MoU between the South Asia Foundation and the National Scout Organizations

Conference 10th January 2005

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the South Asia Foundation ("SAF") and the Chief Commissioners of National Scout Organizations in South Asia.

South Asia Foundation (SAF) is a voluntary, secular, non-profit and non-political youth movement. Founded by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Madanjeet Singh, its cardinal objective is to promote regional cooperation through education and sustainable development across all levels of society in South Asia. SAF’s eight Chapters - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - are registered in each country as national entities and their decentralized activities are guided by eminent Chairpersons assisted by members of their respective Advisory Board.

During a visit to Bhutan in January 2000, Ambassador Madanjeet Singh was greatly impressed by a Scout camp in Thimphu. He proposed to the Scout Chief Commissioner that as the aims, objectives and activities of SAF are in tune with the spirit, purpose and principles of the National Scout Organizations of South Asia, similar SAF-Scout Friendship Camps be organized jointly so that boys and girls from all the South Asian countries may have an opportunity to meet and fostered mutual understanding and creative friendships.

Consequently, the First SAF-Scout Friendship Camp was held in Bhutan (21st-26th February 2002), a country nestled in the spectacular beauty of the Himalayas. “Regional Cooperation” was the theme of the camp in which a total of 550 girls and boys from the seven SAARC countries participated. An equally successful Second SAF-Scout Friendship Camp with “Protection of the Environment” as its theme was held in Maldives on 15th-22nd February 2003. It provided 180 youngsters the rare treat of camping in Feydhoo Finolhu. Both the camps were almost entirely funded by South Asia Foundation.

Worldwide, the experience has been that organizations such as SAF could hardly sustain themselves and function effectively unless all the participants share equally the costs and responsibilities of joint ventures. Hence, at a meeting held on 9th-11th April 2002, at Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France, SAF Chairpersons unanimously decided that SAF shall not undertake any project without a matching contribution by the participating South Asian country.

This view was also endorsed by Mr. Abdullah Rasheed, Regional Director of the Asia-Pacific Regional ("APR") Office of the World Scout Bureau, Manila. He suggested that the ad-hoc practice of negotiating a budget with the host country be discontinued and the SAF-Scout Friendship Camps be held in accordance with the MoU signed between SAF and the Chief Commissioners of National Scout Organizations in South Asia, the terms of which are as follows:

1. SAF shall provide an annual grant of US $ 40,000.00 to APR, towards part of the travel cost of hosting the event, which shall manage the account in ensuring that a fair representation of girls and boys fromall SAARC countries to enable them to attend the event, accompanied by one adult male and one female Scout leader.


Upon completion of the event, APR will submit within a month, a financial statement for the use of the funds made available by SAF.

2. Regional Cooperation being SAF’s principal objective, the SAF Chapter in the host country shall, as part of the camp’s programme, arrange and pay for the expenses for a youth seminar on the subject, in consultation with the Scout Chief Commissioner.

SAF shall also pay for the internal travel and hotel accommodation of the resource persons invited to create awareness of the Scouts on the merits of regional cooperation in South Asia and on topics of common interest to the youth of the region.

3. In addition, the SAF Chapter in the host country shall arrange and pay for a documentary film (DVD) about the camp, as was done in Bhutan and Maldives.

4. All other expenditures involved, including international and internal travel, board and lodging of the participating Scouts, entertainments, handicraft exhibitions, and the costs of other Scout related activities, shall be borne entirely by the Scout organization of the host country.

The Chief Commissioner of the host country shall prepare the budget and if necessary, shall seek sponsorship or part funding from the host Government, international and national NGO's, well wishers and from the business sector or from participating countries.

5. All official announcements and decisions related to the holding of the SAF Scout Friendship Camp in any given respective country shall come from the host organization and that all major decisions should also be made by the host organization, in consultation with South Asia Foundation and the World Scout Bureau, Asia Pacific Regional Office and no unilateral decisions be made by any one party.

6. All members of the National Scout Organizations taking part in the SAF Scout Friendship Camp shall complete the SAF membership form prior to the camp and shall be submitted to the SAF national Chapter.

7. The venue and the date of holding the SAF Scout Friendship Camp shall be recommended by the joint meeting of all the Chief Commissioners of the SAARC regionand endorsed by SAF and APR jointly.

This Memorandum of Understanding is signed on 10th January 2005 between:

Abdullah Rasheed
Regional Director
World Organization of the Scout Movement
Asia-Pacific Region on behalf of all the National Scout Organizations of South Asia

Madanjeet Singh
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
Founder, South Asia Foundation ("SAF")