Scouts Canada Helps Break Cycle of Poverty for Kids in Kenya


    Canada Hosts Ten Kenyan Extension Scouting Members as Special Guests at
    National Jamboree; Providing Youth with Hope for the Future

    CAMP TAMARACOUTA, QC, July 31 /CNW Telbec/ - Scouts Canada today
announced that ten members from the Kenya Scouts Association are currently
being hosted as special guests at the 11th Canadian Jamboree (CJ'07) at Camp
Tamaracouta, in Mille-Isles, Quebec.
    Kenyan Scouting youth and leaders are participating in the most
significant week-long Jamboree in Scouts Canada's history, as nearly
8,000 international youth and volunteers are joining together to celebrate
100 years of Scouting throughout the world.
    Scouts Canada has worked in partnership with the Kenya Scouts Association
(KSA) for many years to help break the cycle of poverty. With assistance from
Scouts Canada, KSA has been running a program commonly known as "Street
Scouts" or the Extension Scouts Program. KSA has more than 4,000 youth
enrolled in this Program throughout Kenya and membership is continuously
expanding.
    The Extension Scouts Program organizes Scout groups for children living
on the streets with nowhere else to turn. The Program also reaches out to
children associated with orphanages that are only providing day support. In
this latter case, such children return to the streets at night. Street
children are encouraged to join the Program to learn valuable life skills. In
many cases they receive basic health care, practical job training as well as
the encouragement and support they need to re-enter the school system. As a
result, some children are then able to reunite with their families. The
Program has been so successful in Kenya that it is now spreading to many other
countries in Africa, including Uganda, Tanzania and parts of West Africa.
    "I'm so amazed to be here in Canada," explains Peter Kariuki, a former
street Scout and now a leader of an Extension Scout Troop in Nairobi. "When I
was first approached by Scouters on the streets of Nairobi at the age of ten,
I was living on the streets, scrounging through garbage heaps. Scouting
changed my life, as it enabled me to get an education and provided me with
valuable life skills. I'm now in my third year of university studying social
and community development. Scouting makes such an incredible difference in so
many lives where children are homeless with little hope for a future. I want
to contribute to this Movement by giving back to others what Scouting has
given to me."
    "Our Scouting Founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, would be so proud of
Scouts Canada's dedication to living-out the Scout Promise and commitment to
leaving this world a little better than how we found it," said Adam
Baden-Clay, great-grandson of Baden-Powell, who is now on-site at CJ'07.
"Scouts Canada is enabling youth in developing countries to join Scouting,
providing them with a chance to redefine their lives. In this 100th year of
Scouting, it is an ideal time to recognize all the good that Scouting has
done, and continues to do, in lending a hand to create a better future for
those in need."
    "The benefits of Scouts Canada's international development projects
extend beyond the outcomes of providing community assistance overseas," states
John Neysmith, Scouts Canada's International Commissioner. "We send groups of
Canadian Scouting youth to developing countries, enabling them to contribute
hands-on to community development projects. Our youth learn to become more
responsible and resourceful members of their own communities by gaining an
understanding of the problems and challenges faced by young people in
developing countries. Participation in these projects provides life-changing
and immensely enriching experiences for our youth."
    This summer Scouts Canada is funding a group of Canadian youth travelling
overseas to work with local Scouts on a community development project in The
Gambia. Furthermore, for 2008, Scouts Canada has already approved funding for
Canadian Scouting youth to work in Namibia, Ghana, and Madagascar.

    About the Canadian Scout Brotherhood Fund
    -----------------------------------------

    Over the past 50 years, Scouts Canada has provided more than $5 million
to support projects in developing countries around the world. Funding for
Scouts Canada's international development projects is provided by The Canadian
Scout Brotherhood Fund. Created in 1950, the Brotherhood Fund works to support
and develop Scouting and community development in regions where a need is
demonstrated.
    The Brotherhood Fund supports three types of projects in developing
countries:- Local capacity building activities - infrastructure development of
      National Scout Associations, such as management and business training
      of key volunteers, professional staff development, and business
      equipment purchases.
    - Sponsored participation of Canadian Scouting youth - expenses for youth
      undertaking a community development initiative; including the funding
      of project material costs.
    - Disaster relief projects - taken on by local Scout groups in a
      developing country.Brotherhood Fund revenues are raised through Scouts Canada's annual
Scoutrees program. Canadian Scouts collect financial pledges from people in
their communities to sponsor them in planting tree seedlings. Scouts have been
reforesting the country since the 1920s and have planted over 85 million trees
to date; another 400,000 more trees are expected to be planted in 2007.
Additional Brotherhood Funds are also raised by local Scout councils, Scout
groups and Scouter clubs, and are also provided by individual donors. For more
information please see: http://www.scouts.ca/inside.asp?cmPageID=95.
    About Scouts Canada
    -------------------

    Scouts Canada is the country's leading youth organization offering
exciting outdoor adventure for boys and girls, and young men and women, ages 5
to 26, in communities across Canada. Through its recreational, social,
environmental and community development programs, Scouting teaches youth about
the active role they can play in helping to create a better world. Over
78,000 young people enjoy Scouts Canada's programs which are provided by over
24,000 caring and dedicated volunteers.
    Throughout 2007, the Scouting Movement marks its Centennial in
155 countries around the world. Since its founding in 1907 over half a billion
young people from virtually every country and culture have enjoyed Scouting
activities. Today, more than 28 million youth participate in Scouting
worldwide. For more information please visit: www.scouts.ca and
www.scouts.ca/cj07.

    NOTE TO EDITORS: Video footage of the "Kenya Extension Scouts Program" is
    available from Scouts Canada upon request.



For further information: about Scouts Canada and the Jamboree: Heidi
Vincent, Director of Communications, Scouts Canada, (613) 224-5131 ext. 271,
hvincent@scouts.ca; For media accreditation to visit the Canadian Jamboree
site and to arrange for interviews and pictures of Kenya Scout Association
Members: Thérèse Beaulieu, CJ'07 Communications Manager, Onsite at the
Jamboree until August 1, 2007: (450) 560-8859, tbeaulieu@scouts.ca