We've found Sabir!
After months of planning and hard work, Project Sabir became a reality when Dan, Jez and Sabir finally came face to face at the 20th World Scout Jamboree during the afternoon of January 1, 2003. A brief telephone call and an entry on the message board give us the first news of this incredible meeting.
"At about 3:00pm (an hour late) the camera crew arrived on site ready to start recording our search for Sabir. We started by being interviewed and telling the story of the project from its beginnings."
"A bit later we started our journey - It took almost half an hour to reach the edge of the Sub Camp as they recorded us walking in several different ways. We were recorded asking for assistance in the UK Pavilion, searching for a Sudanese Pavilion, enquiring in the WOSM and travelling between each of these locations ... again in many different ways."
"This was all quite time consuming and so time became a concern amongst the film crew and us (the light goes at about 6:15pm)! Eventually we found that Sabir was on sub camp A5 and we were on our way!"
"The tension and excitement was certainly building as we travelled to the sub camp (on a golf cart carrying 5 people and a whole load of camera equipment!). Once at the sub camp we waited for the Sudanese leader and one of the other participants who spoke fluent English to arrive. We learnt that he would be our means of translation."
"We were then lead to the Sudanese camp which consisted of 3 tents. We had expected there to be 7 Sudanese Scouts, but we soon learnt that the entire Sudanese Contingent consisted of Sabir, another Scout (the English speaker) from a wealthy family, one leader and Dr. Atif."
"That was when we first set eyes on Sabir. We were told that his nickname was 'Smile' and we could certainly see why! He was very happy and having a great time. The camera crew left after a few minutes but we stayed with Sabir for an hour or so where we learnt about his selection, journey and experiences so far on the Jamboree." (Click here for more photos).
"We have yet to speak with Dr. Atif ... in order to get the whole story of Sabir's selection (to attend the Jamboree). However, we were told that he was selected as he is good in school and enthusiastic about scouting."
"The Sudanese journey sounded like a long and tiresome one with many changes and stops along the way taking 5 days in total however they stressed how it was worth it!"
"The whole experience was very exciting and gave a real sense of satisfaction as the first stage of Project Sabir was completed."
"We talked about relationships between the UK and Sudan and how they could be put to effect in 2007."
"The Sudanese plan to get 30 Scouts to the 21st World Scout Jamboree, but already we can see how difficult this will be for them. With the goodwill that has already been created, and with a lot more hard work we hope that Project Sabir will develop to make these dreams a reality."
"Finally before we left we arranged to meet again in the next couple of days and invited the Sudanese to our site so that we could talk some more. Unfortunately we had to leave early for the evenings multi religious ceremony but felt extremely happy with what we had accomplished."
"Meeting Sabir was great!"
"Tonight (02 January) there is a press conference about it, so watch the local newspapers."
Well done guys - an amazing account of an amazing experience. Where can the rest of the year go after a start like that!