Saudi Arabia Donates $3 million to World Scout Foundation

May 8, 2009

Donation Supports Gifts for Peace Program to Promote Cultural Understanding

[Washington] -- On behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Minister of Education and President of the Saudi Arabian Boy Scouts Association, HH Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed, today is delivering a $3 million donation to Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation, to support the Gifts for Peace program. Gifts for Peace was created under the patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in November 2001 at a Scouting Conference in Riyadh.

"Gifts for Peace is a truly worthy program and represents an extension of Saudi Arabia efforts to promote peace and cultural understanding worldwide," said Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel A. Al-Jubeir. "Through Gifts for Peace, King Abdullah and King Gustaf have already inspired more than ten million young people in 110 countries to work for peace and understanding in their local communities."

The Gifts for Peace program is the World Scout Foundation’s key centennial program for all Scouts to tackle local issues and make a difference in their communities. These Gifts for Peace are gifts of education, understanding, tolerance and respect for others, given by Scouts in the form of community projects to other young people and their communities to help to build a better world. This latest donation from Saudi Arabia will bring the Kingdom’s total contribution to Gifts for Peace to approximately $7 million since the program’s inception in 2001.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) recently signed a historic agreement with the Saudi Arabian Boy Scouts Association to participate in a youth and leader exchange program to further promote understanding of different cultures.

In addition to the Gifts for Peace program, which already includes Scouts in more than 100 countries, the BSA, through its Good Turn for America program, is focusing on supporting issues connected to food, shelter and good health habits; Scouts in South Africa are working on an HIV/AIDS awareness project; Scouts in Egypt are addressing child labor; Scouts in Saudi Arabia are working to develop inter-cultural and inter-religious understanding; Scouts in New Zealand are working on health issues and tackling youth suicide; Scouts in Brazil are working to disarm young people and tackle violence in the home and on the streets; and Scouts in Namibia are combating domestic violence and the abuse of women and children.