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Creative Skills for Peace Project

Innovatively promote efforts to prevent/counter violent extremism through developing creative skills/capacity of youth violent offenders

Photo of Achaleke Christian

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*Please Upload User Experience Map (as attachment) and any additional Beneficiary Feedback in this field

"We want to learn how to catch fish not given fish all the times. I think this will help us become better people ", said an inmate at a correction centre. " This programme will help these young people. If we do not give them and alternative to violence, we shall spend more money for security and properties and lives may be lost. Their minds are young and because they have lost a lot and have nothing to do they are very vulnerable; We need this for them" Said the Director of a Correction centre

Explain your project idea in two sentences.

This project promotes youth participation in peacebuilding through empowering violent offenders with leadership, vocational and entrepreneurial skills as a means to prevent/counter violent extremism

What is your organization name? Explain your organization in one sentence.

Local Youth Corner Cameroon. A youth-led NGO focused on promoting youth empowerment and peace.

Is this project idea new for you or your organization? If no, how much have you already executed on?

No. For the past 15 years of our existence we have done projects within this area, worked with government and also executed a pilot phase project specifically on this idea. Equally, we have trained, develop policy recommendation and created a network of actors working on this idea in Cameroon.

What is the problem you aim to solve with this idea? How would you define this problem as urgent and a priority in your target community?

- Youth Radicalisation and Recruitment by violent extremist groups
- Lack of skills and effective programmes for rehabilitation and reintegration
- Gap in policy and lack of government interest rehabilitation and reintegration
- The rise of Violent Extremism is a major problem in Cameroon

What is the timeline for your project idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

Timeline of the project is 20 months. Major steps include;
- Planning phase
- Organisation of consultation with selected beneficiaries
- Organisation of 6 weeks training for 300 inmates and sports tournament in the facilities /two days training of staff
- Three weeks of shadowing beneficiaries
- Funding of initiatives
- Mentorship and marketing of funded ideas
- Connection with family and public
- Media and sensitisation
- Creation of network, evaluation and report of project

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of responsibility).

The project will be led by our National Coordinator and project team who have great experience working within this thematic. We shall rely on local and international partners who have the expertise and are relevant to the project. We shall as well rely on the competence of government institutions

What do you need the most support with in this project idea?

  • Exposure

What is your primary goal over the next 6 weeks of Refinement?

  • Get exposure to design thinking and IDEO

How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) results for this project?

It will be measured through qualitative and quantitative methods which will include feedback from beneficiaries and trainers before, during and after the project; relevance of skills acquired, use of acquired skills in the shadowing phase and final stage of the project. Gender, age and number of beneficiaries of the project will be used to measure the results. We will also measure feedback from the management of the selected beneficiary facilities and parents of the beneficiaries.

How has your project proposal changed due to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase?

Our beneficiary feedback has reinforced our need for context specific intervention. It has also emphasised the need for a peer trainers approach. It has also highlighted the sustainability factor which we believe influencing policy and government prioritisation of youth rehabilitation and reintegration will be a major part of this project.

During this Improve Phase, please use the space below to add any additional information to your proposal.

Theory of change of project
If young people, who have been victims or vulnerable to violence and violent extremism activities, who are currently in correctional facilities are provided with proper training in leadership, entrepreneurship, vocational skills and peacebuilding skills, finance and are provided with proper mentorship, guidance and a support network, and then their positive efforts are amplified then they will become more resilient to violent extremism narratives and ambassadors of peace over violence. Thier transformation and newly acquired skills will be a great leverage for them to serve as heroes and heroines to positively inspire their peers and mobilise them against radicalisation and violent extremism.
Explain your idea
What is your idea? How does it work? What problem does your idea solve?
Help explain your idea more clearly by making it visual, consider uploading a User Experience Map. This will help others to understand in more concrete terms what your idea looks like in practice.

Local Youth Corner Cameroon for 20 months will engage with ten prisons and correction centres selected from the ten regions of Cameroon to promote the rehabilitation and reintegration of 300 youth inmates (Violent offender) as a means to prevent and counter violent extremism. This project seeks to use a peer educators approach to developing entrepreneurial and vocational skills, leadership and self-esteem, and team building skill of these young people found in these facilities. Beneficiaries of this project will be young people between the ages of 12-35. To effectively achieve this major objective, the initiative has been developed into eight major activities, with each having a specific role in transforming these young people and inspiring their peers across the country. These activities will be achieved through effective collaboration and partnership with youth trainers and facilitators, government, rehabilitation and reintegration experts and Counter violent extremism experts.
 

Main Objective
Local Youth Corner, through this project Creative skills for peace, seeks to facilitate the rehabilitation and reintegration of 300 violent youth offenders over a period of 20 months. This project seeks to transform these young people into heroes and heroines and use their stories and transformation to inspire their peers across the country to resist radicalization.

Specific Objectives/ Activity (phases)- N.B.: The activities are presented on the question on timeline of project
Specifically, the project is aimed at;
• Identify the challenges and opportunities faced in the rehabilitation and reintegration process in Cameroon. The Consultation phase will be a major activity to achieve this objective.
• Build entrepreneurial, vocational, peace building, and leadership skills and self-esteem of young people in correctional and prison facilities. The Training phase of the project will help in achieving this objective.
• Promote more government and community institutions engagement in rehabilitation, reintegration and counter violent extremism. This will be achieved through the partnership phase with government and community organisations. Government involvement throughout the project will reaffirm this.
• Strengthen the skills of officials of prison and correctional centre on Rehabilitation, Reintegration, peace building and counter violent extremism. This will be achieved during the training phase of the project as well as throughout the other phases.
• Build a new generation of entrepreneurs and income generating young people in these facilities . This will be achieved through the training, funding, shadowing and mentorship phases.
• Build social cohesion, self-esteem and team building skills of the beneficiaries. This will be achieved through the shadowing and Connection with parents and family phases.
• Engage beneficiaries as peer educators and agents of positive and counter messaging. This will be achieved through the media sensitization phase of the project.
• Sensitize Cameroonian against youth radicalization and recruitment into violent extremist groups. The Media sensitization will help in achieving this objective

Note that you may also edit any of your previous answers within the proposal. Here is a great place to note any big final changes or iterations you have made to your proposal below:

What is the timeline for your project idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

Timeline of the project is 20 months. Major steps include;
- Planning phase
• Development of project and OpenIdeo evaluation stages
• Meeting with government and identification of beneficiary facilities and communities
- Organisation of consultation with selected beneficiaries- September-November 2017
• Collection of data on the needs(four skills identified per center ) and challenges of the facility /meeting with community leaders
• Interview with selected supervisors of project in each facility
• Meeting and briefing with potential youth trainers
• Signing of MoU with beneficiary intuitions
- Organization of 8 weeks Training/sports competition -November – February
2018

• Development of Training manual for each of the skills (two weeks)
• Purchase of Training materials
• Six weeks intensive vocational/entrepreneurial/peace building training session for four selected skills
• Six weeks sporting tournament accompanying the skills training
• Two days training of officials of the beneficiary institution on peace building and countering violent extremism.
- Three weeks Shadowing of beneficiaries of training- February-March 2018
• Division of beneficiaries into 4 groups (based on their feedback during training)
• Monitoring and assessing of each group for four weeks
• Two Best skill/vocational skills selected
- Funding of projects ideas- March –April 2018
• Granting of Award and signing of commitment. startup funding of minimum 1000 USD and maximum 1500 USD
- Mentorship and marketing of funded ideas - May-August 2018

• Market and advertise initiatives of beneficiaries
• Weekly progress follow-up and evaluation of each startup
• Mentors identify challenges of each startup while they monitor and work with project team to find solutions
- Connection with parents and public - September-November 2018
• 1 day Exhibition of initiatives
• Reintegration conference (families and beneficiaries and public unit)
- Media and sensitization November –January 2019
• Production of video documentary per facility and one summary video for all the eight facilities Production of video documentary per facility and one summary video for all the eight facilities
• Development of two months media program
• Social Media sharing of project outcomes
• Development of a magazine publication
- Creation of network . Evaluation and production of report January –March
2019
• Creation of Peer Educators Network
• Final Evaluation and Writing/ submission of report

 Young people between the age of 15-35 in Cameroon account for about 70 % of the population.  Of this 70% , these 45 % are females and 25 % are males and this forms 60 % of the total labour force. Despite this vibrant youth population, the socio-economic and political atmosphere of Cameroon relegates this vibrant young population to the background, with limited opportunities to absorb young people into the job market. This has thus created an opportunity for some of these young people to result only to violence as a mean of survival as well created an entry point for violent extremist groups like Boko Haram to radicalise and recruit these young people. 

Across Cameroon, young people are caught in the trap as victims and radicalised into violent extremist activities in an effort to earn a leaving. The absence of quality education, employment,  social exclusion have pushed these young people to engage in these acts. In an attempt to render justice and bring these young people to order, most of them have found themselves in prison cells or correction centre.

Through our qualitative research in local communities in Cameroon, we discovered that it is easier to radicalise and recruit a young person who has a history of violence than a young person who has never been engaged in violence. We also realised that most of the youth who are placed in prisons or correctional facilities after engaging in violence lack effective programs in these facilities which can properly transform them. In this effect, this project seeks comfort and provide these young people with an alternative to violence and make them positive role models. 

The project, “Creative Skills for Peace” seeks to facilitate the rehabilitation and reintegration of 300 violent youth offenders over a period of 20 months. This project seeks to transform these young people into heroes and heroines and use their stories and transformation to inspire their peers across the country to resist radicalization. Within this Rehabilitation and reintegration efforts,  we seek to use an interdisciplinary approach of providing context specific entrepreneurial and vocational skills, leadership and civic education, and peacebuilding skills to these vulnerable groups of young people found in correctional and prison facilities. Their transformation into agents of peace and change will serve as an inspiration to their fellow young people, thus contribute in preventing and countering youth radicalization. This project will develop marketable and entrepreneurial skills of these young people through non-formal education which will break the yolk of poverty, identity, unemployment, grievances and marginalisation which is usually the push factor for youth radicalization and violent extremism. It will go a long way to imbibe in them peace building, leadership and entrepreneurial skills, build self-esteem and a culture of peace.

Our initiative is inspired by our 15 years of experience working on youth development, peace building and preventing violent extremism. The pilot phase which we did produce very inspiring results thus we believe it is a groundbreaking initiative to be replicated.  Equally, our initiative is also inspired by UN Secretary General's Action Plan to Counter Violent Extremism in 2016 which highlighted Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent offenders and a major tool to counter violent extremism. To add, this projects build on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth Peace and Security which called on member states, donors and civil societies to prioritise youth centred peace initiative, rehabilitation and disengagement of violent offenders and returning fighters.

FEEDBACK OF PILOT PROJECT
As mentioned above, our organisation had launched a pilot phase face of the project. The results were inspiring. Here are links to more information about it. http://loyoc.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/blog-post.html

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd1Xuc5tbPDC7QZK2vjCtSQ 

http://loyoc.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/creative-skills-for-peace-marks-end-of.html

http://accameroon.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/local-youth-corner-cameroon-and.html 




Explain your idea

Local Youth Corner Cameroon for 20 months will engage with ten prisons and correction centres selected from the ten regions of Cameroon to promote the rehabilitation and reintegration of 300 youth inmates (Violent offender) as a means to prevent and counter violent extremism. This project seeks to use a peer educators approach to developing entrepreneurial and vocational skills, leadership and self-esteem, and team building skill of these young people found in these facilities. Beneficiaries of this project will be young people between the ages of 12-35. To effectively achieve this major objective, the initiative has been developed into eight major activities, with each having a specific role in transforming these young people and inspiring their peers across the country. These activities will be achieved through effective collaboration and partnership with youth trainers and facilitators, government, rehabilitation and reintegration experts and Counter violent extremism experts.
 

Main Objective
Local Youth Corner, through this project Creative skills for peace, seeks to facilitate the rehabilitation and reintegration of 300 violent youth offenders over a period of 20 months. This project seeks to transform these young people into heroes and heroines and use their stories and transformation to inspire their peers across the country to resist radicalization.

Specific Objectives/ Activity (phases)- N.B.: The activities are presented on the question on timeline of project
Specifically, the project is aimed at;
• Identify the challenges and opportunities faced in the rehabilitation and reintegration process in Cameroon. The Consultation phase will be a major activity to achieve this objective.
• Build entrepreneurial, vocational, peace building, and leadership skills and self-esteem of young people in correctional and prison facilities. The Training phase of the project will help in achieving this objective.
• Promote more government and community institutions engagement in rehabilitation, reintegration and counter violent extremism. This will be achieved through the partnership phase with government and community organisations. Government involvement throughout the project will reaffirm this.
• Strengthen the skills of officials of prison and correctional centre on Rehabilitation, Reintegration, peace building and counter violent extremism. This will be achieved during the training phase of the project as well as throughout the other phases.
• Build a new generation of entrepreneurs and income generating young people in these facilities . This will be achieved through the training, funding, shadowing and mentorship phases.
• Build social cohesion, self-esteem and team building skills of the beneficiaries. This will be achieved through the shadowing and Connection with parents and family phases.
• Engage beneficiaries as peer educators and agents of positive and counter messaging. .(see full version above )

Who Benefits?

Creative skills for peace have great socio – economic impact to the society and most especially to the lives of young Cameroonians. This project produces both primary and secondary beneficiaries.
The primary beneficiaries of this project include;
Young prison inmate, street children and school dropouts. These youth will leave the correction centre transformed and more confident than they were previously. The skills they would have learned will enable them to become assets to the society producing economic wealth and advocating for peace.
Secondly, the project will directly benefit the prison administration due to the fact that the rate of recidivism will drop thus a drop in crime wave and a drop in prison administration expense. Equally the families of our participants will also benefit
The tertiary beneficiaries of this project will include the government of Cameroon who through this project will witness a decrease in crime wave and contribute in policy development

How is your idea unique?

The concept of reintegration and rehabilitation is not a new concept in Cameroon. Nevertheless, our project goes beyond the usual in Cameroon. We are going beyond what exists, to take a youth specific approach and creating a relationship with peace building and countering violent extremism. We are applying the inter-disciplinary and context specific approach in peacebuilding where we shall develop training based on specific context and involving other actors. Equally, through the consultation , we shall develop a policy recommendation which will be submitted to Cameroon government and international stakeholders to shape policies regarding Rehabilitation, reintegration and peace building. This project will create the first network ever of peace and change agents who were former violent offenders

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.
  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

Tell us more about you

Local Youth Corner, Cameroon (LOYOC) is a national, non-governmental, non-profit making, youth-centered organisation working with young people between the ages of 15 and 35. We are an Organization formed as a response to the increased frustration, alienation, socio-political and economic challenges of the Cameroonian youth, who find themselves at the crossroads of making wrong decisions and breaking the rules as a means of survival. These socio-economic challenges span from low self-esteem, high level unemployment, poor health care system, poverty, exclusion in decision and policy making, corruption, poor social justice system, instrumentalisation and many others, which has forced most young people to develop hate for the country and communities, destroyed all iota of patriotism, engage in violent extremist and unscrupulous activities as a means of leaving.

Created on January 10, 2002, LOYOC Cameroon’s programmes development has focused on providing innovative solutions to these youth challenges as a way to promote sustainable peace and development, prevent and counter violent extremism. Our methodology spans from online and face to face advocacy, socio-cultural dialogue, evidence-based research, developing curriculums, peer educators, capacity building, policy development and implementation, training, assessment, and advocacy just to name a few.

Over the years, Local Youth Corner has empowered over 1 million young people from across the Ten Regions of Cameroon and beyond. Our organization operates within the ten regions of Cameroon with a representative who is in charge of coordinating our initiatives at local level. Local Youth Corner Cameroon is one of the leading organization currently championing youth engagement in the fight against violent extremism in Cameroon. We are currently the lead organization advising the government on the creation of a National Center to Counter Youth Violence and Extremism.

Within our 15 years of existence, we have engaged and worked with the following local and international partners; Cameroon National Youth Council, Cameroon Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education and Ministry of External Relations, Office of the Prime Minister and Head of Government, Ministry of Defense, US Embassy in Cameroon, British High Commission in Cameroon, UN / UN Agencies, United Nations Inter-Agency Working Group on Youth, Peace and Security, UNOY, Commonwealth Secretariat / Youth Division, European Union, Search For Common Ground, US Department of State, United Network of Young Peace Builders, Institute of Strategic Dialogue (UK), Master Peace Movement, Creative Associates, EU CT MORSE, Global Center on Comparative Security/ International Center for Counter-Terrorism, Institute of Security Studies, CIVICUS, Plan UK, Restless Development, Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, Actionaid, British Youth Council, Citizen Outreach Coalition UK. Read more about us: http://www.loyocameroon.org

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

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Photo of Kate
Team

Hi Christian,

I hope you are well.

I look forward to reading your response to the expert feedback below. The deadline for responses is Friday 11:59 pm.

Please do reach out to me if you have any questions - krushton@ideo.com. You might want to look at Survivor to Thriver: Women Building Bridges to Prosperity & Peace  - to see how they plan to match the women to small scale enterprises. Their project is working with women who has suffered GBV to connect them with opportunities for small-scale enterprise in Northern Nigeria.

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