Recently, the KN Team met up with a guy called Chris, who is part of a pretty special Scout Active Support Unit. They are responsible for the delivery of the Scouts of the World Award, or SOWA for short. We are really excited about this award and we want to shout about it and here’s why…
The SOWA is an award that is unique to Network, unlike all of the other awards you can complete. It is available to the senior sections of Scout movements in 50 countries around the world and it has big ambitions. It was created by the World Organisation of the Scout Movement as a way for Scouts to contribute towards the UN's Millennium Development Goals, which range from eradicating extreme poverty and hunger to ensuring environmental sustainability. The SOWA focuses on 3 issues: peace, sustainable development and the environment and its creators are adamant that it is about far more than just a badge, it is about making a real difference in the world. They aim to achieve this through the ethos of 'think global, act local'.
So that's the spiel but what does it actually involve? There are two main parts to the award, the 'Discovery' and the voluntary service. However, this voluntary service is very different to any you may have completed for your Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The Discovery is residential and aims to offer you a deeper understanding of your chosen theme. For example, in November there will be a Discovery over 2 weekends on the theme of peace, where participants will get the opportunity to meet the Chelsea Pensioners, representatives of ethnic communities and staff from Chatham House. They will also have talks from experts in project management and conflict resolution to help them with the next phase of the award. The idea is that, after this intensive introduction, you will go away enthused to make a difference through your voluntary service. This voluntary service will be entirely planned by you, although you are encouraged to work in a group with others, and it can be overseas or in the UK. The possibilities for the voluntary service section are vast, so we think that this is a really exciting award! You also spread the word about your chosen theme to other people by running section meetings for younger sections and a presentation.
So are you up for the challenge? The full requirements and a useful document with all of the info can be found at http://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/search/?cat=8,194,717. Now is a great time to sign up for the award as the November Discovery, that I mentioned earlier, is going to be held just down the road at Blacklands Farm, Sussex. If you were to sign up later you may have to travel further for your Discovery so this is a brilliant opportunity for Kent Network members.
So good luck and we look forward to hearing all about your adventures!Author: Rachael Lawler