Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Angola's Boy Scouts - "Always Alert"

Luanda - At least 20,000 Boy Scouts are registered in Angolan religious entities and they have been working everyday towards to the Angolan community's well-being.

These remarks were uttered recently by the head of the Angolan National Scouting Movement, António Silvestre Sardinha, when welcoming 2.000 delegates from 21 African countries to attend the 15th African conference on scouting in Angola's capital Luanda,  from June 7-9.  The event was attended by high-ranked figures of scounting, namely the African regional director Frederic Kama-Kama, secretary-general of scouting movement, Luc Panissod and the chairman of the world scouting committee, Simon Rhee.

The 15th African Conference on Scouting in Luanda was focused on the theme “Scouting, a vehicle for Africa’s development”, and debated the implementation of policies and guidelines defined in the World Conference for National Associations of Scouting. The conference also debated the goals and programmes for the coming mandate, as well as training actions under the programme of the Angolan government. 

Angolan Scouting was widespread in colonial years, working closely with Portugal's Catholic Corpo National de Escutas.  When Angola gained its independence in 1975 and came under Marxist rule, Scouting was banned by that government.  Scouting was officially started again in February 1991.  In 1994, the inter-religious Associação National de Escuteiros and the Catholic Associação de Escuteiros Católicas de Angola merged forming the AEA.  Scouting includes an inter-religious pastoral commission which brings together the main religions represented by the members of the Scout Association. 

Scouting in Angola enjoys special support from the Catholic Church and some groups are closely linked to the church, and excellent relations exist with UN agencies. Together with UNICEF, Scouting has been in the forefront of the campaign for children's immunization against polio. Scouting activities focus on improving the quality of life in local communities. These include humanitarian assistance to those who have fled armed conflict, working with UNICEF on Oral Rehydration Therapy programs, and an anti-polio campaign led by the Ministry of Health. (ANGOP, Google)

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