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Scouts attend Commonwealth Forum in London
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Scouts attend Commonwealth Forum in London

Two Scouts from Solomon Islands will be joining other Scouts from Commonwealth countries at the Commonwealth Scout Forum at Gilwell Park in London from April 26th to the 30th London.

They are Andrew Leitaka from the Western Province and Seth Sio from Malaita Province. Both young men, aged 25 years are members of the Scout Association of Solomon Islands which is an overseas branch of the UK Scout Association.

Seth is the Chairman of the Rover Scout Council a part of the Scout Association of Solomon Islands and Andrew who is a Finance and Administration student at the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education assists Seth in the activities of the Rove Scouts Council which includes community tree planting, other community services and coordinating an exchange project between the Australia Capital Territory Scouts and those of Solomon Islands.

The theme for the youth Forum will be ‘Developing Scout Partnerships in the Commonwealth’. The objective of the Forum is to engage young people from the Commonwealth countries in discussion on how Scout organisations can work together to develop their programmes and enhance international experience for young people in the Commonwealth.  The Forum will include a number of plenary sessions, presentations and discussion groups looking at such topics as Connecting Cultures, Scouting in your Community, International Scouting Programmes and What we can do to help each other, and how we can facilitate local exchanges.

Andrew and Seth will also be participating in a series of events including a a tour of London and a reception at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, the Headquarters of the Commonwealth since 1965 during which they will have the opportunity to meet the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma.

On Sunday 29th April they will take part in the UK 2012 National Scout Service and Parade which will take place at Windsor Castle. This event will allow adults and young people who have achieved the Queen’s Scout Award, the highest youth achievement award within Scouting, to be recognized. Her Majesty the Queen and other Royal dignitaries will be in attendance.

The Regional Director of the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) Pacific Centre, Ms Afu Billy responding on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretariat said that it is always great to see young people being involved in international forums. It exposes them to different cultures; different ways of doing things; enhances their knowledge and skills and enables them to discuss on subjects that affect the lives of young people. This will certainly lead to a boost in their confidence and self-development.

Representing the Scout Association of Solomon Islands, Chief Commissioner Mr Joe Billy Oge thanked the Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs for recognizing the importance of young people’s participation at these international forums by financially contributing to Andrew and Seth’s attendance at the Commonwealth Scout Forum in London. He also thanked the Commonwealth Secretariat for its financial assistance and providing this opportunity for these two young Solomon Islands men.

He also thanked Solomon Airlines for their contribution to the Scouts’ trip by organising their travel itinerary and stopovers and for a reduction in airfares.

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