From a Social-Media post to a limited edition Badge: Supporting Refugee Activities


Scouts and Guides contributing to refugee support activities in their local communities in Europe (42): a story starting with a facebook-post ending with the production and selling of a limited edition badge “against xenophobia” in Austria (AT)

Not just since last summer the Guides and Scouts in Austria had become more and more active in refugee and migrant support activities in their local communities. Reason enough for Geo, a member of the social-media team of the Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs (PPÖ) and also behind the very successful Facebook page “Kurioses, nutzloses oder einfach interesantes Pfadfinderwissen“, and members of the PPÖ Facebook community to look for ways to support those working with and for refugees and migrants in Austria.

While searching for new curious items for his blog, Geo came across a special campaign badge the German Scout Association Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg (DPSG) had issued back in 1994 to raise awareness against xenophobia.

The DPSG Badge "Against Xenophobia" (1994)

The DPSG Badge “Against Xenophobia” (1994)

“I never expected to get such encouraging feedback and reactions from Scouts and Guides all around in Austria, when I shared a picture of the DPSG “Pfadis gegen Fremdenfeindlichkeit” badge”, explains Geo, “Many friends from Scout and Guide groups across Austria wanted to get this badge!”

Very quickly it was clear that there was sufficient demand to think about creating a limited edition badge for PPÖ. And the idea that had started with a Facebook post quickly found full support by the association’s National Council. Within a few days Geo reached out to another Scout Leader, Paul, a professional graphic designer and creator of many recent PPÖ event logos and badges, who agreed to offer his skills.

Initial Design Options

Initial Design Options

It was again through social media channels that Paul’s initial designs were shared with the community. Finally, option 1 (first from left in the picture) received the largest number of “likes” and it was decided to have it produced. “With this badge, we not only want to offer Scouts and Guides a possibility to clearly show that we are ‘Against Xenophobia’, but we also want to contribute to raise awareness for this important matter. We hope that local units and groups using the badge will also run relevant activities and provide informtation to their members before they actual sew it onto their uniform.”

The limited edition badge will be available at the national office of PPÖ (Bundesverband PPÖ) against a donation (a minimum of EUR 2,50 per badge is expected) until the end of spring 2016. The net-profit from the sale of the badge will be donated to the Association ZARA – Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus-Arbeit. Founded in 1999, ZARA is specialised in counselling, prevention and awareness work aiming at fighting racism and xenophobia.

Read the background story on PPÖ’s website (where you also find the contact details to order your badge!