I think this is absolutely brilliant! The work we have been doing with the children and adolescents at the YP Foundation has looked at gender, discrimination and violence in the community, and last Month the children designed an event where they wanted to advocate for the rights of adolescent girls, the right to safety and the right to be free from violence. They scripted 3 plays, 2 dance performances and wrote 2 songs on the issues, and had an art display. We had over a 100 parents attend the same and it was fascinating to see the commitment and the understanding the group put in to their productions.
This engagement platform sounds exciting to look at how other adolescents across the world are doing similar work, and we were trying to factor something like this into our next three year plan for the programme. :)
Thank you Nathan for the wonderful contribution, It was a great day for our team here at the YP Foundation to brainstorm and to discuss with you all a little bit of who we are and what we hope to achieve. The children were asking about all of you and were interested to know what happened ahead. I showed them the photographs you put up and translated the article back as well. They said they would be excited to contribute in the ideas phase, as they are stuck with exams right now.
To Jamie and Luisa, I think the passion that we have for our work is so integral to how programmes run, and how we retain unpaid volunteers, who often transfer to full time staff positions and stick on with the organization for over 4 years! Personally it stemmed from the space I was given as an individual to explore my ideas, beliefs and values and develop programmes from scratch with communities and not just "for" communities. I would like to borrow a quote from Anders Krystad (Football for All - Vietnam) "Nothing about us, without us" which is I think where the passion stems from. When organizations, be it an NGO or a Funding agency start working "FOR" people and not with us that's when it is a cold disconnect because there is no actual investment in self directed change or growth.