Scouting is a worldwide peace movement. According to the foundations of scouting, we are committed to creating a better world. Scouts around the world promote a culture of peace by developing children and young people’s dialogue skills, means of advocacy, and ways to promote justice, equality, and security.

The Scouts have a long tradition of carrying out various peace-building activities. The World Organization WOSM, has launched the Messengers of Peace movement to work together for peace in all corners of the world. The World Organizations as well as different National Scout and Guide Organizations teach discussion and cooperation skills, create different materials to support peace education, and cooperate with different operators.

Solutions for conflict prevention and for lasting peace

As scouts, we influence best by doing and participating. In addition to nurturing active peacebuilders and advocates for peace, we contribute to society through a variety of memberships and stakeholders, and provide social advocacy training for young people. We actively work together to improve the culture of discussion, increase mediation and negotiation skills, and influence locally, nationally, and internationally.

Scouts are ready to help and reach out in the midst of distress, both around the world and in Finland. At times like these, it is important for the entire Scout Movement to actively speak out for peace, find peaceful ways to deal with the situation and take action to resolve the crisis.

We condemn this war together

“Peace is not just the absence of war” but when war impinges, everything else is secondary. War is never right. We can’t turn away, we need to condemn this war together, demand the end of military actions and work to solve this crisis.

Concretely, what can we do?

Everyday peace work is part of the larger scale

Peace work is about dealing with and discussing war and the fears associated with it, with children and young people. War has not touched our generations this closely before. We can assume that in this time of the media, scouts will not be able to avoid talks of war and feelings of fear. As educators, we need to be present and listen. It is a good idea to talk to children and young people about the topic and deal with it in an age-appropriate way.

During the Thursday press conference, President Niinistö stated “There is no current threat against Finland.” It is important to understand that this current situation causes different feelings in all of us, lets accept that. If the war scares, distresses or causes uncertainty, it is important to remember what is good in this moment right now, where the sense of security and safety comes from at this moment. It is important that an adult who is trustworthy to a child or young person, says that we are safe and that it is safe in Finland.

Have a look at the Unicef suggestions on how to discuss scary world events with children (in finnish).

The most important task of Scouts is to educate

At the heart of peace education are solutions and actions: where and how can we influence? The Scouting program includes many different activities for peace work. Developed in 2021, the peace education program provides tools for conflict resolution as well as emotional and security skills that are suitable for implementation right now.

Programs and tips about peace work (in finnish)