GOVERNANCE OF THE UGANDA SCOUTS ASSOCIATION
Scouting is an international voluntary, non-political and educational movement for young people open to all without distinction of origin, race, gender or ethnic/tribal background, in accordance with the purpose, principles and method of scouting as conceived by the Founder.
The Movement was founded by Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Gilwell in 1907 when he organized the first experimental camp at Brown Sea Island near Poole in Dorset, England.
The Uganda Scout Association (USA) was established by an Act of parliament in 1922. It is the national organization recognized as a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in Uganda. The Uganda Scouts Association is the sole body controlling the Scout movement throughout the country, making it the largest youth movement in the country, with a membership of over 400,000 boy and girl Scouts, and a support team of over 10,000 Scout Leaders.
Currently, Uganda is an active member of the international Scouting movement with an internationally recognized organization. Uganda has well established structures at almost all levels within the education system in the country. The development of Scouting in Uganda has been boosted by the fact that several prominent Ugandans including the Head of State have either been Scouts or are still involved in the activities of the Scout movement in the country. Uganda has a vibrant Scouting movement not withstanding the existing challenges. This vibrancy is attributed to a number of factors some of which include the following;
Well established structures built around the country’s education system right from the centre through to the district education offices down to schools and institutions.
Involvement by prominent personalities in the country provides an added attraction and interest from the youth.
Existence of all the four basic levels of Scouting
Because of the afore mentioned factors, Scouting in Uganda is relatively popular as illustrated below;
Number of participating districts: There are currently 80 districts that are actively involved in scouting.
Number of participating schools: There are very many schools in the country both rural and urban where Scouting is active. Some of the schools could even be in the districts which are currently branded ‘not active’. The current number of participating schools is not available since the secretariat depends on censuses to establish the numbers. No census has been done recently. However, based on the ‘Scouting for solutions’ project, there are 4,688 participating schools in 59 districts.
Number of registered members: The projected 2009 number of boy and girl Scouts in the country is estimated at 116,465 with over 7,000 leaders trained.
The core values of the USA are embedded in the Scout Law;
A scout’s honour is to be trusted
A scout is loyal i.e. a scout is a good citizen who respects God, own country and others.
A scout is helpful i.e. a scout’s duty is to be useful and helpful to others.
A scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other scout no matter what country or religion the other may belong
A scout is respectful and kind
A scout conserves nature
A scout is cheerful and courageous
A scout obeys lawful orders of those in authority
A scout makes good use of all resources
A scout is clean in thought, word and deed
Projects carried out and/or in progress: The movement is currently involved in a number of youth projects some of which include Agriculture and food production, Promotion of proper nutrition, Literacy, Environmental education (Renewable energies and conservation programmes), Adolescent Reproductive Health, HIV- Prevention, Drug and Alcohol abuse, Physical development through activities such as games and sports, Scouting skills (Service and skills), Citizenship (Promotion of patriotism), Health and sanitation, Integration and rehabilitation of the youth in difficult circumstances and hard to reach areas, such as; street children, orphans, the internally displaced and the challenged, Community service, and Poverty alleviation through income generating projects.