February 2017 Update
The Namaste Nepal Scout Active Support Unit was set up in 2012 to help local people develop Scouting in Meghauli, Chitwan, close to the jungle in Nepal.
With help from the Friendship Clinic (a local family-Scouting-based charity founded by Pete and Beryl Shore), and Clinic Nepal (a medical centre in Meghauli), we are now supporting 3 Scout Troops and the first-ever Cub Pack in Chitwan. We have run a Jungle Jamboree for all the Scout Troops in Chitwan District, an area one-seventh of Nepal, started a Young Leader section, and are helping them to develop proficiency and activity training awards relevant to their sections and environment.
Scouting is an important part of their community. It is the only organised activity for children outside of school. It has the support of village elders, local and national politicians, senior police and army officials. They see Scouting as a way of helping young people become “good citizens” and, in marginalized areas, steer them away from what would otherwise be a life of unsocial behaviour, alcoholism and potentially crime.
Meghauli is an area of 9 villages. Some of these are amongst the poorest in the world. They live far from the capital, Kathmandu, in the jungle close to the Indian border. Some of the people are known as Dalits, the “untouchables”, the lowest caste. Here, small things make a big difference.
We now have around 15 active members in the unit. Following our visit last October, we have instigated several new projects with the local people.
- To start 2 new Scout Groups in 2017 in the Dalit villages
- To help them with a recycling project
- To continue support for the Young Leaders
- To introduce a programme of fire and emergency prevention and rescue, based on Scout Troops to start and, subsequently, expanding into the community
- To plan and run the 3rd Jungle Jamboree in 2018
- To determine the feasibility of a mountain hike to the summit of Baden Powell Peak (5, 890 metres) in the Himalayas with local Scout Leaders. The peak was renamed in 2007 to celebrate the Centenary of Scouting. The hike, as well as providing a fascinating challenge, would lead to a great deal of publicity in Nepal (and, hopefully, UK) of the work we are doing together.
We will shortly be sending out separate emails with news about the Jungle Jamboree in 2018 and the Baden Powell Peak expedition.
The unit is open to all leaders and adult supporters. If you would like to know more about what we do, and maybe even join us, please get in touch.
We give presentations to sections and can run an evening’s programme, particularly for Beavers and Cubs. Again, if this is of interest, please get in touch.