active and successful scouting in Kenya is highly regarded and valued by the community in which it operates and more so where children in the unit comes from difficult backgrounds.
Actual results from the programme so far have revealed that a full integration of a Kenyan child from difficult background into Scout movement complete with scout uniform and support can be a transformational experience for the child. Some street children were re-united with their parents, others offered educational support up to tertiary and university levels, while others benefited by acquiring skills and knowledge in tailoring, rabbit rearing, poultry rearing, bakery, among others. It is in this spirit that the Kenya Scouts Association presents this report to Scouts Canada, with a high anticipation of continuous support to the ESP programme to benefit more children from difficult circumstances.
- 1A CHILD EXPECIALLY IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES: A DEFINITION
A child especially in difficult circumstances (CEDC) is defined as every young person below the age of 18 years. However, on very special circumstances the ESP may cater for those young people between ages of 18 and 30 years which engulf the youth limit in the scouting family. A child in difficult circumstances may be found in, but not limited to the following circumstances/categories:
- Victims of conflicts and calamity (e.g. refugees, tribal clashes)
- Abused and exploited children(sexual abuse and child labor/exploitation)
- Children infected or affected by HIV & AIDS, drugs and delinquency.
- Children living in the streets (street urchins)
- Challenged children (e.g. Physically and mentally)
- Abandoned and neglected children
- Orphans and Vulnerable children (OVCs)
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME
- Extend the offer of Scouting to those children in difficult circumstances who might otherwise not get the opportunity.
- Re-unite the children when and where possible with their parents, families, relatives or well wishers.
- Bring the children together for joint Scout activities with other Scouts. To offer integration- mixing with other groups of scouts both nationally and internationally.
- Make the children have a sense of ownership and belonging through Scouting.
- Education- sponsorship to help these children get education and to Offer knowledge and skills vocational for the children to improve their livelihoods. Starting income generating projects and to learn to be self sufficient.
- Where possible extend the family support to enable the children to live in a conducive and safe environment.
OUR ACHIEVEMENTS IN EXTENSION SCOUTING PROGRAMME
Through the immense support of Scouts Canada and other well wishers The Kenya Scouts Association has been able to achieve the following through the programme:
- Over 4000 young people are now part of the Extension Scouting Programme. Many have acquired scout uniforms. In 2014 we have secured 2,500 scarves and 2,500 woggles to be distributed to the Scouts in ESP units in only five regions in the country. We have also secured additional 450 scarves and woggles to be distributed to more ESP units. Through the ESP Programme we have also managed to secure full uniform to a ESP unit for mentally challenged Scouts in Kiruguru Special School as they exhibited good talents during this years’ 2014 National Inter patrol competitions.
- Through this programme, Kenya Scouts Association has been able to re-unite over 450 scouts (former street children) with their families or well wishers. For example, a successful reunification of 15 children (who became scouts) with their families in Machakos Town, also saw their parents benefit from small grants to start small income generating activities like selling charcoal and stones harvesting to increase household income and uphold economic resilience in the family
- Currently, there are over 120 ESP units spread all over the country, and many are operational.
- Most children who have been rescued from the streets have been able to get the opportunity to go back to school. At least 4 have completed University education. The rest are either in primary or secondary schools. One of the successful girls is now undergoing teacher training at Thogoto Teachers Training School in Kiambu County, near Nairobi City.
- The young people in the programme have successfully been integrated into the Scouts Programme and are now able to participated in Scouts activities with other Scouts like camping, scout competitions.
- Most of the pioneer Scouts of this program, are now mature people who are responsible, self-reliant and playing their role in National Building. One is now married and working in UK. He is a bread winner to his sibling in the family. Another person is one of the staff at Rowallan Scout Camp.
- The Kenya Scouts Association through Extension Scouting Program has engaged in assisting scouts units with needy scouts to start and run income generating activities. Some units have engaged in productive income generating activities like Zero Grazing, turkey rearing, rabbit rearing, vegetable gardens, tree nurseries, pig rearing and chicken rearing. The income goes to buying the needy scouts’ basic needs such as food, uniforms and other fees.
OUR CHALLENGES IN THIS PROGRAMME
The programme has had many successes, but it also has its own challenges. The following are some of the challenges that have been encountered:
- Lack of enough and committed unit leaders. Need for training more unit leaders
- Lack of sufficient funds to run the programme
- Most of the units concentrating too much on income generating activities and eventually forgetting our core function of providing the Scouts Programme.
HOW WE WORKING TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES
As an Association we are trying to overcome the challenges by:
- Formulating a Policy Guidelines for those involved in the Extension Scouting Programme. The policy is due to be printed and disseminated
- Have a committee that is in-charge of the programme
- Have a full time officer at the Scouts HQs that deals with the programme
- Encouraging units to participate in joint Scouting activities
- Working with other partners and well wishers in the programme.
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF KENYA SCOUTS ASSOCIATION IN THE PROGRAMME
The responsibilities of the Scouts Headquarters include the following:
- Through the Local Scouts Associations, identify suitable volunteer leaders and train them fully in Scouting skills and especially how to work with children in difficult circumstances and encourage and support them in running active and successful ESP units.
- Set and expect high standards from ESP unit leaders.
- Raise sufficient funds from partners at home and foreign countries to supplement what the ESP units raise locally to make the provision of Scouting to those who could not otherwise afford it, and to provide training at an acceptable cost to ESP Unit Leaders.
- Integrate the children who come from difficult circumstances with all of Kenya Scouts as fully as possible.
- Network with other organizations involved in caring and or protecting children in difficult circumstances.
HOW THE FUNDS WILL BE SPEND: OUR APPEAL TO SCOUTS FRATERNITY TOWARDS EXTENSION SCOUTING PROGRAMME
Our appeal in this programme is to request Scouts Canada and more individuals, organizations and well wishers to join us in this noble job of transforming the lives of these young people, who are under privileged and would not have otherwise gotten the opportunity to do so through Scouting.
The funds will be used in the following areas are:-
- Training of ESP Unit leaders. To train a unit leader up to Wood badge level costs Kshs.8, 500.00 which is approximately 100 US dollars. This will cater for course fee and other necessities like transport. A key topic in this training will be child protection by training them on children’s act, protecting children from labor, abuse and exploitation, United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child and the Strategy for Child Protection and Protective Environment Framework by UNICEF.
- Buying uniform for the scouts. A complete set of Scout uniform costs Kshs.4, 500.00 which is approximately 50 US dollars per Scout.
- Support to ESP units of blind scouts with Braille literature on scouting (translate all scout programme handbooks and scouting literature into Braille).
We seek training scout leaders in sign language. An example of a successful scouting for the deaf is the Machakos School for the Deaf who have been having an active ESP scout unit since 2002.
We also seek support for scouting literature and training to the physically disabled and ultimately even wheel chairs and clutches for the most needy. Though, our primary aim is to promote scouting first.
- We seek support to initiate vocational training projects for ESP scouts not in schools and especially from poor and slum backgrounds with skills in tailoring, driving, carpentry, bakery, rabbit/poultry/dairy goat rearing. Another upcoming activity and proving uplifting the lives of young people now is training in ICT and computer literacy as Kenya turns more digital. Agribusiness, especially the Green Houses, is proving popular to the youth and is highly encouraged.
- To promote and increase the visibility and viability of scouting in Kenya from the ESP units, we seek support to enable more scouts to take part in the annual Scouts competitions, Jamborees, extension visits to other scouts in the East Africa region, camping activities and to provide Scouts Uniforms to as many scouts as possible.