Hi Allison! Thanks so much for your reply and thoughts on this. Really exciting to hear that you are taking a like-minded approach! And that is certainly an interesting thought - I love the idea of youth from Kismayo not only generating ideas within their own communities, but across ages and cultures. That prospect for peace building is really intriguing!
Hi Julia - thanks so much for your comment! And great questions :-) Yes, the Youth Center in Kismayo has been up and running for over a year, and we've been so excited to see how things have progressed. Over 200 young people come to the center every single day to take computer classes, art classes, English classes, and other marketable skills like plumbing and carpentry. It's also simply a place to get together and get to know one another. A few months ago, we prototyped the concept of one idea per day with the youth - small and quick yet high-impact projects, the ideas of which came right from young people themselves. We were floored by the results. Some examples include getting all the supplies for and hosting an art day at the center, where resident artists taught curious young people about how to express themselves through art. Another was a community planting day (pictured above) where the students beautified the Youth Center with fresh, green, and lush trees and plants - it was all about taking pride in where you live and sharing that with others. Another idea was getting costumes for the traditional dancing group, so that they could perform in the community and build friendships, all while fostering a deep pride in the place they come from. The list could go on!
How does your organization express similar ideas in your work? Thanks again!