The fifth Fellowship Meeting of Scouts & Guides pioneers in Tunisia was organised, as planned, from 20 to 27 October 2023 in Tunis and Djerba, an island classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. One third of the 110 pioneers taking part came from abroad and two thirds from different regions of Tunisia. The countries represented were Australia, Jordan, Libya, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, in addition to the International Guild of IAG’S Ambassadors.
The meeting was also attended by the Commissioner General of the Tunisian Scouts, Mr Mohamed Ali Khiari, and Mr Wahid Labidi, former member of the ISGF World Committee and current Chairman of the Tunisian Scouts Higher Council and Vice-Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scouts, as well as Dr Zouhir Ghenim, Secretary General of the International Union of Muslim Scouts, and the Commissioner General of the Libyan Scouts and Guides.
In the capital, the participants, staying at the Hotel Africa, were able to visit the centre of Tunis, the Medina with its Zitouna Mosque, the Bardo National Museum, the northern suburbs of Tunis, Carthage and Sidi BOU Said.
On the third day, they all travelled, some by plane, some by bus, some by car along the so-called "Roman road", to the island of Djerba, Hotel Sidi Mansour.
In Djerba, after the opening of the Meeting, the participants had, at different times according to the programme, to hold discussions about "the humanitarian actions of the Scout and Guide pioneers". They agreed on a number of recommendations to be addressed to local Scout and Guide fellowships to carry out humanitarian actions in favour of needy people and/or families in areas such as health, hygiene, education, housing, the fight against drug addiction, alcoholism and smoking, aid for refugees, etc.
Some of the participants also attended the Intercultural Dialogue Forum, organised in the same hotel on 24 October by the International Union of Muslim Scouts, in collaboration with the Pioneer Scouts and Guides of Tunisia.
As part of their social action, the participants planted trees in the courtyard of the Guellala primary school, as part of their contribution to the annual "National Tree Festival", introduced in Tunisia by decree on the proposal of the Tunisian Scouts in 1956, the year of the country's independence.
A trip to the island of Flamants Roses with a swim and lunch under a giant tent, visits to the museum at Guellala and the oldest synagogue in Africa, La Ghriba, visited year-round by Jews from all over the world, the island's traditional souks, a cultural evening with traditional dress and local cakes, an excursion to the Tataouine region to visit the Berber village of Douiret, with its dwellings carved out of the hills, the Ferch 'Ksar' proposed for UNESCO World Heritage listing, and a hearty lunch in a restaurant in the Berber village of Chenini All of this, plus the campfire, was a great way to combine the pleasant with the useful.
When we returned from Tataouine on 25 October, everyone was ready for the eagerly awaited campfire. Together we celebrated World Fellowship Day, the 70th anniversary of the ISGF and the 90th anniversary of Tunisian Scouting. The floor was given to all the heads of delegations, followed by all sorts of songs, Scout dances, gift exchanges, cake distribution and souvenir photos.
On 26 October, all the participants in the meeting happily left the island of Djerba on the same arrival route, to return to their countries with complete satisfaction.
Thank you to everyone.
National President, NSGF Tunisia