FSE News December 2020

Dear Friends of Scouting in Europe

The special year 2020 is about to close. For FOSE, physical gatherings continue to be on hold, but online gatherings have been organised on 4 November and 16 December. Thank you to the almost 100 Friends who took part!

The year has seen a sharp increase in applications for support. Happily, we were able to significantly increase the support to projects. In this year-end festive period, you are very welcome to make a donation (of any amount) to your preferred project.

This is also the time for a “final call” for making your annual donation 2020, if not done yet. It only takes a minute with a credit card on the link below. Or to make a Lifetime donation and not have to remember the annual donation any more in the future.


The current 4-year mandate of the ESF board is ending in 2021, so there will be a new board and a transition to new officers. I am not seeking a second mandate as chairman, so the search is open for a new chairman. As a part of succession planning, we are also looking for a volunteer with a Swiss financial profile to work with the treasurer. If you would be interested in these key roles, or if you are thinking of someone else who might be, you can find the descriptions and the call in this newsletter.

As chairman, one needs a strong motivation to collect money for Scouting. The large number of Friends of Scouting in Europe shows that there is a lot of potential. This is the best part of the job: turning the generosity of donors into a tangible benefit for Scouting.

Looking back at the past four years, we can be proud of the generosity of the Friends of Scouting in Europe. The number of Friends has increased from over 600 to over 900. There are now more countries with an active FOSE community. We met at impressive 74 receptions – in the three years before Covid. FOSE capital has grown from 1,2 million to 1,8 million CHF and now generates a larger yearly dividend. Grants to projects reached 40,000 CHF last year. These numbers show the lasting impact of your donations.

Thank you for the enjoyable cooperation and thank your support to Scouting in Europe! As soon as the conditions allow, I hope to meet many of you at the next occasions.

I wish you a peaceful holiday season.

Henrik Söderman
Chairman of the European Scout Foundation

News from the European Scout Region

European Jamboree will not take place next summer.

The European Jamboree Organization has been working closely with their partners in the European Regions of WAGGGS and WOSM, as well as the Host City of Gdańsk. After careful consideration of the available data based on the unsettled situation with the global COVID-19 pandemic, and a significant drop in registered participants, the decision has been taken to cancel the event. Unfortunately this also means that there will be no FOSE reception in Gdansk.

News from supported projects

Romania: Progressing locally

Main goal of this project is creating a catalogue with activities for the newly established explorers and scouts patrols, with a concise, clear and easy to follow structure, approved by the National Program Team of the organization. As a result of the project, the young leaders will be able to deliver high quality activities and make Scouting grow locally. 

Poland: Printing face shields

Main goal was to 3d-print and distribute face shields for medical facilities: hospitals, nursing homes, mental nursing homes, hospices for paramedics and other medical personnel. The project also included a service action to help the elderly, lonely people from the Covid19 risk group and quarantined people with their day-to-day needs: shopping for groceries, shopping for medication, taking care of pets (walking dogs, veterinary visits etc.), tutoring for kids.

Thanks to continuous work of around 100 volunteers, the project we were able to print, pack and ship around 8000 ready to use face shields. An impressive help by Scouts in difficult times!  

Projects looking for support

All the projects looking for support can be found on the website.

In this festive season, you are welcome to make an additional gift to the project of your choice. It can also be a way for your Scout group or Scout Association to make year-end solidarity action. Or do you have a birthday party or a reception where you are planning to make a collection for a good cause?

Below some examples of the recently published projects looking for support:

Czech Republic: Clubhouse for the biggest central Bohemian scout unit

The scout unit in Říčany has impressive 324 members. Scouting has become popular and many new kids are applying to join. But the 50-years-old small clubhouse is without proper facilities, and there has been a fire. Because of that we had to say no to tens of kids who wanted to join. We need to build a new clubhouse with sufficient space for activities, so that the troop can accept more members. 

The project is divided into two phases. In year 2020, underground level with storage and facilities, and in 2021 above-ground level with the clubhouse rooms itself. The project is financially demanding, and the second phase can only be realised when the funds have been gathered. The requested FOSE support would be a partial contribution, together with other funding sources.

Lithuania: Vilnius Scout Centrę Renovation

There are 562 scouts in Vilnius district and around 400 of them attend the weekly meetings in Vilnius Scouts Centre (VSC). VSC has become a second home for scouts of every age and is the main location for the district’s events and leader meetings. The last renovation of the facilities took place in 2000. Over years of frequent and intense scout activities VSC has reached a state where minor touch-ups and repairs are not enough. Full renovation of the facilities is mandatory to keep scout activities going.

The project is divided into two phases. In year 2020, underground level with storage and facilities, and in 2021 above-ground level with the clubhouse rooms itself. The project is financially demanding, and the second phase can only be realised when the funds have been gathered. The requested FOSE support would be a partial contribution, together with other funding sources.

News from FOSE gatherings

Two online FOSE gatherings took place on Zoom, on 4 November and on 16 December in a Christmas mood. Each time some 70 Friends of Scouting in Europe connected to the call to hear updates from Scouting in Europe and from the supported projects. 

Updated FOSE list

The updated FOSE list can be found on the website

We want to say thank you to all the Friends of Scouting in Europe for their generous support.

Due to postponed international events, we have had fewer new Friends joining this year. But happily, many existing Annual Friends are upgrading to Lifetime.

New Lifetime Friends in 2020 (so far):

  • Belgium: Andries Hofkens
  • Czech Republic: Michaela Sojdrova MEP
  • Finland: Johanna Nyman, Laura Grönlund
  • France: Pierre Arlaud, Saad Zian
  • Germany: Jan Hendrik Buchmann, Christoph Rechsteiner
  • Greece: Joseph Dacoronias-Marina
  • Poland: ZHP – The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association
  • Romania: Bianca Nesiu-Bedreag
  • Switzerland: Urs Fankhauser, Hans-Ruedi Müller, Raymond Zwicker, Béatrice Zwicker-Jenni
  • UK: Graham Haddock, Mike Thurston

To all the new Friends: welcome! To all the old Friends: thank you for your continuous and faithful support!

Your name is not on the FOSE list? There can always be a mistake, or maybe your payment has not been received. Please write to esf.treasurer@bluewin.ch and we will be happy to chec

Final Call for Annual Donations 2020

If you have not yet made your annual payment 2020, could you please make it urgently before the end of the year?

Individual reminders have been sent by email. Please help us in this process by making your payment soonest, thereby reducing administrative work with reminders. Please contact esf.treasurer@bluewin.ch if you face any difficulties with the payment.

Some Annual Friends have set up in their online bank the option “repeat this payment every year”. This can be a good way to make the annual donation automatically. 

You are also always welcome to switch to Lifetime Friend (2000€) and not worry about annual payments any more.

Amount of the annual donation: 150€ per year (75€ if you are under 30)

How to make the donation:
1) by Credit card via PayPal    MAKE THE PAYMENT HERE
2) By bank transfer: 
IBAN: CH26 0024 0240 6058 6470 F
Communication: Friends of Scouting in Europe, Name & Country of the donor
3) National FOSE payment systems: Please contact your Country Coordinator for information (in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK)

Open call for volunteers to the European Scout Foundation board

The 4-year term of the ESF board is ending in 2021. ESF is always looking for volunteers willing to devote their time to support Scouting in Europe. 

We are particularly looking for a person who will lead the ESF in the next four years, as Henrik Söderman is finishing his successful term as chairman. Please find a chairperson job description here.

We also want to be prepared for other changes in the board. A person to work closely together with the treasurer would be a good fit as there are many tasks currently done by the treasurer alone. We would therefore love to hear from you, especially if you are strong with numbers, got experience in finance, membership management and/or recruiting and maintaining institutional donors. Please find a general job description for board members as well as the tasks currently done by the treasurer here.

If you want to know more about chairperson duties – please contact the current chairman Henrik Söderman, or honorary chairman Jørgen G. Rasmussen. If you want to hear more about the work of members of the board, feel free to contact any of the other current board members: Bianca, Vivian, Agnieszka, Julijana, David, Walter or Thankmar. 

If you want to join any position, or suggest someone else, please let us know by email to Dr David Jenny, ESF vice-chairman and legal advisor, at any time between now and 11 January 2021: DJenny@vischer.com. Clearance of the NSO will be sought before appointment.

Plans for 2021

The FOSE Country Visit to Slovakia, planned for October 2020 is postponed by one year, to 7-10 October 2021. We are grateful to Scouting Slovakia for kindly welcoming us in a year’s time