Programme Ideas

1. Making Decisions

  • How is the United Kingdom run locally and nationally?
  • How is The Scout Association run locally and nationally?
  • How is the Venture Scout Section run at Unit, District and County area level?

Why not arrange a series of speakers to lead discussions in these topic areas?

2.'Rights of the Child'

Read the section in the background information about the 'Rights of the Child' and consider the following questions:

  • What is lacking in this field in the United Kingdom?
  • What is being done in Uganda to improve children's rights?

3. Understanding Oppression

Much of Uganda's recent past has been dominated by the two brutal dictators of Idi Amin and Milton Obote. During their rule, the country suffered many killings and horrors. What is it like to experience oppression? The following exercises will help to clarify what oppression is all about and the way in which some people in our own country can experience oppression.

You will need: An envelope, containing seven strips of paper, each with one of the statements below written on it - for each group of three or four.

Time required: 15 to 30 minutes.

This activity is to help in beginning to get an understanding of ways in which we experience oppression.


  • Ask the group to try to define 'oppression'. What does it mean to them? The dictionary definition is 'to overwhelm, to treat with cruelty or injustice'.
  • Divide into groups of three or four.
  • Distribute envelopes containing the statements.
  • Tell the groups that in their envelopes there are examples of situations in which people are suffering different forms of oppression.
  • Each group is to rank the situations according to how serious they feel they would be. (Allow 10 minutes).
  • They should then compare their order wit that of another group, and discuss them.

(I) Unemployment

jobs are very difficult to come by; unemployment is a very common experience for a great many people.

(II) Rules

There are lots of rules and regulations, controlling much of everyday life.

(Ill) No Voting

There are no elections, and the government is self-appointed.

(IV) No Health Care

There is a general lack of medical facilities.

(V) No Unions

Trade unions and strikes are not allowed by law, despite bad working conditions.

(V1) Prison

People who are judged to be a threat by the State can be thrown into prison, such as dissidents, often without trial.

(VII) Food

Limited chance of getting enough food or the right balanced diet.

4.Understanding Media Terms

Here is a quick exercise to test your understanding of the terminology used on television and radio, when we talk about other countries and the fight for freedom and justice. Can you fit the right words into the article below? Some useful definitions of the words are given at the end of this page to help you.

 ethnic groups  detained  lobbying
 liberation  human rights  movements
 indoctrination  guerilla warfare  communist
 pressure group  discrimination  opposition
  totalitarian  apartheid  censored
 democratic  torture  racist
 policies  martial law  civil disobedience

Struggling for justice

Many countries in the world are (1) ______________ states. This means that the government is not (2) ________________ There is a single ruling group in power and no (3)______________ to its (4) is allowed. The press in such countries is (5)____________ , so that people are unable to find out what is going on at home or at meetings, about how their country is run. Sometimes in the schools there is 6) _____________ , to ensure that children and young people have the 'right' ideas. There is often (7)_______________ in such countries which means that the armed forces have the right to arrest people and imprison them without trial. The country's laws may be (8)________________ which means that there is (9)___________ against members of particular (10)______________ People in these (10)_________________ are frequently not allowed to vote, to move or live where they wish, nor to have any power or responsibility within the community. The most talked about country which had (8)________________ laws is South Africa and the system there was called (11)______________. But there are many other countries in which (12)________________ are denied. In the Philippines, for example, over 80,000 people have been (13)__________________ since 1872, and many of them have suffered (14)_______________ . People have even 'disappeared' there, particularly those labelled as (15) _____________ by the government. Those willing to make changes in countries like these have certain choices open to them. One involves respect for the law of the land, and can entail (10) __________________ politicians to tell them your views, setting up a (17) and even nominating someone as a candidate for an election. But in countries where real elections do not take place, or where people have despaired of being able to change things through the official channels, direct action often seems the only answer. Direct action need not necessarily be violent. The Black American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s which was led by Martin Luther King used the tactic of (18)_______________ This can involve refusing to obey the country's laws, arranging marches and demonstrations and organising sit-ins and strikes. However, other groups have reluctantly decided that certain situations demand a violent response to achieve real change. Some (19)_______________ have engaged in (20) in pursuit of their claim to a just cause. This choice involves injury and death as well as damage to property. Sometimes (20) ___________ can be successful in achieving big changes in society. But, nevertheless, the new leaders may have difficulty in preventing their country from again becoming a (1) _______________ state.

 Some definitions which may be helpful in discussion:    

Ethnic groups: racial groups whose members share common characteristics, such as a common language, customs, beliefs and cultural tradition.

Lobbying: the process whereby members of the public attempt to influence or persuade politicians to pursue a particular course of action.

Totalitarian: denotes a single-party, dictatorial system of government which permits no rival loyalties or parties.

Apartheid: almost literally "apart-hood" describes the practice of racial segregation that has been adopted by the South African government.

Guerrilla Warfare: irregular war waged by small bodies acting independently.

Detained: to be held or kept in confinement, generally against a person's will.

Democratic: refers to a state advocating and practicing government by the people in which all citizens are directly represented and have an equal voice.

Liberation Movements: groups that are established to fight against injustice and oppression in a country and which believe in the justice of their cause.

Opposition: the offering of an alternative view or views.

Policies: courses of action, or suggested courses of action, undertaken by governments or political parties.

Civil disobedience: the deliberate flouting of laws, though without damage to people or to property; for example, trespass, sit-ins, deliberate obstruction.


Communists: people who believe that all property should belong to an entire community in which each person works according to his/her capacity and receives according to his/her needs. Some communists believe in the need for a revolution which will replace the capitalist system with a new society run by those who earn their living by their own labour rather than through owning property.

Censored: controlled, so that certain items can be either removed or changed.

Pressure group: a group of people who come together to further their common interests and seek to change or influence government policy.

Racist: having regard to race; seeking to promote differences between races rather than similarities.

Indoctrination: the instruction, or teaching of a particular doctrine, idea or opinion.

Discrimination: to distinguish one from another and to observe such distinctions carefully.

Torture: the inflicting of severe physical and mental pain as either a form of punishment or persuasion, or both.

Human Rights: those things which a person (or persons) can have a just claim to because of being a person.

Martial Law: a form of military government by which normal state law is suspended and the armed forces are given additional power(s).

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