How can organisations establish and maintain international youth-driven partnerships? How can we ensure youth participation and influence? How can we ensure youth outreach and inclusion?
By Amany Fayed
These questions were discussed by engaged and inspiring young volunteers of the Youth Culture and Diversity project. During a series of online interviews, both individual and group based, they shared their success stories and experiences which resulted in a collection of lessons learned and best practices.
In order to inspire the civil society organizations to enhance youth inclusion and participation, these best practices and lessons have now been published in the booklet “Youth Driven Change”. A team of consultants worked together in collaboration with five youth-led partner organizations from Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, and Denmark; The Danish Youth Council (DUF), The Danish KFUM-Scouts, Les Scouts Tunisiens (LST), The Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Initiative (DEDI) and The East and West Center for Sustainable Development (WE Center).
This publication shows the recipe to achieve meaningful youth participation, which allows youth to take the lead on projects design and implementation. It presents methodologies that can guide other organizations that wish to establish youth-driven international partnerships. In addition, it offers inspiration to organizations that wish to strengthen youth participation and influence in their work. The publication is intended to make these best practices accessible to civil society organizations.
Based on best practices and real cases, the publication provides three chapters to guide any organization that wants to work with and for youth:
The first chapter discusses the ways to establish and maintain international youth-driven partnerships. A relevant subject if the organization wants youth to take the lead on decisions, planning and implementation.
The second is dedicated for entities who intend to give youth more opportunities to participate in and have an influence on its activities.
The third tackles youth outreach and inclusion. This chapter is suitable for any organization that wants to reach out to more young people and to create a welcoming environment for them.
One of the main findings in the publication stated that “far too often, actors claim to work with and for youth, this acknowledgement does not always translate into action. Young people are not merely beneficiaries but ‘active architects’.”
Youth currently make up almost 16% of the world population. The proportion of youth in the Arab region continues to rank among the world’s highest with 65% of the total population under the age of 30. This answers the question in the publication “Why work with Youth”.
Youth-led initiatives provide young volunteers with a great opportunity to be the drivers of the projects, especially projects that work for youth, through involving them in all aspects of work, from developing the strategy to implementing activities on the ground. The extent to which youth will become healthy and productive members of their societies depends on how well societies meet their needs and include them in the process.
The publication also introduces the two projects that the young volunteers sharing their experiences belong to:
Ambassadors for Dialogue project in Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Denmark have developed a methodology to engage young people in dialogue with each other and to assist organizations working with youth to accept differences and welcome diversity through dialogue.
Their aim is to break down prejudices, promote diversity and create a dialogical and healthy environment for youth.
Read more about Ambassadors for Dialogue projects Here.
The Future Leaders project empowers young people to take the lead on processes of social change in their communities. The KFUM-Scouts in Denmark have partnered with Les Scouts Tunisiens, Tunisia’s largest civil society organization, since 2008. The partners focus on further developing the Tunisian scout organization as a platform for young people’s civic engagement and for educating young people as democratic citizens.
You can download the publication from Here.