International Akela 2016 – 100 years of Cubbing
JOHANNESBURG – From the 6th to the 9th of August SCOUTS South Africa hosted the 2nd International Akela 2016. Under the theme “Ubuntu” a Howl for a Century of Cubbing!” the event brought together over 170 volunteers from all over South Africa and a few from the UK, the Netherlands and Nigeria. This year event was particularly exciting as it celebrated 100 years of Cubbing globally. Cubbing is the entry level branch of the South African Scouting Movement and caters for children (boys and girls) between the ages of 7 – 10.
“It was a real privilege to meet all the wonderful adult leaders who give of their time and knowledge to the empowerment of children,” says Akela 2016 Chairperson Rochelle Booyens “The workshops included among others a session on working with special needs children and a session from Childline on bullying. The also enjoyed an astronomy session whereby they learnt to use telescopes and were able to admire our stunning South African night sky.
A big aspect of the Cubbing and Scouting Programme is giving back to others. “Central in the Akela 2016 celebrations was our community service initiative. The participants learnt how to make chalk boards, side walk chalk, bean bags, musical instruments out of recycled materials, puppets and stationery boxes. All the items we made were donated to the charity we chose to help during the event which was Paradise Paradise Christian School, an emerging NPO School, situated in Olievenhoutbosch, a township in Centurion in Johannesburg.
The school was established in 2014 and is a self-funded school. Everything done in the school is funded by the parents paying their children’s school fees. The school has 215 learners and operates in a garage, containers and half of a house that was offered to them. We refurbished some of their classes, established a small library for which each volunteer donated a book and developed a food garden for them to maintain in order to provide healthy lunches for their learners. We also donated hula hoops, balls, skipping ropes and stationery”, explains Rochelle.
Graham Hamilton, Deputy UK Commissioner for Programme in care of Beavers, Cub Scouts and Scouts attended the event and stated “This has been a fantastic experience and opportunity to celebrate 100 years of Cubbing. People say that the UK is the home of Scouting but I feel that South Africa must therefore be the birthplace of Cub Scouting. To bring the two together and to share has been great. The most moving moment for me was at the ECD project and to see the transformation of the school and the library that we left there. I feel we are leaving a legacy for people in that community to build on and hope that local Scout groups will sustain the partnership we have built. What I like is that what we have made will get used by the kids and I hope they will appreciate the role Scouting played and hopefully – when they grow up – will give back to their community too.“
“We are very grateful to the people, Scout Groups and companies that made this event possible,” says Cub Centenary Chairperson Jeanette Angus. “Thank you to Andy Titterton Wholesale Nursery, Balwin Properties (PTY) Ltd, Dash Business Solutions, Better SA, Entyce beverages, First National Bank, Grace generation SA NPC, Multi Cup Solutions (PTY) Ltd, Nicole Calvert, Pretoria Boys High School, Prosound (PTY) Ltd, Stadex Stationary, PTA Centre of the Astronomical Society of SA, Suzuki (PTY) Ltd, Thyme IT (PTY) Ltd, Thyme Technologies (PTY) Ltd, Protea Ridge Scout Group, 1st Harmelia Scout Group, North Rand District and of course our volunteers for their hard work.”
SCOUTS South Africa is an independent, non-profit educational movement dedicated to the development of young people in achieving their full potential as individuals and responsible citizens. Central in this programme is a continuous transference of values such as honesty, loyalty, responsibility, respect; all aimed at governing individual behavior and the development of strong leadership skills.
More information: Rochelle Booyens, Akela 2016 Chairperson: 083 395 9985.
Images sourced from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/168294253591053/
We published 100 interviews with SA Cubs online. Check out how Cubbing impacted their young lives here: https://www.scouts.org.za/category/news/cubbing-centenary/