Virtual Youth Forum 2020 kicked off

Virtual Youth Forum 2020 kicked off

[:en]Nepal Scouts has been engaging its members in different scouting activities during the almost 3 months’ long state of nationwide lockdown. As a continuation of this effort, Nepal Scouts has officially kicked off Virtual Youth Programme 2020 on June 15th, 2020. This forum will continue till June 21st 2020.

Day 1: 15 June 2020: Bulletin Issue 1

Formal Opening Session was held in the presence of distinguished guests from WAGGGS & WOSM. The session was administrated by Mr. Devraj Ghimire, Forum Director. Mr. Ram Prasad Bhattarai, Director of Nepal Scouts presented the welcome remarks and mentioned that youths are the future of the organization and this youth forum will encourage the participants’ to represent the voices of Youths that will be taken into consideration in the decision-making process. The recommendations will be taken as guidance for the revision of Youth Programme.

Ms. Bronwyn Hughes, Chair, Asia Pacific Regional Committee presented her speech and appreciated the efforts of Nepal Scouts to engage young people in the scouting activities through the initiatives of WAGGGS like Free Being Me, Surf Smart and Leadership Mindsets. Youth Forum has provided a great chance for participants to meet with others, make friends and also to bring forward their recommendations to Nepal Scouts about what matters to them, what will make the Youth Programme REAL (Relevant, Exciting, Accessible and Learner- led), what are the issues that participants are passionate about seeing a change in their communities.

Guest Speaker Mr. JR C. Pangalinan, Regional Director, World Scout Bureau Asia Pacific Regional Support Center congratulated Nepal Scouts for holding the Virtual Youth Forum 2020.  He said, this is the first of its kind and believe that it will open opportunities for Rovers and Rangers to discuss issues in this Youth Forum. The young people facing the pressure in today’s society range from the usual examination stress, the worries about future job prospects, and the non-stop barrage of social media, alarming global news – some are fake news.  The fundamental skill in coping with such stresses is resilience – the ability to bounce back.

Similarly, Mr. Lok Bahadur Bhandari highlighted that Nepal Scouts has always been proud of the roles played by Rovers and Rangers in contributing to the making of the constructive community. The energy and passion of Rover/Rangers have influenced the community locally and internationally multiple times. He also encouraged to take part in events like the Youth Forum to build their skills and welcome their inputs to create a better world. This is a very good opportunity to create a good network and come up with many solutions to help the community.

The event was then followed by the introduction of the forum and was ended with Key Note Session on the theme of Youth for Change “Resilience COVID 19 Pandemic” by Steve Tyas-Vice Chairman APR Program Subcommittee WOSM. The research findings suggested that scouts were more capable and confident to face unusual situations like COVID 19 Pandemic. The interaction is done by the participants with the keynote speaker during Q and A sessions reflected the effectiveness of the session to motivate the participants in bringing the changes in the lives of people including themselves as a responsible citizen to the community and eventually to the world.

Day 2: 16 June 2020 : Bulletin Issue 2

The Uniform makes for brotherhood since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country. – Lord Baden Powell

The second day of the historic Virtual Youth Forum 2020 started with the motivational thought of Lord Baden Powell. Subsequently, Mr. Raj Kumar Banjara, Member, Steering Committee presented the House Rules and made necessary announcements.  

As a next session fragment, a report on the activities of the first day was highlighted by Ms. Aasma Dulal, Chair, Recommendation Committee.

Special session input speaker, Yasser F. Sarona, Youth Programme and Adult Resources Development Executive, Boy Scouts of Philippines, led the session on Messenger of Peace Projects and Impact to the community. During the session, participants were introduced with Better World Framework focused on Messenger of Peace Programme of WOSM, Steps to become Messenger of Peace, Earning MOP badge, MOP Projects, and their impact on the community, neighborhood, environment and society and to the world, we live in. The participants were highly interested in the session and interacted remarkably during the Q and A session. 

Keynote speaker, Mr.  Madhav Dhungel, Executive Vice- President, National Youth Council, motivated the participants of the forum through his speech. In the speech, he mentioned that the initiatives of Nepal Scouts at the time of crisis due to COVID 19 are praiseworthy and appreciable because scouts are rising above their safe zones and contributing to the society as a frontline worker. He addressed that young people have the responsibility to play a vital role in resilience in COVID 19. He clarified the participants on the attempts of the National Youth Council for youth empowerment. Some of the attempts include designing of concepts for Youth Information Center, Youth Desk, and the establishment of Youth Information Bank. He also added preparation for Youth Guideline and Counselling Programme, Official process for the signing of MOU with different training institutions of Government for Youth Training and Cooperation Center, processes for the accreditation of the training and job placement are some other remarkable attempts of the National Youth Council. Establishment of Youth vision and development center, Youth Parliament and allocation of funding for research based on Youth have been already accomplished effectively and efficiently by the National Youth Council. He advised all youths to stay positive and motivated at present and put their efforts to work creatively.

The inspiring speech was followed by the MOP Project Sharing (Best Practices of Nepal Scouts). Mr. Dawa Sherpa, Wood Badge Holder of Nepal Scouts shared his impactful project entitled Sanitizer and Mask Production and Distribution Project 2020. Details of another relevant project of Food Distribution to the needy people during lockdown carried out by Himalaya Rover/ Ranger Crew, Jhapa was shared with participants through a video. The participants were highly motivated by the projects that are being conducted during lockdown to develop Resilience against COVID 19.

At the end of the sessions, the participants rejuvenated themselves during Social time by reciting poems and other entertainment activities.

Day 3: 17 June 2020: Bulletin Issue 3

The session was conducted by Binit Chantyal reflecting upon the current pandemic situation and how it becomes our responsibility to adapt to the changes and become more resilient.

“Some People don’t like change, but we need to embrace the change if the alternative is Disaster”-Musk

After that Pratika Silwal summarized the previous day’s session of “Better World FrameWork And MoP”.

Keynote speaker, Mr. Mahesh Swar, Assistant General Manager, Kantipur Publication provided information about 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Out of 17 Goals, he concentrated his speech on the importance of Goal No. 5: Gender Equality and Goal No.13:  Climate Action. He pointed out the roles that Scouts can play for achieving SDGs. Talking about Goal No.5, Gender inequality, he shared his own practices for achieving gender equality at his home and workplace. He suggested the participants take gender equality into special consideration because when you empower women, a lot of families are empowered at the same time. Furthermore, he highlighted that Goal No. 13, Climate Action is of great importance for sustainable development. Carbon emission due to the use of fossil fuels and deforestation has been a major contributing factor to environmental degradation. He also shared the concept of Planting Trees on Birthdays, giving Tree Plantlets as a gift which will foster a positive impression and the vibration for nature conservation will be transmitted to the upcoming generations. He appreciated the frontline service projects of scouts and requested them to maintain physical distancing during service.

Special session input speaker, Mr. Devraj Ghimire, Leader Trainer Nepal Scouts and WOSM Consultant presented the session on Scouts for SDGs. During the session, he focused on Key concepts on SDGs, Scouts for SDGs and Link of SDGs with Scouting. The participants boosted their concepts on the session topics in Q and A sessions. A very exciting Quiz related to the session topics was conducted after the session. The participants enjoyed the quiz and participated actively.

After the main session, Social Time was conducted for making participants feel refreshed. Performers were happy to share their talents among participants and through live streaming.


Day 4: 18 June 2020: Bulletin Issue 4

Ms. Sujina Shrestha, Member, Steering Committee, moderator for Day 4 welcomed all the participants and made the necessary announcement of the day.

Keynote Speaker Syd Callisto, Director, Educational Method of World Scout Bureau APR Support Centre presented an applicable story relating selling of Mo:Mo with scouting: how the quality Youth Programme needs to be accessible to all youth and it should attractive them. He also shared an infographic that was focused on the geography of Nepal and Youths. He suggested the participant put their voices and contribute to making Youth Programme relevant for the present context. He advised the participant to design a Youth Programme that could attract more youth to Scouting.

The first fragment of Special Session Input was presented by Mr. Ram Prasad Bhattari, Director, Nepal Scouts on the policies of WOSM associated with the development of Youth Programmes of National Scout Associations. In the session, he shared the key points of World Youth Programme Policy and World Youth Involvement Policy.

The second fragment was led by Ms. Mabila Khadka, AIS Officer, Nepal Scouts on Policies and Guidelines of WAGGGS associated with the development of the Youth Programme of Member organizations. Prepared to Learn, Prepared to lead along the concept of REAL (Relevant, Exciting, Accessible and Learner- Led) was introduced to the participants.

The third session fragment was presented by Mr. Suraj Khanal, Assistant Leader Trainer, Nepal Scouts on the existing Youth Programme to the participants.

The discussion among the participants on obtaining recommendations for Existing Youth Programme (Rover/Ranger Section) was postponed to the next day and the session was closed.


Day 5: 19th June 2020:Bulletin Issue 5

Day 5 started with the short celebration for 69th Establishment Day of Nepal Scouts. The session started with the National Anthem and Scout Song. Ministry of Youth and Sports & Chief Scout of Nepal Scouts Mr. Jagat bahadur Sunar expressed his pride towards Nepal Scouts and congratulated everyone for 69th year of Scouting. This was followed by a message from National Coordinator Mr. Lok Bahadur Bhandari and Mr. Ram Prasad Bhattari, Director of Nepal Scouts which reflected the contribution of Nepal Scouts volunteers in the community. The complete message has been put in Nepal Scouts Social Media Page.

After that, the session for the day was divided into four breakout sessions for the group discussion. The group discussion was categorized into four main topics incorporated in the Forum namely, Discovering Current Realities, MoP Projects, Youth Program and SDGs in Scouting. Each group had to work in the above individual topic and present their work at the end of the session.

In each break-out session, the participation was highly interactive and participants pushed themselves to bring innovative and relevant ideas.

The session concluded with amazing performances from across Nepal during the social hour where all participants took retreat in music and poetry after participating actively in the teamwork.


Day 6: 20th June 2020: Bulletin Issue 6

“We must accept our new reality, even if it’s less good than the one before.”

Mr. Binit Chanttyal, Chair, Steering Committee, started the session with an inspiring quote followed by the announcement of the day. Mr. Nihal Karki, Member, Steering Committee, presented the reflection of the previous day.

Moving forward in the programme, Mr. Nihal Karki presented the recommendations on two major topics: Discovering Current Realities and MOP Projects. In the same way, Ms. Aasma Dulal, Chair , Recommendation Committee, presented the recommendations on another two topics: Youth Programme and SDGs.

Keynote speaker, Mr. Lim Wei Yung, Chairman, Asia Pacific  Regional Youth Representative, presented an engaging presentation on Scouting on Asia Pacific Region. During the session, he elaborated on AP Regional Scout Committee and its subcommittees, responsibilities of Regional Youth Representatives, Collaborating Partners that AP Regional Youth Representatives are working with, Criteria for APR award for Outstanding Scouts and various platforms for scouts in Asia Pacific Region. He also made suggestions for the recommendations prepared by the participants. He mentioned that recommendations should be specific to the programs and relevant to the context of Nepal. He also appreciated that most of the recommendations seem specific and quantifiable for Nepal Scouts to work upon.

The participants enhanced their level of understanding about the youth involvement and platform for youths in Q and A session with Key Note speaker.

At the end, the entertaining virtual campfire was attended by the participants with great enthusiasm and interest.


Day 7: 21st June 2020: Bulletin Issue 7

Ms. Sujina Shrestha, Member, Steering Committee, started the session of Day 7 with welcome note and announcements of the day.

Ms. Sangita Gautam, Member, Recommendation Committee, reported the activities of the previous day.

As a next session fragment, Ms. Aasma Dulal, Chair, Recommendation Committee, presented the recommendations made by the Virtual Youth Forum 2020. The participants voted for and against the recommendations using a zoom poll.  The poll offered the options to the participants whether they wanted to deny or carry the recommendation. The voting was done for 25 recommendations, out of which all 25 recommendations were carried forward with more than 95% of positive votes.

The voting session was continued with an Open forum where the queries and issues of participants were addressed by Mr. Lok Bahadur Bhandari, National Coordinator and Mr. Ram Prasad Bhattarai, Director, Nepal Scouts.

The closing session was conducted in the presence of dignitaries from Nepal Scouts including, Mr. Shiva Bahdur Bhandari, Member, Ad- Hoc Committee and  Mr. Bijendra Dhwoju, Member, Ad-Hoc Committee, Nepal Scouts.

Mr. Lok Bahadur Bhandari expressed the closing remarks. He mentioned that Virtual Youth Forum 2020 has created history. This forum has provided a platform for the youths to express their views put forward the voices of youths. He expressed his commitment that Nepal Scouts will try its best to bring the recommendations of forum into execution.

Mr. Devraj Ghimire, Forum Director and WOSM Consultant, stated the Vote of Thanks and congratulated all the concerned authorities for successful completion of Virtual Youth Forum 2020.