I am sure you are aware that all scouts are Messengers of Peace. To date almost 650 million hours have been recorded internationally by Scouts through service projects and activities. This year the Messenger of Peace Network initiative will be given a higher priority across Australia and everyone can participate and earn the badge which can be worn on the uniform around the World Badge.
The World Scouting’s Messengers of Peace (MOP) Initiative was launched in 2011. It aims to inspire the millions of Scouts who are doing amazing things in their local communities to tell the world about it, and thus inspire other Scouts to do even more. Any Scout project that brings a positive change in a community – its health, environment, social circumstances, safety or addresses conflict – is a Messengers of Peace project. It is a 10-year global initiative for all member countries of the World Organization of the Scout Movement to involve individual Scouts as well as National Scout Organizations in peace building activities.
MOP contains two main elements:
- Messengers of Peace Support Fund
- Messengers of Peace Network.
Scouts Australia through the International Commissioner and Youth Programme have accessed the Messengers of Peace Support Fund receiving grants to establish Scouting in Timor-L’Este and also to address the social issue of bullying across Australia.
All members of Scouts Australia can also be linked to the international Messengers of Peace Global Network. As part of the Global Network, scouts from all over the world are encouraged to join the electronic network and showcase their Messengers of Peace projects, as well as share them on other social media platforms. They can meet online to exchange ideas, tell their stories and work together to inspire each other.
To show the amount of work that is being done through these MOP projects, the time spent by all the Scouts in a project is added together – so when 10 Scouts build a children’s playground, spending 20 hours each, the 200 hours of service are logged onto the platform. The first hour of service was registered in October 2012, and since then the number has kept ticking upward at an inspirational rate. As at 16 September the network recorded almost 650 million hours of community service.
Recently NEC approved the wearing of the Messengers of Peace Badge on the scout uniform. This requires members to be part of the MOP Network by participating in a service project they design, implement and review and recording this on the MOP Network. As a result members may then wear the MOP patch around their World Badge on the Uniform. Further information will be shared in the next few months. Further details are available from http://scout.org/node/6268.