Skip to main content

Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

3. Relationships with the host country

3. Relationships with the host country

Scout Associations

Initial contact with another national Association should always be made through the International Office, even if you have previously had a contact.

When approaching another Association, particularly in a developing country, it should be remembered that their resources are likely to be very limited. Most Associations have a small staff many of whom may be volunteers. The priority of all Associations is to support Scouting within their own country and therefore UK expeditions should be careful not to make heavy demands for support. Apparently simple requests for information, transport or accommodation may place great strain on local Associations and their contacts. Please remember that resources may be diverted from local Scouts to support your page 5 of 17 expedition.

Communications are often long delayed and the reply you receive may not be what you are expecting.

The host Association should be invited to join you in your project. It is important to try to restrict the number participating to a reasonable figure as volunteers are likely to exceed places available. It is much better to have a smaller group as personal relationships can then develop. As the Scouts participating will be giving up work on family farms etc. provision for catering, transport etc. should be made from the expedition budget.

All expeditions should seek to support local Associations with either practical support in the form of equipment or financial support. A good guideline for such support is 5-10% of development project expenditure. This support should be agreed with the local Association in advance of the expedition's arrival.

Where possible, expeditions should consider an exchange element in their expeditions - inviting representatives from the local community and host Association to visit the UK. If you do this, you should budget on meeting most of the costs, although grants may be available.

The International Team maintains contacts with a number of National Scout Associations, and its priorities are often targeted at a particular region or regions of the world over a given period. Contact is also maintained with the Regional Offices of the World Scout Bureau and they can be of assistance in determining if the idea that you may have for a project will be suitable for the association that you are considering partnering with.

The Marrakech Charter

The Marrakech Charter When working overseas on a community development project it is vital that the host Association is consulted at all stages of the programme. In some cases community development projects are found through personal contact and as a result the host Association is not informed until the last minute. This can cause severe embarrassment to the host Association as local Government Departments will assume that local Scouts have been involved at all stages and may seek consultation at a local level.

Many local development initiatives may not have official approval and thus to embark on such programmes without the approval of local Scouts may cause further difficulties. It should be remembered that many overseas Scout Associations operate in a different political system and therefore it is important that all projects follow local procedures.

The World Organization of the Scout Movement has tool available for you to use when considering partnership working. It’s entitled the Marrakech Charter, and was most recently updated in 2005. The document provides a definition of partnership in Scouting and establishes some principles: Partnership in Scouting can be defined as:

The establishment of a voluntary and collaborative relationship to achieve mutual goals and experiences between two or more entities by exchanging and sharing what they have in an educational process or project. They have a common intention which they want to reach within a defined time frame.

Find out more about the Marrakech Charter.

Importantly, the Marrakech Charter deals with issues such as how to ensure that the educational objectives of all parties are being met. The most recently updated version also deals with multilateral partnerships, including those that involve agencies external to Scouting.

Other Organisations

Advice should be obtained from the host Scout Association and the International Office regarding proposed partners in development projects.