The Bharat Scouts and Guides (BSG), the national Scouting and Guiding association of India, has partnered with YuWaah (Generation Unlimited India) and UNICEF with the aim to support the development and engagement of over 5.7 million members and volunteers through BSG’s network of chapters across India.
This partnership between BSG and YuWaah in India is part of the larger global partnership between UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited (GenU) and World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). YuWaah is the India chapter of Generation Unlimited and is a multi-stakeholder platform that aims to prepare young people to transition from education and learning to productive work and active citizenship. BSG is the India member organizations of WAGGGS and is known globally for their youth-centric values and programmes. In India, BSG comprises of over 2 million girl guides and 3 million boy scouts.
Owing to these aligning goals, the partnership between BSG and YuWaah focuses on 3 main areas:
– Amplifying young people’s voices and facilitating direct dialogues with decision makers by capturing the sentiments of the BSG youth through U-Report, a citizen-engagement platform by UNICEF. In India, U-Report already has approximately 50,000 BSG volunteers, of which 53% are girl guides.
– Informing and engaging the BSG youth on their rights, duties and civic leadership, through resources and tools such as Sankalp 2.0, Fundoo chatbot on 21st century skills and entrepreneurship, Youth Innovation Challenges and Know Your Constitution platform and toolkit (civic engagement).
– Enhancing Young People’s skilling and successful transition to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities through connecting them to YuWaah tools such as Career Guidance Portal and learning management platform called UNILearn to access and develop 21st century skills through quality courses.
Joint initiatives by BSG, YuWaah and UNICEF during COVID-19
BSG has partnered with YuWaah and UNICEF for its COVID-19 initiative “Sankalp 2.0 – To Create a Better Tomorrow” – a special online and offline youth engagement activity for Scouts, Guides, Rovers, Rangers and Unit Leaders. The aim is to engage youth at home during COVID-19 to inspire and capacitate them to safeguard their families and communities, and mainstream healthy, COVID-19 appropriate behaviours. Some of the activities to be executed under this programme are yoga and walkathons with family members, preparing and distributing masks, and educating themselves and their families on COVID-19 information based on Government guidelines.
Additionally, The Bharat Scouts and Guides is also a Coalition Partner to the ongoing nationwide #YoungWarrior movement, initiated by YuWaah and UNICEF to engage 5 million young people to lead action against COVID-19 and impact 50 million people. BSG volunteers will be provided with training on COVID related information including mental health and wellbeing to further amplify and capacitate members of their communities. This is part of BSG’s efforts to ensure that youth volunteers are equipped with verified and accurate information on COVID to secure themselves, their communities and their country.
K.K. Khandelwal, Chief National Commissioner, The Bharat Scouts & Guides said “India’s young people are more aware and driven than ever before, as we have been seeing for ourselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the backdrop of the larger socio-economic landscape right now, this would be the ideal time to hone our young people with leadership skills, as well as train them for the future of jobs and work in a post COVID era. Coupling our strength along with YuWaah and UNICEF’s resources and tools, we are optimistic that it will provide the boost that our volunteers will truly appreciate and utilise to the fullest.”
Echoing these views, Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Generation Unlimited (YuWaah), Youth Development and Partnerships, UNICEF India said, “With this partnership with BSG, we endeavour to provide BSG’s youth volunteers with relevant and aspirational opportunities through learning, skilling, leadership development and employment. We have joined hands for various COVID-19 related programmes through Young Warriors and Sankalp 2,0, and we are witnessing large-scale impact. We look forward to facilitating holistic pathways and engaging more with BSG and its young and enthusiastic volunteers towards more exciting initiatives. This will include a special focus on vulnerable population including girls and young people with disabilities.”
Debashish Mohanty, 21, volunteer, The Bharat Scouts and Guides, said “Being part of BSG, we are fortunate to have a platform and access to so much exposure towards current public affairs, citizen-engagement, community service activities. With more such engagement platforms such as the U-Report portal, we are excited and enthusiastic to utilize these resources to the fullest which will amplify our voice and make it heard.”
Nikita Sharma, 21, volunteer, The Bharat Scouts and Guides, said “With YuWaah’s networks and resources and BSG’s large strength of volunteers across the country, the impact that can be created is monumental. Apart from the educational resources and training provided to us, what will be equally beneficial is the access to organizations, career guidance and mentorship that we are certainly excited about as it opens so many doors to economic opportunities for us.”
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