Scouting for peace: These Saudi boys on the Swiss Alps have a message to the world
A group of Saudi boy scouts proved the toast of the world by not only making their way to the top of the Swiss Alps but also by raising the flags of Saudi Arabia and world peace.
Scouts from the Saudi Arabian Boy Scout Association turned in an incredible mountaineering feat by scaling the Swiss Alps, noted for its abundant glaciers, scenic valleys and gorgeous lakes. It is virtually a magnet for skiers and hikers.
They reached the top of the majestic Alps through one of the many excellent climbing areas around the Swiss city of Kandersteg. The scouts received logistic support from Kandersteg International Scout Center.
The scouts participated in a “Messengers of Peace” workshop, organized by the Saudi Arabian Boy Scout Association, in cooperation with the World Scout Foundation in Kandersteg.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Abdullah Al-Fahd, vice president of the association, said: “What prompted these scouts to come over to Switzerland on this adventure is their enthusiasm to promote global peace and highlight the Kingdom’s role in this regard.”
The scouts also noted that this would further highlight the Kingdom’s paramount role in promoting global peace. The Messengers of Peace initiative stems from the 10-year-old Gifts for Peace program, which has inspired over 10 million scouts in 110 countries to work toward peace in their local communities.
After hearing about this initiative, Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah noted: “Scouts are the messengers of peace.” Together with King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, honorary chair of the World Scout Foundation, King Abdullah formally launched the Messengers of Peace initiative in September 2011.
The Messengers of Peace is a now a global initiative of the World Scout Committee designed to promote and recognize service projects that contribute to world peace. Its goal is to inspire millions of young men and women throughout the world to work closer toward achieving peace. Using state-of-the-art social media, the initiative lets scouts from around the world share what they’ve done and inspire fellow scouts to undertake similar efforts in their own communities.
The initiative, which is being implemented in more than 150 countries around the world, also aims to develop the skills of participants in all fields of scouting. The program addressed the concept and importance of peace, finding solutions to social problems and environmental and health issues.
In the Alps, the Saudi scouts were happy to meet with a large number of tourists and mountaineers from various parts of the world. The scouts briefed them on salient features of Saudi Arabia and its people. They expressed their pride in promoting the message of Messengers of Peace by having a unique opportunity to raise its flag near the site of World Scouts Center in Alps and took part in drawing the logo of the initiative inside one of the tunnels in Kandersteg.
The scouts shared their delight in spreading the message of the initiative in promoting global peace and contribute to realizing its vision of reaching out to at least 20 million scouts by the year 2010. Dr. Al-Fahd said mountaineering is one of the colorful activities of scouts. “This serves not only a physical exercise that helps increase overall energy level and stamina but also helps strengthen endurance. Above all, this adventurous sport becomes the finest recreation with the participation of the members of the scouts body with a definitive motto of promoting global peace and peaceful coexistence.”
By Mariam Al-Sughair