We say it in different languages, but Scouts worldwide live by Lord Baden-Powell’s appeal to “leave this world a little better than you found it.”
Over the weekend the King of Sweden and Scott Teare, former director of the Boy Scouts of America’s International Division and current Secretary General of World Scouting, visited the Philippines to offer support for victims of typhoon Haiyan.
During the visit, the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf presented a check for $100,000 from the World Scout Foundation to support the disaster work being done by Scouts there. In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan killed at least 6,000 Filipinos and displaced millions more, and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines have offered their support on the ground to help their compatriots recover ever since.
At 1.5 million members, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines are the fourth-largest Scouting organization in the world, behind Indonesia, the United States and India.
“The Scouts here are doing some amazing work to help those affected to quickly get back to normal lives,” he said. “What is important for us is how Scouts in Philippines were prepared for such disaster. While we are not a disaster relief agency, there are Scouts all over the world, like the Scouts in Philippines, ready and willing to help when disaster strikes. We have seen this great work pan out recently in support of the Syrian refugee crisis, in Haiti and Nicaragua.”
And here in the United States. I’ve blogged about countless stories of Boy Scouts coming to their community’s aid after tragedy.
I guess serving others is just part of a Scout’s DNA, both here and abroad.
The full news release follows:
The King of Sweden visits Scouts engaged in support to typhoon victims in the Philippines
World Scouting provides financial support to support recovery
26th January 2014, Manila/Geneva: For the past two days, a World Scout team led by His Majesty the King of Sweden, the Honorary Chairperson of the World Scout Foundation, and Scott Teare, Secretary General of World Scouting, visited several initiatives undertaken by Scouts in the Philippines, in particular those supporting rehabilitation for typhoon Haiyan victims.
Typhoon Haiyan occurred on 9th November 2013, devastating many communities across central Philippines. Tens of thousands have died and millions have been displaced from their homes. The World Scouting team visited Scout Groups supporting rehabilitation work in Tacloban. With over 1.5 million Scouts, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, led by the Honourable Jejomar Binay, the Vice President of the Philippines, is one of the largest members of the World Scouting family. Scouts from all over the country had reacted within hours of the disaster to provide support to multiple relief organisations.
During the visit to Tacloban, Scott Teare said: “The Scouts here are doing some amazing work to help those affected to quickly get back to normal lives. What is important for us is how Scouts in Philippines were prepared for such disaster. While we are not a disaster relief agency, there are Scouts all over the world, like the Scouts in Philippines, ready and willing to help when disaster strikes. We have seen this great work pan out recently in support of the Syrian refugee crisis, in Haiti and Nicaragua.”
During the visit, The King of Sweden presented a cheque for USD 100,000 from the World Scout Foundation to support the disaster work being done by Scouts. In post-disaster circumstances, Scouting is one of the few local groups organised to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable in their communities.
The high level World Scouting team also visited the Ticket To Life program, a Messengers of Peace program which extends Scouting to street children in Manila and other parts of the Philippines, handing over a further cheque for USD 100,000 as part of its ongoing support to this project. Scott Teare, Secretary General of World Scouting added: “We are very proud of the world that our Scouts in Philippines are doing with these vulnerable children. And the Ticket To Life programme is running in many other countries around the globe. The task is daunting but the need to serve these children is so great.”
Messengers of Peace is the flagship initiative of World Scouting, supported by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia. Thanks to the funding from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and other donors, extra resources have been made available to help Scouts across the world serve their communities better.