Following up on last year’s trip to the World Scout Jamboree in Japan, a local scout is now onto another adventure, this time in Madagascar to help with construction of new buildings for a small village.
Terrace scout Briana Greer is in the village of Ambato Boeni in Madagascar with 21 other members of Scouts Canada – she’s the only one from Terrace – to help with the development of a school until the end of August.
Before leaving for the island country off the coast of Africa, she was in Toronto for training for five days.
Greer said she applied to be a part of this team after deciding last year that she had travelled quite a bit with scouting for her own adventures and thought that it was her turn to help out.
“I want others to see my acts of kindness and I want it to spread to people which will hopefully create a chain reaction of good turns,” she said, adding she wants to indulge in the culture and learn a few words in Malagasy.
“I’m most looking forward to seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as we add on to their school and play with them.”
During their three-week stay, she and the other scouts are building an administrative centre at the school, which will include offices, secure storage and a kitchen to support the 300 students currently enrolled.
They’re also installing solar powered water pumps on the wells and water tower that will bring water to the washroom facility and help irrigate the school’s gardens.
“It is important to support a volunteer project like this one,” she said. “I truly believe that every child deserves an education. Education can, and will, change the world.”
Greer said she’s using scouting as her tool to help others and to break the cycle of poverty.
Going on this mission will allow her to grow as an individual and to be able to experience a diverse culture unlike our own, she added.
“People may ask why bother with other countries but other impoverished countries do not have any of the resources and support that we have here in Canada,” said Greer.
“It takes many small steps to create a better world. As a global neighbour and citizen, I want to be part of the change that creates a better world.”
Since 2006, Scouts Canada has been working in partnership with the village to help them achieve their goals: having clean fresh water, a school and electricity. Over the past decade, scouts in partnership with the local scouts and the community, have built a six-classroom school, homes for families, five wells, a fence around the school campus, a water tower, and compost station.