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Uganda Network

Scouting in Uganda


Scouting in Uganda is very different in many ways from Scouting in the United Kingdom. Scout Groups are centred in schools in Uganda, with teachers taking leadership roles. Scouts spend much of their time learning practical life skills, which will benefit them in later life.

Troops often own a small piece of land on which they can grow small amounts of crops. This enables the Scouts to learn basic farming techniques, crop plantation and land management. The crops which are grown are then sold and the small profit which is made is put back into the Troop to assist in funding for camps and other projects.

Other projects include fish farming, chicken rearing, bee keeping and carpentry. Brick making is also a skill which is taught to Scouts. This then enables them, when old enough to build their own homes.

All these skills will benefit the individual but the Uganda Scouts Association see their role as more than this, they are also actively involved in community education programmes.

Primary health care is an area in which the Scout Movement is actively involved. Scouts go out in to the community and teach local people about basic hygiene, and help villages obtain safe water supplies by fencing pools to prevent livestock drinking and using the same water source.

Scouts always undertake community development work as part of their service at camps.

The Uganda Scouts Association has taken up the theme 'Qualitative Scouting is Your Future'. This will be developed by educating Scouts to be aware of the society in which they live with a view to improving it. The Uganda Scouts Association is banking on the children and young people because they are the future of the country.

In addition to teaching Scout craft and having fun, seminars on particular subjects are conducted at camps. From village level to national level Scouts compose songs, simple plays and poems on AIDS awareness, immunisation and environment protection. All the teaching and activities are done within the framework of the Scout Law and the Promise.

Scouts are also encouraged to become job makers, not job seekers.

In addition, as in the United Kingdom, each Section has its own training programme.

Scouting in Uganda is divided into four Sections.

 Name  Age  Motto
 Cubs  7-11 years  Do your best
 Juniors  12-15 years  Be Prepared
 Venturers  16-18 years  Look wide
 Rovers  18-25 years  Service


The Scout uniform consists of khaki shirt, shorts and cap with red trim. Neckerchiefs are also worn as is the World Membership Badge and the badge shown below.

However, many young people in Uganda cannot afford scout uniform so Scouts often wear their distinctive cap, a neckerchief with their school uniform or sometimes young people simply wear a cloth badge on their school uniform to show that they are Scouts.

Scouting is usually based in schools. 70-80% of children will attend primary schools in the local communities and only around 10% of young people will attend secondary schools for five or six years. Secondary schools are usually boarding schools and it is expensive for parents to pay for children's education. This means that Scouting is not very accessible to the older age-groups in the Uganda Scouts Association and it mostly reaches the more affluent section of the population.

Scouting plays an active and important role in the local communities and this is particularly 0 N E important for Cub Scouts as they are based in these communities.

Scouting in Uganda is supported at national level by four Executive Commissioners who work in Kampala at Baden-Powell House. This bears little resemblance to Baden-Powell House in South Kensington, London but it is the focus for support to the Movement and would receive many visitors as does Baden Powell House in London.

Part of the building is used by the Girl Guide Association of Uganda and part is rented to a nursery school to help generate some income for the Uganda Scouts Association.

To provide more effective support to Scouting in Uganda, the Uganda Scouts Association needs more money. There are various income generating plans under consideration and money given directly to them through the sale of the Unite uniform badges, sold during 1994, will greatly assist them in the realisation of their plans.

The Ugandan Government also supports Scouting by employing and seconding teachers as District Commissioners in each District in Uganda. The Government, however, cannot pay its employees a living wage so most District Commissioners will supplement their salaries through other income generating schemes or grow all their own food on their shamba.

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


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