DynCorp International team members working in support of the Afghanistan National Police/Ministry of Interior Development Program (AMDP) have been volunteering their free time in support of the Afghan Scouting program through Scouts for Afghan Scouts (SfAS).
SfAS is a voluntary scouting support organization made up of military, civilians and contractors, and is located on Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan. Their mission is to support the newly revived Afghan Scouting program, supported by the World Organization Scout Movement (WOSM).
Last year, DI began working with SfAS when team member Mark Farrar, a former U.S. Scouter and Eagle Scout, volunteered to serve as SfAS’s coordinator. Through SfAS Farrar and his DI colleagues participate in Scout training days, where volunteers train scouts in a variety of useful skills and activities. The events are held once a month at the local orphanage, PARSA.
“These scouts seem to really enjoy their program! It is a true pleasure to go out and offer activities and learning events for the PARSA orphanage and their scouting program,” said Farrar. “I have been involved with scouting since 1968 and have rarely seen a group of scouts that are so enthralled with scouting activities. Most of the people who join SfAS don’t really know what to expect but once they have met the scouts and see how appreciative they are – they become hooked!”
Recently, DI team members even donated funds to support a Survival Skills Day being held at the orphanage.
“As the first international corporation to provide support to the Afghan scouts, we are proud to be able to contribute to an organization that encourages the future of this country,” said Farrar.
Afghan Scouting is open for both boys and girls under the age of 17 and follows the same advancement program as other Scouting organizations around the world. All scouting programs promote values, respect for others, duty, honor and selfless service to others.
The program is led by Afghan Scout Masters and serves communities in five provinces in Afghanistan, with more than 1,000 troops currently active.
The Afghan Scouting program is operated in associated with PARSA (Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Services for Afghanistan), a private non-governmental organization (NGO) that works directly with the disadvantaged people of Afghanistan.
Over the last 17 years, PARSA has been supported by a wide community of small donors. During the Taliban regime, this grassroots support allowed PARSA to operate secret schools and economic programs for women, and to sustain its programs under very difficult circumstances.
In post-war Afghanistan, this grassroots support has allowed PARSA to be highly creative in program development and to take the lead in the NGO community advocating at different levels in the Afghan government to initiate change in social protection programs that serve the disabled and destitute, women “head of households” and orphans.