November 3, 2011 in News
Background Information & Checklist
Introduction: This checklist is for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the U.S. who would like to conduct either an Eagle Scout project or Girl Scout Gold Award project in Afghanistan.
Background: As the attached background papers discuss, scouting has been in Afghanistan for over seventy years and is now making a strong comeback despite more than 33 years of warfare.
- Today Afghan Youth Scouts has more than 20,000 scouts, is supported by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and will soon become a recognized member of the World Scouting movement.
- Efforts are on-going to get Scouting officially recognized in Afghanistan. Scouting is presently part of the Ministry of Education. The goal is to get scouting officially recognized by the government in accordance with World Scouting Organization’s requirements.
- In February 2010 a group at Camp Eggers which is located in the Green Zone of Kabul began meeting to support the revitalized Afghan Youth Scouts. Called Scouts for Afghan Scouts (SfAS), this group consists of more than thirty adult scout leaders from our international partners and contractors who meet regularly at Camp Eggers.
- SfAS helped the Afghan Scout leadership with writing Boy and Girl Scout manuals, assisted in local scout activities and scout leadership training, and facilitated service projects and other support to scout troops.
- SfAS has been working with a non-governmental organization (NGO) called PARSA to provide additional support to Afghan Youth Scouts.
- Review the attached background papers to learn about scouting in Afghanistan and potential ideas for projects. Most projects will consist of fundraising, donations, pen/email pals, sponsoring a troop, or a combination of these ideas.
- Arrange for a member of SfAS to be your “forward deployed project mentor” to assist you with ideas and to facilitate communications between you, Afghan Scout Troops, PARSA, and other organizations.
- Based on the attached information, develop three project ideas and email them to your forward deployed project mentor for feedback.
- SfAS strongly recommends the U.S. Scout coordinate a project idea with their forward deployed project mentor who will then act as an intermediary with an Afghan Scout Troop, PARSA, or other organization. The U.S. Scout can then take credit for planning a specific event.
- The SfAS forward deployed project mentor can help carry out the U.S. Scout’s plan from here, attend the event, and take pictures that the U.S. Scout can use to provide a final report/brief to their troop/local scouting council.
- In addition, the U.S. Scout could lead their troop in a fundraising event. This will provide even more leadership experiences and raise money for this event. That way the scout has developed planning and leadership skills and can take ownership for a very concrete event with pictures to display his project’s success.
- Once the SfAS forward deployed project mentor recommends a project, check with your Boy Scout/Girl Scout troop mentors and district council for feedback and approval before you do any further work.
- A question that may arise for the U.S. Scouts is the relationship of Afghan Youth Scouts to the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). This is not an issue. Although Afghan Youth Scouts is not yet fully incorporated or certified by the WOSM, we anticipate that it will be in the near future. WOSM is already supporting and recognizing Afghan Youth Scouts by way of training and training certifications including the Wood Badge.
- Because your project will not involve hands on implementation in Afghanistan, it is also suggested as part of your project you prepare a presentation to your troop about some aspect of Afghanistan such as the history of scouting, the challenges the Afghan youth have in everyday life, the NATO coalition’s efforts, the history of Afghanistan, or other topic approved by your troop project mentor.
Points of Contact (POCs):
- Colonel Paul McLaughlin, USAF; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Colonel William Wenger, USA; William.email@example.com
- 1Lt Paul Devorse, USA; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr. Phil Bossert; Philip.email@example.com
Summary: Thank you for your interest in Afghanistan and the growing scout movement here. Please visit our website at Afghanscouts.org and best of luck on your final journey towards Eagle Scout or the Gold Award.
- Background paper on Afghanistan Scouting Program
- PARSA Information
- The Afghan Scout Program
Afghanistan Scouting Program
KEY POINTS: An Eagle Scout stationed in Kabul Afghanistan has requested help from American Boy and Girl Scouts in reinvigorating the scouting program in Afghanistan. The scouting program in Afghanistan provides its youth a means to develop character, citizenship, responsibility, self-esteem and a sense of community in addition to producing the nation’s future leaders. Camping supplies advancement books, crafts, and sporting goods are requested to maintain the energy and momentum building in Afghanistan towards scouting – “helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.” (Boy Scout of America: http://scouting.org/About.aspx)
- Boy Scouts was established by Sir Robert Baden-Powell of England in 1907
- Worldwide Principles
- Duty to God and respect for individual beliefs
- Loyalty to one’s country and respect for its laws
- Strength of world friendship and Scouting brotherhood
- Service to others-community development
- Universal regard for the Scout Promise and Law as a life guide
- Voluntary membership
- Service by volunteer leaders
- Independence from political influence and control
- Training youth in responsible citizenship, physical and mental development, and character guidance through use of the patrol system, group activity, recognition through awards, and learning by doing
- Outdoor program orientation
- Boy Scouts of America
- One of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations.
- Provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness
- Helps build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun.
- Afghanistan Scout Association
- Founded by royal decree in 1931 by King Nadir Shah
- Dissolved in 1947 due to government accusations of fire-worship
- Re-established in 1956 by King Zahir Shah
- Pro-Soviet government in 1978 banned Scouting
- In 2002, first time in decades that democratic conditions exist for rebirth of Scouting in Afghanistan
- Da Afghanistan Sarandoy Tolanah (Afghanistan Scout Association) formed in 2003
- Scouting now falls under Sports & Scouting branch of Ministry of Education (MoE)
- Current Activities
- In mid-2009, U.S. based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) PARSA started Boys Troop 001 at Tai Maskan orphanage and Girls Troop 001 at Allahoddin orphanage – both in Kabul
- NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) personnel stumbled onto PARSA which led to weekly Boys and Girls Scout Troop meetings with Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Eagle Scouts, Scouters & Girl Scout / Guide leaders in Feb 2010
- In Feb 2010, Ambassador Eikenberry hosted an induction ceremony at the U.S. Embassy for Boys Troop 002, Girls Troop 002 and Cub Troop 003
- First Orientation Unit Leader’s Training Course Graduation – 22 Dec 2010.
RECOMMENDATION: Continue to solicit support from the Boy and Girl Scouts of America in sponsoring Eagle Scout Projects, organizing collection drives, and provide donations to support the scouting program in Afghanistan.
What Can Be Done to Support Boy and Girl Scouts in Afghanistan
- Boy Scout Supplies
- Merit Badge Books – not USA specific (English is fine)
- Merit Badge Kits – Leather Working, Basket Weaving, etc
- Hand Books
- Uniform Belts
- Cub Scout Supplies
- Belt Loops
- Belt Loop requirement books/pamphlets
- Badges and beads (red / yellow beads)
- Hand Books
- Uniform Belts
- Girl Scout Supplies
- Hand Books
- Camping Supplies
- Tent stakes
- Sleeping bags
- Bed Rolls
- Full size camping packs
- Pots / pans/ cooking tools
- Mess kits / utensils
- Collapsible water jugs
- Scout Fun Supplies
- Pine Wood Derby Kits
- Space Shuttle Kits – Direct Request from the Afghan Troop ****
- Model paint and brushes
- Crayons, markers, yarn, buttons, google eyes, felt, scissors, glue sticks, popsicle sticks, other craft supplies, construction paper, pipe cleaners, other craft supplies
- Glow sticks
- Soccer balls / kick balls
- Air Pumps w/ needles
- Cash Donations for shipping, buying supplies mentioned above
- Local Council, District, Camp, Troop patches to share
Eagle Scout Project Suggestions / Ideas
- First, check with your Troop Leadership / Eagle Mentor to ensure the project meets Eagle Scout project rules and guidelines
- Build Networked Support
- District / Councils
- Service Units (Girl Scouts)
- National Eagle Scout Association
- Fliers / Collection days
- Social Media
- Organize Collection Drives to collect new, used but in good condition supplies by engaging local
- Boy Scout Troops
- Cub Scout Packs
- Girl Scout
- Sponsor Organizations
- Hiking / Camping Clubs
- Former Scouts who may not want / need activity badges, beads, books, supplies
- Establish Scouting supplies drives at malls, schools and churches, where people can come and donate old camping or scouting gear, or simply make a donation.
- Raise funds or use existing to shop at yard sales, on classified ads or through Craigslist.com where people might have useable scouting and camping gear for sale.
- If allowed, solicit support from industry, governmental and non-government charity organizations
- Sports Stores (Dick’s, Sports Authority, REI)
- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Charitable organizations
- Fundraisers (if allowed) for purchasing supplies & shipping
- Spaghetti / soup dinners
- Pancake Breakfasts
- Organize, inventory, package and ship items
An International NGO and 501c3 non-profit
- Scout Troop training for trainer’s a
- Administers Scout troops in Kabul, Bamiyan and Chagcharran
In July, 2011, PARSA Sr. Trainer’s will participate in the development of the Scout National Association- a volunteer group of Afghans that will be mentored by the International Scout Association. We anticipate registering and being accepted by the International Scout Association in 2013.
In the next two years, Afghan NGO’s and International NGO’s will apply and be approved by the National Association to conduct Afghan Scout Troop Programs around Afghanistan. These organizations will be key to developing a national Scout Program. As soon as it is registered, the National Association of Scouts will function as a governance and oversight mechanism to insure the NGO’s are managing the Afghan Scout programs consistent with international standards.
PARSA directors have taken the lead in coordinating this effort. For more information:
Marnie Gustavson, Executive Director 0799020588 firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordinating international support, communication, supporting Afghan NGO’s to start programs.
Gulam Mustafa-PARSA Scout program director, Master trainer, founding member of National Association. 40 years experience.
Tamim Hamkar- program coordinator PARSA Scout programs, Master Scout Trainer, founding member of the new National Association. 8 years experience.
Dr. Taj- Director, ASRS, and Afghan Scout Director, Jalalabad, 0775449405
ISAF volunteer coordinators: TBD
Join us at any part of the Basic training for Afghan Scout Trainers- Wood badge- July 3 -8. Camporee Thursday July 7. Trainers from the International Scout Assoc.
Regular Scout meetings weekly at Marastoon- Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday
How you can help us get launched!
PARSA has 364 children in Afghan Scout Program. Our plans for the next year have us expanding to 1600 children in Kabul, Bamiyan and Ghor provinces.
We support another NGO, ASRS in Jalalabad that has 1000 children starting Scouts programs- none of these children have uniforms yet.
PARSA has a history of Scouts page at http://www.afghanistan-parsa.org/healthy-afghan-community/afghan_scouts_program.php and a “donate” page thru paypal….donations can be dedicated and will be managed to make sure funds get to the Scout program. http://www.afghanistan-parsa.org/donations/default.php#paypal-form
A new website will be set up soon dedicated to Afghan Scouts and managed by the new National Association.
PARSA has an APO box and donations can be sent through the regular mail in US.
APO AE 09356
Ways to donate-
1- Sponsor a Troop- $2500
- 40 Children- uniforms at $47 each =$1880
- First merit badge- Patches at $1 each $40
- Basic Course- 5 days food and transportation
i. Food= $50 a day= $250
ii. Transport- 5 days @ $70 a day $350
One uniform for one child= $47
Socks, Shoes, pants, belt, patches, hat,
Wish list for Afghan Scouts Program:
This list has large requests and small ones but all requests are on behalf of building a strong national program.
To complete the Afghan Scout Training Center -Kabul
- Simple carpet for three rooms. $3,000
- Floor paint for other rooms-$150
- Mattresses, bed sheets, blankets and tin boxes for dormitory-30 X $200
- Used computers for “virtual Scout” room (have four) Need 16
- Desk and chairs for virtual scout room 20 sets X $200
- Built in cupboards for storing camping equipment and other equipment for activities.
- Camping equipment*-120 sets
- We will store and monitor at Marastoon Afghan Training site.
- Storage shed outside for tools-Afghan Scouts Work!
- Fencing for campsite and for around training.
- Scout uniforms for girls in Chagcharran at $42. A piece 96
$16K for electricity in new center.- We really need help finding a funding source for this rather than individual donations.
*These are kits that can be sent individually or can be an Eagle Scout program.
Camping kits for an Afghan Scout –
Small medical kit
Small sewing kit
Medium sized hiking backpack with frame
Small notebook and pencil
Fishing pole and tackle
Virtual Scout Meeting
Used computers and stabilizers- can be sent through APO box.
The Afghan Scouts Program
By Marnie Gustavson
February 24, 2010
Saluting to the national anthem
In 2010, PARSA began the Afghan Scouts program in the national orphanages of Afghanistan. As a part of the Healthy Afghan Child program, we have adapted the program to meet the specific needs of vulnerable Afghan children who do not have consistent support from family members.
The program provides a positive environment for training scouts to be leaders. Scout curriculum includes life skills and vocational training through the merit badge program. With our scout trainers, PARSA also conducts psychosocial and leadership training classes.
Over the last three years, PARSA has trained Afghan government staff in our social work methods. Our staff decided that the children in the orphanages needed additional lessons in how to create a community, care for each other, and advocate for their rights.
The Afghan Scout program began in 2009 in the Tai Maskan and Allahoddin orphanages with 20 boys and 20 girls. Called Troop 001, these scouts are now teaching more children in the orphanages to be Afghan scouts. Last month, five of the Afghan Scout leaders organized themselves and requested a meeting with the new Minister of Labor and Social Affairs to review problems they were having with orphanage staff.
In 2010, PARSA hopes to bring 850 children in three orphanages into the Afghan Scouts. We hope that our work developing the program will be utilized by the Ministry of Education to support the development of an extensive Afghan Scouts program in the national school system.
Our program has been supported by ISAF and United States Embassy staff over the last three months and we deeply appreciate their contributions to this important endeavor. We hope that the Afghan Scouts program will bring attention to the plight of children in the national orphanages and that the Afghan public will see that investment in these children will yield leaders for the future.