Members of the 1st Bryanston Scout Group have been hard at work on a number of service projects linked to the United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG’s). As part of their usual Friday evening meetings, Scouts learned about, and constructed trench gardens in the grounds of their Scout Hall. Seedlings were planted and now there are six trench gardens producing a variety of vegetables including spinach, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes. These are harvested and the produce donated to the Bryanston Methodist Church for use in their soup kitchen as part of their ‘Mobile Meals’ project.
“This project was chosen to show the Scouts that it was possible to grow vegetables to sustain a family from a small piece of ground”, explained Dieter Eckert, an adult leader in the Scout Troop. “We partnered with the Mobile Meals project so that the Scouts could see that the vegetables grown in their gardens were being used. Scouts have been volunteering at the soup kitchen, helping serve meals to homeless people at three locations in the Bryanston area.”
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a global initiative, designed to end poverty, hunger and inequality, take action on climate change and the environment, improve access to health and education, and build strong institutions and partnerships, by 2030. The World Organisation of the Scout Movement signed an MoU with the UN in which they agreed to mobilise some 50 million Scouts worldwide under the ‘Scouts for SDGs’ campaign. This initiated the largest coordinated youth contribution to these important goals. Locally, SCOUTS South Africa has challenged Scouting members to get involved in projects focusing on ‘No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health & Well-being and Quality Education for the year.
“Apart from the trench gardens, the 1st Bryanston Group has also focused on teaching children basic first aid skills and implementing an Aids Awareness Peer Educator programme, as part of the Good Health & Well-being Goal”, explains Dieter. “Posters were made illustrating the importance of washing your hands properly and donated to schools in underprivileged areas. We are also collecting books and educational toys, which will be used as part of a ‘back to school’ campaign in the new year, for pre-primary and primary schools in impoverished communities.”
“It is important to make the youth aware of the many economic and social issues that we face as a country”, continues Dieter. “Greater awareness helps change perceptions and habits and will hopefully encourage new solutions to these challenges. Next year our Scout Group will be focusing on new projects which link to some of the other goals contained in the SDGs.”
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