The Scouts against COVID19 and Campaign for Electoral Peace Project fosters relationship between Scouts and rural communities in Ghana
It was not for nothing that the target of the Scouts Against Covid19 and Campaign for Electoral Peace Project was the rural communities in the northern region of Ghana. Over the years, scouting activities; including camping, jamborees and outreach programs have always been in the rural setting and for that matter, we have a long standing relationship with the rural communities, the chiefs and the traditional authority. Our past encounters with the rural communities gave us the opportunity to understand their social needs better hence when we got the opportunity to support people through this pandemic, we chose the rural communities.
One of the core objectives of this project was to create more scouting visibility in the rural setting and also to create an avenue for community based scouting groups to be created in consultation and with the approval of the community, the chiefs and the traditional authority. In order to achieve this objective, the team has introduced the idea of scouting to the chiefs of some selected communities where we intend to start these groups and the reception to the idea has been massive and encouraging. Many of these communities view scouting as a home of discipline and so are interested in making their kids join because they want them to be discipline and have purpose in life. The Chiefs in particular have interest in scouting because they think the scouts will serve as community “watchdogs” finding solutions to their community’s problems and always coming out to volunteer in communal labor and so on. The reasons given for their interest in scouting were numerous and the team felt it necessary to start the groups in these communities as soon as possible and equip them with the necessary training needed to maintain and sustain these groups.
Some of the communities we visited were communities we have been before for other activities and so seeing us again made the members of these communities so happy and grateful that we chose to come back especially after promising them we would when we could have decided to go to different places. The gateway to all rural communities is usually the chief palace, and it has always been the starting point of our community entry process. Luckily for us most of the chiefs attached a lot of importance to our project and that helped us a lot in relating well with the people and getting them to give us the needed attention to better comprehend our COVID19 and PEACE messages. This helped us achieve the best outcome in these communities.
This project has given us a great opportunity to strengthen our long standing relationships with the rural communities and has greatly helped us to lay the foundation for groups to be opened in the rural setting,which will help increase membership and go a long way to contribute to the achievement of VIsion 2023.