Amigos de Sucre

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Posts Tagged ‘Scouts’

¡Tenemos derechos! – Wir sind Rechthaber!

Monday, November 9th, 2009

I have just spent the past three days in Frankfurt learning about a campaign that will be one of the focal points of the German Catholic Scouts (DPSG) in 2010.  The campaign is called ¡Tenemos derechos! which translates as “we have rights!”.

As is usual for the annual DPSG Jahresaktion, the whole thing that be split into two parts:

1. Raising Money

The easy part, you might say.  Not that raising money in itself is necessarily easy, but the goals are pretty much well defined.

There are 8 projects in Bolivia that require funding.  Each of these is in some way connected to children’s rights, 7 are in the different Bolivian regions (Distritos) and one is a national project.

I say that this is the easy part, because these are clearly defined projects and it is a matter of asking for donations, holding an event to raise money or even just selling some of the merchandising that will be available.

My previous experience with such events is that even if Groups do not want to get involved with the second part, they will at least contribute in some way to the fundraising part.

2. Politics

“Politics” may not be the best word to describe what I mean, but it sort of does the job.

The second half is more directly to do with children’s rights – both in Germany and in Bolivia.  Here the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) plays a pivotal role as although Germany has signed and ratified the treaty, it places German asylum law above the requirements of the treaty.

This apparently makes it one of only two countries in Europe that take children into custody pending deportation.  We were also told that this can mean children of asylum seekers not being able to go to school as the right to schooling underlies the asylum process.

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On the Bolivian side, children’s rights also play a role in the projects that will be funded, however here topics such as the right to education, cultural identity and participation play a stronger role.

Ideally the Groups in Germany will not only be raising money for the projects, but dealing with the political side at all levels in a way that is suitable for the different age groups.

To help them do this there is the annual Jahresaktionsheft – a booklet full of information and ideas for things to do, and a network of people to disseminate the information and assist where necessary.

Since I am now one of those myself, I will no doubt be blogging quite a bit more about this topic over the next 12 months.



Bolivian’s National Holiday

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Yesterday (6th August) was Bolivia’s national holiday.  On this day, the President visits the constitutional capital – Sucre – and various organisations take part in a parade around the town square from where he traditionally waves to them from the balcony of one of the Government buildings.

Among those marching are the Scout Groups from Sucre, and 9 years ago I was lucky enough to take part in the parade with one of them.

Grupo Sagrado Corazón, Sucre

Grupo Sagrado Corazón, Sucre (6th August, 2000)

This year the parade looks to have been slightly different.  The online newspaper La Razón has a report this morning containing a photo of the President himself walking around the square.  Was he leading the parade?  Is this a new idea?   Or did his predecessor do the same thing and I missed it because I was so far behind?

Walking at the head of the parade may well be a sign that he is leading the country with the people rather than from above them, and comes at a time when parts of the new constitution are coming into force.

The constitution not only allows President Morales to be re-elected in December, but is said to give more autonomy to indigenous communities.  This fact alone must create some difficult situations, as last year one region did try to hold a referendum on autonomy, only for this to be opposed by none other than Morales himself.

So is it one rule for indigenous communities, and another rule for the rest?  We will have to wait and see what difference the new constitution really does make.

Back to the national holiday, and I was hoping to see some photos of the event on the website of the local newspaper: Correo del Sur.  But for some reason, their website is down.  Not the best week for that to happen.  Anyone know why?

And whilst on the subject of photos, it is worth mentioning that at the end of the parade all of the Scout Groups get together for a District photo – something that takes some organising.  I am on the photo that was taken in the year 2000, and was promised a copy of it.  Unfortunately, I am still waiting for it.



 

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