The international scouts event in the Netherlands, Roverway -opposites attract-, was full of memories and enriching moments both for the participants and our TTBW volunteers (Eimer, Josephine and Alice) as fascilitator. It is one of the biggest European festival which is organised by the European Scout Region of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) for Rovers between the ages of 16 and 22 from all over the world.
Alice, a passionated Irish Rover Scout, tells us about her experience during Roverway.
“As an Irish Rover Scout I was disappointed when I was unable to attend Roverway 2018 with the Irish contingent because I was unsure as to what I would be doing during the Summer of 2018. I had applied for multiple jobs and the Time to be roverway-2018
Welcome project. Move forward one year and I am sitting in my apartment in Kavála in North-Eastern Greece on the Time to be Welcome project and I receive an email looking for people from Greece to help deliver workshops at Roverway. My heart starts racing and I know that this is my opportunity to meet Scouts and Guides from all over the world and share our project with them. I apply for the opportunity and receive confirmation shortly afterwards.
On the 28th of August I travelled to Zeewolde where I was taken aback by the sheer enormity of the camp. The participants hadn’t arrived yet which meant that we settled down in the campsite before the 4,500 participants arrived. The following day we discussed our program and how we planned to deliver it to the Rovers.
The morning of our first day of delivering workshops arrived and I was so excited. The previous two days when people found out that we were running workshops about the refugee crisis they either already knew about the project and had question or were very interested. With every new group of Rovers I met I was surprised by their curiosity and enthusiasm to join similar projects or find out how they can help in their own communities. However, the interest didn’t stop there. Not a mealtime or queue went by where people weren’t asking about the project; what we’re doing, how are we finding it, the hardest parts, what will happen if the same amount of refugees come again, how we can minimise the hardship that the refugees go through, how our project works, how we found out about the project and my favourite, how can they help the crisis.
I was sad to leave Zeewolde, but I knew that our workshops had had an impact on these young people’s lives. Change begins one step at a time and having the opportunity to share my journey has inspired others to do the same. This unforgettable experience has given me hope that we will see a more sustainable future for refugee integration in local communities on a global level.”