The King and Queen attend a meeting with the World Scout Foundation
The King and Buntu Tsotsobe meet again at the World Scout Foundation's meeting in Paris. Photo: The World Scout Foundation
On Tuesday 15 October, The King and Queen attended a meeting and a dinner with the World Scout Foundation in Paris. The King is Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation.
After the meeting, a dinner was held. In honour of The King's 40th jubilee, the World Scout Foundation had invited a surprise guest, Buntu Tsotsobe from South Africa. During a Scout trip in 2004 to Gugulethu, near Cape Town, The King met the then 14-year-old Buntu. The young Scout told The King that he wished he could wear his uniform all the time. When wearing it, he felt respected and safe from gangs, violence and drugs. Since then, The King has often used what Buntu said in his speeches, and in response to the question of what Scouts can do for young people. In order to honour The King, Buntu was therefore invited to the dinner. With his presence, he represented all Scouts around the world who have been helped and inspired by The King over the years. Buntu is still actively involved with the Scout Movement, and is now an assistant Scout leader. He is currently working six days a week to earn enough money to start attending college next year. He spends his spare time helping others, via the Scout Movement and a voluntary organisation in Gugulethu where he works with young offenders: "I was told to be really tough with these kids — otherwise they would walk all over me. But I can't be tough — that's not how I learned leadership in Scouting... so I am nice to them. And you know what? They all keep coming to Scouts and they really like me!" After his reunion with Buntu, The King said: "And I was going to use Buntu's story in my speech this evening. I need to give a different speech, but now, at least, I have another chapter to tell to others in the future. Scouting truly is the greatest leadership development programme in the world — it really works!" On Tuesday evening, Buntu became the first recipient of the Siegfried Weiser Scholarship Fund. The scholarship pays for college fees and living costs during the period of study.