DAVAO CITY—The scout leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have urged regional scout associations to tap the training and discipline in the schools-based movement in molding the youth in their respective countries to become better citizens or future leaders.
Director Lee Yoong Yoong, director of the community affairs directorate of the Asean Secretariat, emphasized this during the well-attended scouts camping in Tagum City, the capital of Davao del Norte 53 kilometers northeast of here.
He said the scouting movement “has its huge and important contribution in shaping the region’s future leaders, thus the necessity to further maximize the huge potential of the scouting movement, especially in the area of youth development.”
No less than 25,000 boy scouts and girl scouts across the Asean, including their parents and school officials, gathered in Tagum City for the week long sixth Asean Scout Jamboree.
The Asean Scout Association for Regional Cooperation (Asarc) also convened in Tagum City a day earlier, on Novemer 26, for the ninth edition of its annual meeting “where they tackled important matters pertaining to improving the state of scouting movement among Asean countries,” said the information office of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and BSP Tagum City Council.
“As the Asean celebrates its golden anniversary, one of our priorities is the youth. We regard Asarc as a key stakeholder in reaching out to the youth,” Lee said in his speech at the high-level meeting hosted by Tagum BSP Council, a day before the start of the jamboree.
He said the scouting movement may be a global organization, but the Asarc’s role “in advancing youth-related programs is unique and therefore deserves to be fully maximized.”
He said the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts movement in each country has an important supportive role “in honing the youth” as he acknowledged that the governments of the 10 member states of the Asean could not fully cover the development of the youth sector, “and thus, the need to partner with reputable institutions whose mission is on youth development like Asarc.”
Wendel E. Avisado, Asarc chairman and BSP national president, assured the Asean Secretariat “of the regional federation of scouting movement’s continued push in strengthening the Asean community.”
Avisado said only Laos was not represented in the jamboree in Tagum City, but “the presence alone of all national scouting organizations from all Asean member countries is already a manifestation of the strength of Asarc as an important force in youth development.”
Among the agenda items in the ninth Asarc meeting “is the accreditation of Asarc as a recognized entity of the Asean, a long-time dream of the organization.” It was later recommended that national scout associations should endorse the accreditation of Asarc to the Asean community.
Lee said he hoped the Asarc would be accredited next year.