Message from Lawrence Stanton, Chair: Young Leaders Representative
Today on youth day we remember young people standing up for a more inclusive education, for the right to embrace their diversity, and take a hold of their future.
Just over a year later – in 1977 – the South African Scout Association amalgamated the four segregated Scout organisations into one unified and diverse Youth Movement. In 2000 we opened for girls, which today represent approximately 48% of our membership.
As a youth Movement we are continuously working towards being as diverse and inclusive as we can. Inclusion in Scouting means actively building a Movement where diverse communities can benefit from and contribute to Scouting regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, gender expression, sexuality, ability, spirituality, or economic background.
It is becoming increasingly important to understand, respect and value all our individual differences. This requires us as a Movement to be prepared to deal with different needs, requirements, and aspirations, so we can evolve, grow, and adapt to the ever-changing societies in which we live and operate.
Connected as never before, our boys and girls, young men and women are increasingly influencing the course of their communities and countries. As SCOUTS South Africa it is our duty to educate and empower our members to be confident, well-rounded, and responsible citizens that are prepared to stand up and ensure equal opportunities for all, so that our young people can achieve their full potential in life.
Today, on Youth Day, I call upon our youth to think about their role in building our country, our communities, and our Scout Movement into safe places where young people can feel at home, be themselves, and where values such as respect, honour, and mutual understanding can thrive. If we can understand and embrace the differences between us, we can equip our young leaders of tomorrow to create a better, more inclusive, and diverse world.
Yours in Scouting,
Chair: Young Leaders Representative