First aid, campfires and a Presidential visit!

Last week, our World Board Chair Nicola Grinstead travelled to Tunisia with João Armando Gonçalves, Chairperson of the World Scout Committee. They visited a host of ground-breaking projects run by Scouts and Guides across Tunisia and met all the movers and shakers the country has to offer. Here’s what happened…

Nicola and Joao

This was the first-ever joint visit by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM). It provided the perfect opportunity to show how WOSM and WAGGGS are committed to offering young people a unique type of non-formal education, setting them up with life skills that will help them to face current and future realities. 


Nicola with Minister of Youth and Sport / WAGGGS

To kick off the trip, Les Scouts Tunisiens hosted an action-packed opening ceremony for Nicola and João, where the Minister of Youth and Sports, Majdouline Cherni, presented them with the Merit Scout Medal – an incredibly high accolade! Rather than clapping, the Scouts and Guides congratulated Nicola and João by singing a song – because that’s how it’s done in Tunisia.


Nicola Grinstead at the Bardo Museum / Les Scouts Tunisiens/WAGGGS

After the visit, Nicola and João visited the Bardo Museum in Tunis where 22 people were killed in a terrorist attack on 18 March 2015. There, they presented a bouquet of flowers in memory of those who lost their lives. 


Citizenship Day in Tunis / Les Scouts Tunisiens/WAGGGS

As the sun was setting, the Scouts and Guides took to the streets of Tunis to mark Citizenship Day. They set up shop on one of the main streets in the capital to showcase their many inspiring projects, including Free Being Me and Stop the Violence, in a bid to show people how they’re working hard to make the world a better place.


Scouts and Guides sing songs in Tunisia / Les Scouts Tunisiens / WAGGGS

During the evening, the excited crowds were treated to songs and dances by Les Scouts Tunisiens.


U-Report launch in Tunisia / Les Scouts Tunisiens / WAGGGS

In partnership with UNICEF, Les Scouts Tunisiens launched U-Report, a social messaging tool that gives young people a voice on the issues they care about, garnering bucket-loads of media attention. Lead story on the 8’O’Clock news? Check! 


Nicola Grinstead gets first aid / Les Scouts Tunisiens / WAGGGS

Day two saw a visit to the super duper Scout House in Hammam Sousse. A plethora of fun, exciting and adventurous activities were well underway, while one Brownie was given the opportunity to demonstrate her life-saving skills on Nicola. We heard she passed with flying colours!  


Campfire in Tunisia / Les Scouts Tunisiens / WAGGGS

Then, there was the campfire! Look how much fun everyone is having – there was clapping, singing, dancing, performances, a teddy bear and so many Guides and Scouts. Word on the street is WOSM and WAGGGS had a dance off. (That’s a joke!) Everyone was in high spirits and the atmosphere was electric!


Nicola Grinstead meets Tunisia’s President, Beji Caid Essebsi / ©Présidence Tunisie

Day three saw a meeting with Tunisia’s President, Beji Caid Essebsi, who revealed he too was a Scout. Important topics were discussed and lots of delicious mint tea was consumed. 


Nicola Grinstead and Les Scouts Tunisiens / Les Scouts Tunisiens / WAGGGS 
The trip came to a close in Manuba, where Scouts and Guides were out in droves, showcasing the work they are doing on peace, tolerance, body confidence and how to stop violence against girls and women. Nicola and João took part in many of the activities (knot-tying was on the agenda); learning about all the cool activities Guides and Scouts are participating in to ensure they grow up in safe world.  Overall, it was an awesome visit, which showed the power and unity of the global Guiding and Scouting Movement.


To read the joint statement, see our story WAGGGS and WOSM stronger together



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