The Scout Association of Malawi
Scouting in Malaŵi shares history with Zimbabwe and Zambia, with which it was linked for decades. The 4,000 member Scout Association of Malaŵi was founded in 1996 and became a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in September 2005.
History of Scouting in Malaŵi
Scouting in the former Rhodesia and Nyasaland started in 1909 when the first Boy Scout troop was registered. Scouting grew quickly and in 1924 Rhodesia and Nyasaland sent a large contingent to the second World Scout Jamboree in Ermelunden, Denmark.
The great popularity of the Boy Scout movement was due to its outdoor program such as hiking, camping, cooking and pioneering, which was unusual in the protectorate. Additionally, the training and progressive badge system was targeted towards helping others, leading to responsible citizenship.
Because of the prevailing circumstances earlier in the 20th century, a separate movement was established for black Africans called "Pathfinders". By the 1950s the time was considered to merge both movements into one Scout Association. Since independence, as a Commonwealth member, Scouting in Malaŵi continued under The Scout Association, though it had the option to register directly with the World Scout Bureau. Until 2001, Scouting had been suppressed in Malaŵi since the 1970s, despite the country's longstanding relationship with UK Scouting.
Malaŵi's fresh start
The Malaŵi Scout Association was officially relaunched in 2001, and its members are now building upon their newfound freedom of expression. Representatives from the Northern Ireland Scout Council and the North Yorkshire Scout County recently established contact with Malaŵi, and the upcoming expedition Sunrise Malaŵi 2007 will build upon these new relationships.
On July 6, 2003 Scouts from Northern Ireland visited Malaŵi, where they donated Scout items to the First Ekwendi Scout group in Mzuzu, Malaŵi. Northern Ireland Cub Scout Leader Margaret Qua made the presentation, which was received by the Chairman of the Malaŵi Scout Association, Ahabu Kafansiyanji.
Making the presentation, Margaret said, "We are pleased to be associated with Scouting in Malaŵi, and promise to assist whenever we can in a brotherhood manner as we respect the Scout Law." She said that she was impressed with how Scouting in Malaŵi is growing and encouraged the leadership to work hard and reach out to more young people in Malaŵi.
Kafansiyanji said the donation would go a long way to assist the local association, especially in view of the challenges facing young people in the areas of education, health, environment and youth involvement in decision making.
The African Regional Office gave the necessary support to ensure that Malaŵi qualified for recognition by the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
Sunrise Malaŵi 2007
The UK-Africa Scout Fellowship has launched an initiative to take UK Scouts to Malaŵi, planned for July 2007. The expedition to Malaŵi will be designed to run in parallel with the World Jamboree and takes its title from the proposed Sunrise Ceremony. The objective of this expedition will be to spend five weeks in Malaŵi, working alongside The Scout Association of Malaŵi, which will culminate in the inauguration of their national campsite. The region also has strong links with Scandinavia, and it is hoped that Swedish and Norwegian Scouts will join the UK expedition party. It is further hoped that Malaŵi will field a contingent to the 2007 World Jamboree in Essex.
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