First mover Scouts serving their communities

Submitted by NGooderson on Mon, 04/06/2020 - 11:07

Scouts at local level were swift to take action (carefully!) to help the most vulnerable in their communities from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the first examples of Scouts showing leadership and solidarity with their communities, each as appropriate to their local situations, in line with health advice and restrictions imposed by national and local authorities:

  • In Italy, when the government advised citizens over 65 to not leave the house at the beginning of March, Scouts in Fidenza responded by offering support to shop for and deliver basic supplies (food, over the counter and prescription drugs) to people in need. Many similar stories of Scouts supporting people as best possible, in municipalities across Italy including Nardò and Maranello, have also been reported in local news and on social media.
  • Scouts in Milton, USA, have taken part in a coronavirus training. The training was already planned and adapted to help prepare and inform the Scouts, who will in turn help to educate others. They earned public health and emergency preparedness merit badges by taking part in discussions covering a wide range of topics, including how to identify and prevent illnesses and diseases like the coronavirus, Zika virus and lead poisoning.
  • Scouts and Guides in Kohima, India, have run awareness training for Scouts and Rover Scouts on the origin of the Covid-19 virus, symptoms, how it is spread and preventative measures, and committed to passing on this information to their families, peers and local community.
  • Thousands of Scouts and Guides in Singapore have written cards of encouragement to front-line health workers thanking them for their service.
  • In Haiti, Scouts set up hand washing stations in an effort to raise the importance of hand hygiene in the face of the current COVID-19 situation. Scouts also encouraged their communities to set up their own hand washing stations for public use. 
  • In Indonesia, a rover unit learned more about infectious diseases and discussed actionable ideas to respond and raise awareness on COVID-19 in their community. 
  • Following cancellation of the Africa Scout Day celebrations initially planned for 13–16 March 2020 in Uganda, the Africa Scout Region has launched a week-long action campaign dubbed ASD Acrtion Week, running from 9–15 March 2020.

And in numerous locations where Scouting has had to be suspended to assist with containing the virus, Scouts still play a key role in disseminating information electronically and animating online networks to support young people—and in fact all people—who are isolated following country-wide quarantine restrictions now in place.