CIVIL SOCIETY: 195 PRACTICES
CIVIL SOCIETY: 195 PRACTICES
The Greek Scout Association, devoted to the vision of "creating a better world", is one of the pioneers intitutions of volunteering and solidarity and humanitarian aid in our country, continuing 111 years of history. With more than 25,000 active members in 350 neighborhoods in Greece, the Greek Scout Association is the largest voluntary, pedagogical movement for young people in the country.
The Greek Scout Association, could not be absent from the global effort of the sustainable development goals. After all, through their programs, their actions and their timeless values, for 111 years they have been implementing the 17 UN sustainable development goals in their programs, contributing to the creation of a better world.
Even before the global community discovered the need for Sustainable Development Goals, the Scouting Method was the basis of an enormous international youth training movement that engaged the same principles as the SDG’s since 1907.
The scout pedagogical system enables children, teenagers and young people to develop their personal skills, gain sociability through action in small groups, get to know themselves better, become active citizens and act for a better world. Environmental education and active action for a better world are integrated into every aspect in the scouting program.
In this context the World Organisation of the Scouting Movement (WOSM), where the Greek Scouts Association belongs, has been characterised as “Ambassador” of the Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations. Consequently, the Greek Scouts through the program "The Scouts for the Sustainable Development Goals", aim to inform and sensitize the society about the necessity of adopting the goals in our daily life.
The "Scouts for Sustainable Development Goals" Program is a comprehensive and holistic addition, individualized to the characteristics of each age group (whether a member of the Scout Movement or not), with the aim of further awareness, individual and collective action, but and the multiplier effect in this endeavor.
Integrating the SDG’s dimension into Scouting builds the necessary sensorial and embodied experience each year for more than 25,000 young people for a responsibly sustainable lifestyle. In addition to the active members of the Greek Scouts Association, who are also multipliers in the impact of the initiatives for theSDG’s, the Greek Scouts address indirectly:
- approximately 100,000 members of the families of its members,
- to the members of the cooperating institutions, but also
- to the civil society in 350 different local communities throughout Greece.
In recent years they have had the opportunity to present good practices in pan-European and global Scout networks, encouraging 54 million scouts around the world to work together for the good of the planet.
It is estimated that the Scouts worldwide have offered 2 billion hours of voluntary social and community work in this direction. At the same time, because of this Global Mobilization, the Word Organisation of the Scouting Movement was nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
The initiatives are implemented throughout the year, every weekend, but also during the summer scout camps.
From the age of 7 years old, the Scout Program differs to age groups and aims to educate children and youth with the principles of sustainability, through its experiential activities.
The offer of the scouts is multifaceted and touches each SBA separately. It is not limited only to the SBAs than concern the protection of the environment (cleaning the inaccessible beaches, deforestation, tree planting, reforestation, monitoring the condition of forest areas, etc)
The activities of Scout Groups throughout Greece are varied and concern all Sustainable Development Goals, now even more structured thanks to the Initiative "Scouts for Sustainable Development Goals" which introduced the "SDGFriendly Scout Group" initiative. Through the noble rivalry, Scout Groups throughout Greece prepare, organize and implement a variety of activities for all SDG’s symmetrically, depending on the needs of each Local Community.
Adult Members receive special training, in order to be useful in every occasion. The contribution of the Greek Scouts Association in times of need of our country is immediate and continuous, with the local Scout Civil Protection Groups having a strong presence of assistance in fires, earthquakes, the coronavirus pandemic, the recent disasters from the floods in Evia, Karditsa and Crete, where the "Muddy Scout Scarves" as they were characterized by the Mass Media became the "modern heroes", as well as in the very recent earthquake of Elassona.
The Greek Scouts Association applies the principles of experiential and sensorial education in its program since its inception, offering tailor made Experiential Education programs to school groups, companies and organizations, in order to inform, raise awareness and change attitudes on issues related to SDG’s. In total, more than 1,200 projects have taken place which have been attended by approximately 23,500 students (non-members).
To better support the "Scouts for Sustainable Development Goals" program, the following were created for Internal and external audiences:
- Microsite that promotes News, Initiatives, ideas for implementation and good practices (www.scouts4sdgs.gr)
- Creation of tailor made tvc with promotion which was shown on Social Media, in the media (nationwide and regional), characterized by the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV) as a Social Message
- Posting youtube videos in order to promote information and raise public awareness about the Goals
- Production of Manuals for the members of the Scout Movement which include good practices and suggestions for the implementation of the SDG’s in the scout program and at the same time how to sensitize the local communities in which they operate: Guidelines & suggestions for the inclusion of Sustainable Development Goals to the Youth Program, Sustainable Development Goals Friendly Scout Group.
- Creation of an internal competition / program of noble rivalry entitled: "SDG Friendly Scout Group" by creating a special badge for those scout groups that complete the missions for each SDG
- Ongoing publications in local and national press regarding the Scouts' initiatives for the Goals.
- Creating a tailor made facebook page and frequent posts on the topic with good practices and news about the goals (www.facebook.com/Scouts4SDGs/)
- Production of Merchandising (collectibles at the Scout Shop) with the aim of financing information programs for the Goals
- Re-launch of the board game "Save the Forest" by the company Desyllas, with the aim of financing information programs for the SDG’s in primary school children. The game is an original and clever variation of the classic Snake board game, enriched with ecological content. This is achieved both through the involvement with the game, and with the accompanying cards that are enclosed in the package and explain in simple words the importance of the Greek forests, but also the dangers that run through human activities.
- Finally, the creation of a special application for SDG’s for mobile phones available for Android and IOS - with the sponsorship of the Vodafone Foundation through the Word Of Difference program
The social participation of young people in social issues , the strengthening of environmental awareness and training at all levels as a means of raising awareness of the problem of sustainable development, condense the perception of the Greek Scout Association about his contribution to the effort to measure the social performance of each project. through the scouting program and the diverse opportunities offered by non-formal education, Scouting directly contributes to the growth and development of young people, strengthening the skills that will enable them to become active citizens of the world and create positive change in their communities around the world.
With a long-term commitment to promoting sustainable development, Scouting has the power to engage young people in an unprecedented activism to address some of the most pressing economic, social, and environmental challenges facing our planet.
So far, the Scouts have offered a billion hours of voluntary contribution to society as a whole, meeting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The action "Scouts for the Sustainable Development Goals" is the largest coordinated mobilization of young people in the world, which activates fifty million young people in the implementation of two million actions that translate into an additional three billion hours of social contribution to sustainable development.
The activities are implemented in 350 different local communities throughout Greece, but also in the Scout Groups Abroad in Cairo and Paris.
At the same time, the Greek Scouts Association through a special memorandum of cooperation signed with the Ministry of Environment & Energy has received permission for its members to implement summer camps in forests and open areas, where they carry out information and awareness actions on natural environment, but also education in matters of forest protection and firefighting and at the same time there is wider cooperation with the Ministry in matters of conservation, sustainable management and restoration of the natural environment.
The Scouts have established the celebration of the "Forest Day" where at the beginning of November every year the Scout Groups throughout Greece implement tree planting actions with the guidance and cooperation of the Reforestation Directorate.
They recently signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Hellenic Recovery Recycling Cooperation for the purpose of educating and raising the awareness of minors and adult members on recycling issues, the organization of a Panhellenic Recycling Competition and local Recycling festivals when the epidemiological conditions allow it.
In collaboration with Vodafone, they are conducting the "Device & Accessories Recycling Program" which has been implemented since 2008. Throughout Greece, during the 13 years of implementation of the award-winning environmental program, more than 68,000 devices and accessories have been collected by Scouts and delivered to Vodafone. in creating a more sustainable world.
In collaboration with the Road Safety Institute "Panos Mylonas" they participate every year in the "European Night without Accidents" in various cities throughout Greece.
In collaboration with the “ vision of Hope” association, they inform the members of the greek scout association and the wider society about the importance of strengthening the Bone Marrow Donor Volunteer Bank. At the same time they are next to the children who are being treated at the ELPIDA oncology Hospital.
The Greek Scouts Association utilizes volunteers through the Regeneration initiative programs, in order to enhance the preparation of the participants for finding a job, while in collaboration with ethelon promotes the concept of volunteering and offering to the society.
The collaboration with Prince’s Trust International introduced a multi-day training of trainers to the Greek Scouts Association in order to further train Adult Members throughout Greece in matters of employability.
Also the memorandum of cooperation with ESYN (National Youth Council) and INEDIBIM (Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation), laid the foundations for strong cooperation of the bodies in all issues of youth.
Finally, in collaboration with the Association “Together for the child”, manuals for the prevention and treatment of violence and bullying were created with the aim of protecting children.
The actions and initiatives of the Greek Scout Association are organized and implemented by its 8,000 adult volunteers throughout the country, who are trained for life, in order to always provide a modern, quality and safe youth program to the minor members of the Greek Scout Association, with the support of the employees of the Greek Scouts Bureau.
350 Scout Groups from every local community of Greece take part in the initiative "Scout Group friendly to the Sustainable Development Goals" and are called to fulfill a series of challenges, mainly targeting the Environmental Goals, in order to be named "SDG Friendly Scout Group". Through small and large projects, they raise the awareness of both their members and the wider society, on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals but also on sensitive social, economic and environmental issues. Building on the existing experience, since 2020 the Greek Scouts have designed and offer a variety of programs for SDG’s, so that the Scout Program is enriched and aims at current local, national and global challenges, but also to have a substantial and cumulative capacity building of the Greek Scouts Association by maximizing the utilization of its existing facilities and human resources.