Editorial by B. Michoud | Development Officer | WaterLex
WaterLex was proud to attend the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Yamaguchi City, Japan, a gathering of 33,800 scouts, ages 14 to 18 years and from 150 nations, which took place 23 July through 8 August. The theme was “WA, a spirit of unity,” echoing the need of more cooperation among all for improving the state of the world, and reflecting the mission of the scouts: “Creating a better world.” The jamboree was organised to be like a compact version of a world in which nationalities, languages and religions are not seen as barriers but as ways to leverage better education and personal development.
In the jamboree, seven modules were offered to the scouts. Among them, the Global Development Village offered activities on five themes: Peace, Environment & Sustainability, Human Rights, Health, and Poverty. The activities presented in the Global Development Village were presented by high-level organisations, such as UNICEF, UNESCO, YUNGA, WaterAid, GOALS, UNWomen and WaterLex.
Each day, more than 4,000 scouts entered the Global Development Village, with the aim to become inspired by the commitment of the WOSM (World Organisation of the Scout Movement) to deliver 1 billion hours of service for the Sustainable Development Goals. As they are present in most of the countries of the world and are active to have local actions for the development, scouts represent a powerful platform worldwide for individual and collective action.
As part of its civil society programme with a special focus on youth, WaterLex ran workshops entitled, “Water: a Human Right and Responsibility.” They included fun activities for youth to understand the importance of having good water management based on the human rights, individually and collectively, and to measure and treasure their right to water. Among the different activities, scouts learned what human rights are and why water is a human right. Scouts were invited to reflect on the importance of having sufficient, safe, accessible, acceptable, affordable water. The importance of having effective water management based on participation, with access to information and without compromising the access to water for future generations, was also highlighted.
At the end, the participants were invited to stand for water, and participate in the WaterRules! campaign of WaterLex, taking a picture and showing the commitment of the scouts for a world in which water is at the heart of the priorities for development.
In total, 615 youth were trained, from 28 different nationalities, in about 40 workshops run by WaterLex.
Actions taken by the thousands of young 23WSJ participants and their sharing of best practices will help raise the consciousness of over 40 million scouts in the world. Ideally, this will trigger a ripple effect, resulting in innovative grassroots level actions by scouts and their local communities toward solving global issues and creating a better world. Ultimately, this will contribute to global peace and development, bringing to fruition the 23WSJ theme “WA: a Spirit of Unity.”