United Kingdom

Uganda Network

Homes and Homelessness

''Children have the right to be with their family or those who will care for them best''

Personal identity is an important part of feeling secure. Home for many people is a place of love, security and belonging but it can also be a place where young people suffer loneliness and mental or physical abuse. This sometimes results in young people leaving home to get away from the pressures. Often these young people have nowhere else to go and they end up living on the streets. The Children's Society estimates that about 98,000 young people go missing each year in Britain; most are between 14 and 16 years old.

This is a problem in many towns and cities in developed countries as well as a problem in developing countries, such as Uganda.

The activities below are designed to help Scouts understand what is important to them and to look at some of the joys and tensions of living together in close proximity, in families and in Patrols at Scout activities. The activities could be carried out before a camp. It is useful to remind the Scouts that a degree of confidentiality is required when undertaking these activities.

Programme Ideas

1. Me and My Patrol
This activity is to help young people learn about each other and respect each other's Ii and dislikes.

Invite the Scouts to fill in this chart individually (sitting in Patrols).

Put all the forms in the centre and each Scout then takes a form and reads out the answer The Patrol then has decide who it belongs to. This process continues until everyone has been identified.

This process helps the young people in the Patrol get to know each other, their likes a dislikes and their hopes for the future.

2. Passport to Camp
Passports identify us, they have information on where we are from and where we have been. The Patrol can design and make passports for themselves. This could include photographs, or sketches if a member of the group is artistic, personal details such as place of birth, names of parents, pets, shoe size and so on.

This activity will help young people identify with their Patrol and work together to decide what is important to them as a group.

Include some blank pages and use it to record the activities undertaken at camp.

3. Living Together
Ask the Scouts as a Patrol to list what they enjoy most about being together at camp and what they find most difficult. Ask them to think of all the activities they will be involved in for example.
setting up camp
sleeping in a tent
cooking for each other
sharing the chores
playing games together

In Patrols, create a role-play about sharing a tent. Make it as realistic as possible and have a progression that is to set the scene, to have a problem and decide on a destination. It can be funny or serious. Use this as a starter to talk about how they will make sure everyone enjoys working and living together at camp Ask each Scout to make a personal contact to the Patrol for their next camp for example

'This is a contract between Alan Smith and Patrol' (see above)

Put these in an envelope, seal it and give it to the Patrol Leader to take to camp. At the of camp or at the next Troop Meeting, look at the contracts. Remember Scouts promise to do their best, they do not promise to be perfect

4. At Home
In Patrols or in age groups, the previous activity could be undertaken with young people in relation to their home environment. Young people going through adolescence will be constantly developing their relationship with their parents. Sometimes difficulties arise so it is important to keep the lines of communication open. Asking young people to enter into a contract with parents may be a step towards this.

5. Me and my Mum or Dad
An entertaining activity for a parents' night is a version of the Mr & Mrs Quiz Show. Scouts enter with one parent and one at a time they are asked three questions with three or four options. If the parent or young person gives the same answer as their partner, points are awarded. Care needs to be taken in forming the questions but it can make for an amusing and entertaining evening.




For young people sometimes the pressures in their home environment get too great and the only way out seems to be to get away from it all and they leave home. There are agencies to help young people with problems and leaflets and information to help young people to prepare for leaving home.

First hand experience of the opportunities, responsibilities and pitfalls would also be useful for the older Scouts.

Programme Ideas

1. Invite a community policeman or someone from a housing association to about homelessness in your town or city.

2. Go and visit a refuge centre, Soup kitchen or drop in centre and discuss with the staff the facilities they offer to people who are homeless. Can the Troop help in any way?

3. Collect all the information available to help young people prepare for leaving home. Design a leaflet and distribute it to all the Patrol Leaders at the next District Patrol Leaders' meeting. Remember enough 'copies for your Scout leaders, Assistant District Commissioner and District Commissioner.

4. As a group of older Scouts, create a checklist of the skills you have learned in Scouting which will be useful leave home when you leave home.

5. Invite some Venture Scouts to share their experiences of leaving home. Ask them to include what they have enjoyed most, have found most difficult and where they received help, advice and support from. What skills are they acquiring in the Venture Scout Unit which will be of use to them?

Resources to support these activities. Note you will need Adobe Acrobat to be able to view this document.


Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 6 January 2004


http://www.esperanza2006.org" - supporting the education of children in Africa

[site information][search the site][home][site index][up]
home/resources/scouts/Homes and the Homeless