Interview with Andrea Demarmels, Chairman of the Regional Committee WOSM Europe:
With a hundred participants from all over Europe, the REfugee REsponse Seminar has set the direction for scouts and guides working to help refugees. The seminar’s pragmatic approach to the current situation in Europe aims to inspire new initiatives and cooperation in local communities across the region.
The most important lesson learned from this seminar is that scouts and guides across Europe really want to take part in their local communities. It is active citizenship in its pure form, where we look behind the tragedy and the politics and see the human beings in need of help here and now.
At WOSM Europe we got many inquiries from national scouting organizations in search of knowledge on how to take an active part in helping refugees. The Danish Guides and Scouts agreed to help facilitate Refugee Response Seminar and it is a joy to have participants from 27 countries gathered today to join in developing and sharing best practice.
The seminar displays how scouts and guides wish to react, and by joining forces at the seminar, we can now present a range of ideas to work with at a local level. In addition, cooperation across borders will be easier now that we all share an awareness of the challenges that we face and the initiatives already in place.
We do what is possible
As scouts and guides we are not naïve. We know that we cannot solve the long-term challenges of the current refugee situation. We chose to take leadership with a pragmatic approach and react to the situation by joining forces with our local communities to make a difference for some of the people affected by the tragedy of war.
This seminar is a starting point for our aim to help our local communities help refugees.