Since its inception in late 2001, the Gifts for Peace programme of World Scouting inspired over 10 million Scouts in 110 countries. Scouts from around the world have initiated inspiring peace activities – from Salvador’s work with violent street gangs to BSA’s work in post-Katrina New Orleans, Lebanon’s Phoenix operation to Rwanda-Burundi’s inter-ethnic peace education, Ireland’s work between Catholics and Protestants or Haiti’s work in rescue, relief and rehabilitation after the deadly earthquake there.
As a result of the programme Scouts in many countries have expressed their wish to do even more and to have an impact on a larger number of people. They have great ideas, and with their existing volunteer resources they are working hard do a good job. But in order to do a great job, to achieve even greater results, they are looking for further training, support and resources.
World Scouting has adopted the slogan: “SCOUTS Creating a Better World”. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, of Saudi Arabia, observing the performance of Scouts and their considerable impact on communities worldwide, has called on Scouts the world over to be “the Messengers of Peace” and to extent their work. The King of Sweden, as Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation, has worked closely with King Abdullah to inspire Scouts in different countries to adopt the “Gifts for Peace” programme. And most recently, he has worked with King Abdullah on a new initiative named by King Abdullah the “Messengers of Peace”.
This initiative has two main goals:
- To recognise the contributions of Scouts throughout the world to the development of global peace;
- To provide the support, motivation and resources which might be needed to encourage Scouts worldwide to expand their impact on global peace.
The concept of peace has been defined within the movement, to set out three different dimensions:
- The personal dimension: harmony, justice and equality
- The community dimension: peace as opposed to hostility or violent conflict
- Relationships between humankind and its environment: security, social and economic welfare and relationship with the environment
This initiative was formally launched by the two Heads of State at a ceremony in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) on 28th September 2011 and is currently rolled-out in all 6 regions of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
The Messengers of Peace initiative is soon entering its sixth year of existence. Since it commenced, it has achieved impressive results in terms of social impact: it has inspired hundreds of Scouts to take action in their local communities, who have done over 630 million service hours. They have reached some 1.6 million beneficiaries through financially supported projects and over 6 million beneficiaries through non-funded projects. And the numbers continue to grow. To read the full mid term evaluation, you can download it from the pdf on this page.