United Kingdom

Uganda Network

The International Friendship Award

International Frindship Badge (3k)

The International Friendship Award was introduced in 1992 to promote international awareness and to reinforce the links within a Scout Group.

Many Scout Troops may already have international links, established through penpal schemes and camping experiences. However, the International Friendship Award is designed to encourage all Sections to be part of an international project, with equal emphasis placed on an international aspect and Group participation.

It is often difficult to select a worthwhile project which can fulfil both these criteria and this is where Unite comes in. Unite is a nationally promoted project between The Scout Association, the Uganda Scouts Association and UNICEF to support the work which Ugandan Scouts have been undertaking in conjunction with UNICEF to promote the immunisation programme and AIDS education.

Groups can select Unite to be their International Friendship Award project and use this publication to encourage Troop and Patrol based activities. Taken in conjunction with the other Sectional Unite publications, a Group will be well on the way to achieving the aims of the International Friendship Award if they undertake some of the activities. However, it is important to encourage crossSectional and inter-Sectional activities in order to fully gain the International Friendship Award.

The list is by no means exhaustive and you will probably be able to add to the suggested activities to make the International Friendship Award and Unite more meaningful.

A set of guidelines for the International Friendship Award is available from the Resource Centre at Gilwell Park, which gives the full set of criteria and includes proven examples of how other Groups have achieved the International Friendship Award.




Programme ideas

The Friendship Knot
The symbol representing the International Friendship Award is four interwoven Friendship Knots representing the four training Sections. Most Scouts will be able to learn the Friendship Knot. If someone in the Troop does not already know it, then try to find a Leader, Venture Scout or Group Supporter who can teach it to the Troop. A first link with the Beaver Scout Colony and Cub Scout Pack could be established by Scouts demonstrating the knot to the younger members of the Group using their neckerchiefs. Incidentally, one of the theories for the naming of the Friendship Knot is that it is easier for someone else to tie the knot for you, than for you to do it yourself thereby establishing a first point of friendship.

The Patrol System
The important messages of immunisation and AIDS education are promoted using small groups in Uganda just like the Patrol in Council or the Patrol Leaders' Council. Young people will often ignore adults, while they listen to someone who is closer to their own age. This method is used to promote an understanding of AIDS in Uganda. The Patrol Activity Award requires taking part in a Patrol in Council, so this can be used to encourage the Patrol System and highlight a similarity with Ugandan Scouting.

Passing Information
At a campfire, introduce the Chinese whispers stunt, where a message is whispered by a line of Scouts, comparing the original message with the end result. The more complicated the message, the more garbled the end result may be. Afterwards, it may be necessary to make the point that important messages need to be remembered exactly if they are to be effectively passed on in Ugandan society.

Message running
Baden-Powell used this activity to develop memory and attentive listening based upon his experiences of using boys as messengers during the Mafeking Siege. The boys were given complicated messages to memorise and then carry around the town, which freed up valuable adults who were required to maintain the defence of the town. This activity calls for Scouts to be given a complicated verbal message to transmit to another Scout a few hundred metres away, who in turn takes it to another Scout some distance away. Used as an inter-patrol relay race, there may be five or six stages. Compare the end message with the original and then draw the parallel with Patrol Leaders' in Uganda taking the important information on AIDS to their friends and communities.

Group Camp
Organise a Ugandan style camp for the entire Scout Group, where Scouts sleep in bivouacs, just as their counterparts in Uganda would do. Encourage a good standard of hygiene with camp dressers and good waste disposal. Draw a parallel with Uganda where the warm climate would create great problems if hygiene were not paramount. Invite the Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts for the day and work in co-operation with the Venture Scout Unit to arrange camp Olympics with composite teams made up from each Section to represent Uganda, United Kingdom and other countries. Cooking will, of course, be with a minimum of utensils and will feature some Ugandan dishes. Include a Scout song devised by the Scouts, and do some research to include songs of African origin during the worship and campfires. Find out more about the work of UNICEF as a major development agency. The results can be used to add to the display which can be mounted at the end of the International Friendship Award Project. Find out the information from the local library, UNICEF volunteers and your local UNICEF Regional Office.

AIDS Information
As part of the health requirement for some of the progressive training scheme awards, find out about AIDS and how prevalent it is in the United Kingdom. It may be possible to join a discussion with the Venture Scout Unit where the dangers to young people in the United Kingdom can be discussed.

Additional Information

The Information Centre
Gilwell Park
London, E4 7QW

Programme & Training Department
Gilwell Park
London, E4 7QW

Don't forget to involve your Assistant County or Area Commissioner (International) who will be able to help you with your planning and supply you with lots of useful information.

Good luck with your planning - remember the UK Uganda Network is available to give support to any events, camps or expedition either in Uganda or involving Uganda Scouts visiting the UK.



Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 5 January 2004


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