The new working year will be extra exciting at Scouts Rumbeke, because in September they will start with ‘Akabe’, a branch for children and young people with a mental or physical disability. High time to check with the leadership what exactly those letters stand for!
With eight they are the leaders of the new Akabe branch of Scouts Rumbeke. Lore Vandecappelle (21), Lotte Van de Putte (20), Gilles Vanexe (20), Lotte Santy (20), Marie Depreiter-Malysse (20), Marie Sierens (22), Axel Six (24) and Xander Six (27 ) can’t wait to get started.
“Akabe stands for ‘Anders CAN Best’”, says Lore Vandecappelle, “and you can take that literally. By establishing this branch, we want to give children with disabilities the opportunity to gain scouting experiences in a suitable way. In this way they push their limits, make even more friends and let their hidden talents come to the fore.”
Lore studies pedagogical sciences and had been toying with the idea of making the scouts more inclusive for some time, but because of corona she had to postpone those plans. “Before we started, we contacted Scouting Roeselare, because they already have an Akabe operation. They are at their limit, which means that we can now offer sixteen extra places at the perfect time.”
It is therefore certainly not the intention to steal members, on the contrary. “Scouting Roeselare has a lot of experience with Akabe, which means we can learn a lot from them”, Marie Sierens adds, “and who knows, maybe we can do activities together in the long run.”
Akabe welcomes children with a mental or physical disability, ADHD, ASD… “In short, everyone is welcome with us”, Lore knows. “We always start with an introductory meeting. Together with the parents, we look at whether Akabe is something for their child and we immediately get to know the child. Trust is important!”
Scouts Rumbeke starts with one Akabe branch, for children between the ages of six and twelve. “All the children are in one group,” says Marie, “but because the group is so small, we can support them optimally.”
“My brother has autism and used to be unable to go to the scouts with me”
The leadership is all set. Gilles: “I immediately applied to supervise this group. My brother has autism and he always wanted to go to the Scouts with me, but that was not possible. So I know very well how important Akabe is to these children.”
Scouts Rumbeke hopes to grow year after year and in the long run also be able to offer an operation up to eighteen years. “How nice would it be to return here in twenty years and see that there is still a full-fledged Akabe operation?”, Lore laughs.
Akabe’s activities take place on Saturday afternoons from 2.15 pm to 4.15 pm, at the same time as the other branches.
“Because with Akabe we want to do the same activities as the other scouts, but adapted to the target group. We want to challenge the guests according to their own possibilities, so we will definitely make a fire or lash something together.”
And a youth association also includes camps. “During the Christmas holidays we are going to camp for the first time, to Het Rokken, which is nice and close, and we also go out for four days in the summer”, concludes Lore.
Are you interested in the new Akabe branch of Scouts Rumbeke? Then be sure to gather information during the registration day on September 10 at 20 Koestraat in Rumbeke. You can also email [email protected] or call 0478 74 64 92.