Jobs and healthcare are two of the most essential elements young people need to lead happy, successful and productive lives.
Over the next three years from 2014-2016 working with Liberia YMCA, we intend to reach 10,000 vulnerable young people in some of Liberia’s most deprived rural centres providing them with training and support to find a job or start a small business as well as improved health information and services.
$1 a day is what 64 per cent of Liberians live on – that is defined as ‘absolute poverty’. Young people are also still reeling after a brutal civil war which denied them to access basic services, limited their opportunities to learn and therefore to earn income, and made it near impossible build a life with a meaningful future.
Learning life skills
Liberia YMCA with will be supporting young people aged 15-24 including female-headed households, teenage mothers, commercial sex workers and ex-combatants to learn the skills they need to earn a livelihood, and to stay healthy so they can keep earning and reduce healthcare costs.
Young people in five locations – 60 per cent of them women – will receive vocational, business and life skills training including carpentry, auto-mechanics and electrical wiring. Agricultural skills training will also be offered as some of the young people live in more remote rural areas. Trainees who decide to start their own businesses will then have access to financial and business management mentoring and starter kits including the tools of their trade.
To help improve young people’s health, YMCA-trained peer educators will provide information to young people in their community about sexual reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, through meetings, workshops and sports and recreational activities. Youth health centres will also receive support to develop youth-friendly health services, and to deliver HIV counselling and testing services. Health ‘clubs’ will also be established in local secondary schools providing students with sexual health guidance.
Young people will also be trained in campaigning and advocacy skills and receive support to form 10 youth advocacy groups who will engage local, regional and national government on issues of health, education and employment.
What we hope to achieve
Increased income opportunities for 1,000 young people through livelihoods training and support, enabling them to start a small business and earn $50 a month by the end of the project 10,000 young people will have a better understanding of their reproductive choices through peer education, counselling and increased access to youth-friendly healthcare services Empowerment of 1,320 young people to lobby local decision makers for improved livelihoods and health support for young Liberians.
Source: Y Care International
The first selection visit to Sierra Leone took place this January. The objective of the visit was to select 7 organisations to take part in a week-long training course in Rio de Janeiro in March. Sierra Leone is the 28th country to become part of the GAP programme, which aims to build the capacity of community based organisations (CBOs) around the world to deliver high quality support to young people in cities affected by violence.
The organisations selected are all based in communities that are significantly affected by high levels of youth unemployment, violence, gang activity and drug abuse.
The selected organisations include:
• Youth Action International
• Defence for Children International
• We Yone Child Foundation
• West African Youth Network
• African Youth for Peace and Development (AYPAD)
• Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development
Representatives from the CBOs will travel to Rio de Janeiro in March where they will take part in a week-long intensive training at the FFP Academy in the Complexo da Mare favela. The training will cover a wide range of topics based on combining boxing and martial arts alongside education, employability, and youth leadership. After the training in Rio, the organisations will be supported for 12 months by the FFP team to adapt and implement the methodology in Freetown.
About the Global Alumni Programme
The Fight for Peace Global Alumni Programme (GAP) builds the capacity of community based organisations (CBOs) around the world to deliver high quality support to young people in cities affected by violence. FFP provides intensive training in the FFP approach, and 12 months of on-going consultancy support to help adapt the approach to be effective in each CBO’s community. The programme was launched in 2011, and by 2015 FFP will have built the capacity and increased the capability of 130 CBOs. By training these local partners, FFP is helping approximately 72,000 young people to have better access to support and opportunities in communities affected by violence.
The Global Alumni network now has 56 members from 25 different countries.
Who GAP is for: GAP is focused on cities where youth violence is a critical issue. In each city FFP selects 5-10 CBOs that are well established, sustainable, highly credible locally, and have access to the young people most affected by violence. Broadly, two types of CBOs are selected: boxing and martial arts clubs that want to establish youth programming around their sport; and youth programmes that want to add boxing and martial arts to engage young people involved in violence. Every CBO that is selected for GAP is already a leader in their community; GAP is designed to help them increase their impact and speed up their development.
What GAP offers: CBOs selected to join the programme receive a comprehensive 12-month package of support designed to train them in the FFP methodology, and help them to adapt and implement it in their community. The programme consists of 5 main elements:
5-day intensive training in all FFP principles and practices at the FFP Academy in Rio de Janeiro or London.
12-months flexible consultancy support to help adapt the FFP model to their context.
Access to the FFP toolkit, containing a wide range of delivery-ready tools and templates.
Membership of the FFP Alumni, providing opportunities for peer learning and partnership with other aligned CBOs around the world.
Profile, use of the FFP Alumni brand, and use of FFP’s research led evidence base to help build credibility with supporters and funders.
Our vision for GAP: The GAP programme was developed as the most effective and efficient way for FFP to support young people in communities affected by violence all over the world. Rather then open new FFP Academies wherever this problem occurs, we believe that supporting successful local actors to increase their capacity and improve service delivery to young people within those communities is the best route to success. Furthermore, creating an international network of actors who are dedicated to solving this issue and have been through FFP’s training process, enables us to gather their insight and evidence of what works to reduce youth violence in cities across the world. As the Alumni community grows FFP will use that evidence and combined voice to call for transformative change in the way society deals with young people affected by violence.
Source: Fight for Peace
Dear International YMCA Friends!
We really appreciate your warm words and moral support during this hard time in Ukraine! It was extremely important for us to get many letters of support from you!
This armed conflict was very unexpected for us as at the beginning it was a peaceful demonstrations against a sudden reject of the president and government to sign an Agreement on Association with the European Union. After the violence against peaceful protestants, many thousands of people in Kiev and other cities of Ukraine went to the streets to oppose the regime that we had, corruption, for human rights and social values.
Last week the authorities started real war against the people of Ukraine! We never could imagine that in peaceful times so many people can be killed and so many people can be injured in three days! And this happened in the middle of Europe…! These days were so long to each of us… We actually started to understand more clearly the human values when you do not know what is going to be the next moment, who is going to be killed, attacked, injured… It is hard to explain in words the feelings that we had…
At the moment the situation has become quite stable in Kyiv, though we still have big tension and the cases of the violence and separation in the Eastern and Southern parts of Ukraine.
YMCA all over the World always was an organization that supports civil people during the wars, the one that gives to suffering people a hope. And at this moment of the crisis in Ukraine, when hundreds and thousands of civil people have been injured, we really need your support and help from the international partners!
We would like to ask for the financial support to those who were injured and for their families. There were around 100 people killed and more than 5 000 injured. We kindly ask you to support and help people who really need it.
Unfortunately we also had losts in the YMCA Ukraine. One of the volunteers of Rivne YMCA was killed by sniper on the 20th of February. His name was Oleksandr Hrapachenko, he was only 26 years old… The people knew him as positive, energetic, enthusiastic young man who was fond of scouting, tourism, alpinism.
Another young man – YMCA scout leader, who was injured is Vladyslav Zubenko. This young person is from Kharkiv, he came to Maidan and got a shot from the police. He has injured lung, kidney and liver. Now he is in reanimation and he is in critical conditions. These are just two persons about whom we know. But still there are lots of people missing.
Referring to this situation we kindly ask you to organize a fundraising activities in your communities to donate money for the people, injured in Ukraine. Afterwards we will agree with you how they could be transferred to the YMCA account in Ukraine. We are in close cooperation with organizations, organizing help for the victims and we will transfer the money to them or to the families directly.
Please be sure that the spending of the money will be in a transparent way and we will send you the reports about how all these money were used.
Thank you for your understanding and support!
On behalf of Ukraine YMCA,
Orthodoz priest Zhabkovskiy, President of YMCA Ukraine
Viktor Serbulov, General Secretary of YMCA Ukraine
After the typhoon in the Philippines - YMCA contributions help rebuilding the affected areas.
The world’s strongest and most devastating storm, super typhoon Haiyan devastated the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving over 6 million people displaced from their homes and sources of livelihood.
Since then, a tremendous amount of work has been done by volunteers and professionals on the Philippines and all around the world to help. As an immediate emergency response to the typhoon-disaster, the YMCA of the Philippines and the local YMCAs in the affected areas of Ormoc, Leyte, Northern Cebu and Iloilo provided food, water and temporary shelters for the affected families. In this first phase (relief response phase) right after the Typhoon, the YMCA provided a total of 2.000 households in Ormoc City and in Concepcion, Iloilo with food (rice, water, canned goods) and mats. Also they provided food sustenance and shelter to 200 evacuees from Tacloban in Cebu YMCA for 1 month.
When hearing of the devastation in the Philippines, the world-wide YMCA family immediately took action, stood up in solidarity and fundraised money to help the people in need. The Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCA (APAY) has until now received a total contribution of US$ 63,112 from YMCAs all over the world, Y Service Clubs International and individual members of the YMCA.
The YMCA of the Philippines continues to provide support to two affected areas: The small island of Tambaliza, Concepcion, Iloilo and the YMCA village of Ormoc, Leyte. Here is where the YMCA’s second phase for recovery and rehabilitation efforts is taking action since January 2014. As of this writing, social preparation and training are on-going, including profiling of prospective recipient families, organizational development and groupings for different interest livelihood groups. This included recruitment, hiring and training led by National General Secretary of YMCA of the Philippines Pablito Tabucol and National Disaster Program Coordinator Ianne Christine J. Aquino. In this process, the YMCA is working closely with local governments and the local communities. In a community assembly, the YMCA informed 545 attendees about their work in the area. By the 2nd week of February, a target of 350 project beneficiaries has been profiled and screened. Moreover the local school is being rebuild and refurnished in cooperation with another organization. The total program budget for recovery and rehabilitation including the relief responses conducted amounts to US$ 125,792.82 including phase 1 (relief response), and phase 2 for recovery and rehabilitation response plans.
On a related response plan, the APAY will organize an International Youth Work Camp on May 12-18, to help rebuild school library facilities for elementary and high schools and support other community tasks towards recovery and rehabilitation.
A phase 3 response plan is being considered after a partial or full implementation of phase 2 has been achieved. This to ensure that all contributions and support received will be used to reach more numbers of needy and severely affected individual and families.
The YMCA APAY and the YMCA of the Philippines thanks all YMCA supporters for their continued solidarity, prayers and material support!
Source: World Alliance of YMCAs
The YMCA believes peace is more than the absence of war. It requires the presence of something – the recognition of basic human rights and the provision of basic human needs. Since 1984, YMCAs across Canada have spent the third week in November organizing special activities to engage children, youth and adults in exploring peace from local and global perspectives. Annually, YMCA Peace Week brings Associations together with international partner YMCAs and hundreds of school and community partners in a week-long event that highlights our common interest in creating a more just and peaceful world. YMCA Peace Week will take place in November 2014.
Source: YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka
Now that my internship is completed, I can reflect on the entire experience, from start to finish. Since I began studying international politics and development back in 2004, I have always been interested in post-conflict nations. I was incredibly interested in the genocide that had taken place in Rwanda, as I was old enough to watch it unravel at the time. In 2007, a friend of mine gave me a book called, “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah, which really grabbed my attention. It was a book that chronicled his life as a forced child soldier in Sierra Leone and his road to rehabilitation. After reading his so recent ordeal, his personal tale I wanted to learn more about the Sierra Leonean war and the country as a whole. I wrote my graduate thesis about female soldiers who participated in the war and was therefore able to do a significant amount of research about the many different aspects of the conflict.
Even though I had done so much research, I really did not know what to expect when coming to Sierra Leone. Since I had been to quite a few other African countries I guess I assumed it would be quite similar. I couldn’t have been more wrong. At first glance Freetown seems like a very bustling city, vibrant and full of life. After spending 6 months there you begin to see and realize how much the war really had such a negative effect on the country and its people. It is still so undeveloped, years behind even its neighboring countries. There is still such widespread poverty everywhere and many crippled and disabled people vigorously begging all over the city. There is almost no infrastructure development and the sewage system is just non-existent. Constant power and water outages coupled with a terrible education and judicial system, Sierra Leone really is a country where the effects of war are evident everywhere you look and experience every minute of the day.
One thing that Sierra Leone does have, however, is hope and optimism for a brighter future. The people have a resilient spirit which is evident in the way they work hard and work hard together, using their strong faith and love for one another to make it through each day. Although living in Sierra Leone had its many challenges, I am so grateful to be able to have spent so much time in such a unique and special place and the memories will last with me for a lifetime. Thank you YMCA for this great opportunity and experience!!
Source: Kimberly B, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
Cape Town — The American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bill Gates, has mounted a vigorous attack on prophets of doom who say that poor countries are destined to remain so and that foreign aid doesn't work.
In the sixth of the annual letters issued by their foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates urge their readers to combat what they call three "myths": those around efforts to end poverty, the effectiveness of foreign aid and - Melissa Gates's particular target - the argument that reducing child deaths will lead to the world becoming over-populated.
In the 2014 letter, published by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today, Bill Gates says the belief that the world cannot end poverty and disease is not just mistaken: "It is harmful. It can stall progress. It makes efforts to solve these problems seem pointless. It blinds us to the opportunity we have to create a world where almost everyone has a chance to prosper."
Tackling the suggestion that poor countries always stay poor, he says the proportion of very poor people in the world has dropped by more than half since 1990. He advocates that the division of the world into two categories - "developing" and "developed" - needs to be replaced by at least three: low-income, middle-income and high-income.
"Don't let anyone tell you that Africa is worse off today than it was 50 years ago," Gates writes. "Income per person has in fact risen in sub-Saharan Africa over that time, and quite a bit in a few countries.
"After plummeting during the debt crisis of the 1980s, it has climbed by two thirds since 1998, to nearly $2,200 from just over $1,300. Today more and more countries are turning toward strong sustained development, and more will follow. Seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies of the past half-decade are in Africa."
He also makes a case for "big strides" in health and education in sub-Saharan Africa:
The life-span for women has risen from 41 to 57 years since 1960, and would have gone up to 61 years were it not for the HIV epidemic;
The percentage of children in school has gone from the low 40s in 1970 to more than 75 percent.
Gates acknowledges that average figures conceal big differences between countries, pointing to Ethiopia's annual income of $800 a year per person against Botswana's nearly $12,000. And within countries, "life in a major urban area like Nairobi looks nothing like life in a rural Kenyan village."
Nevertheless, he predicts that by 2035 almost all countries will be what are now categorized as "lower-middle income" or richer: "Almost no country will be as poor as any of the 35 countries that the World Bank classifies as low-income today, even after adjusting for inflation."
Writing on foreign aid, Bill Gates agrees that it can be made more effective and that some is wasted or stolen: "But broadly speaking, aid is a fantastic investment and we should be doing more.
"It saves and improves lives very effectively, laying the groundwork for... long-term economic progress... which in turn helps countries stop depending on aid."
He also marshals arguments against the criticism that aid hinders normal economic development:
"First, it [the criticism] lumps different kinds of aid together. It doesn't differentiate aid that is sent directly to governments from funding that is used for research into new tools like vaccines and seeds... The money we spend today on a Green Revolution for Africa is helping countries grow more food, making them less dependent as well...
"Second, the 'aid breeds dependency' argument misses all the countries that have graduated from being aid recipients, and focuses only on the most difficult remaining cases."
Backing this argument, he cites Botswana, Morocco and Mauritius as African countries which have cut their dependency on aid, and adds that in sub-Saharan Africa the share of the economy that comes from aid is a third lower now than it was two decades ago, even though the total amount of aid has doubled.
In her section of the annual letter, Melinda Gates notes that people have worried for two centuries that food supply will not keep up with the world's population growth. Yet in the vast majority of countries, falling death rates are followed by falling birth rates:
"When children survive in greater numbers, parents decide to have smaller families... The planet does not thrive when the sickest are allowed to die off, but rather when they are able to improve their lives. Human beings are not machines. We don't reproduce mindlessly. We make decisions based on the circumstances we face."
Source: All Africa
Privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian sees the landscape of government surveillance shifting beneath our feet, as an industry grows to support monitoring programs. Through private companies, he says, governments are buying technology with the capacity to break into computers, steal documents and monitor activity — without detection. This TED Fellow gives an unsettling look at what's to come.
Y Care International joined team members from Togo YMCA to mark the start of a project which aims to bring justice to 2,500 young people and adults in conflict with the law over the next three years.
The project will involve the creation of legal clubs within four Togolese prisons in four regions, where up to 80 per cent of young people are detained without trial long after the legal limit of ten days.
Y Care International’s Africa Programme Manager Harriet Knox addressed the audience at the official launch ceremony and described what the YMCA are hoping to achieve in partnership with Y Care International and the European Union.
“Firstly, this project aims to help 2,500 young people and adults access justice in the cities and surrounding areas of Lomé, Atakpamé, Sokodé and Kara,” she said.
“Secondly, it aims to reduce the number of human rights violations during periods of detention by strengthening the capacity and activities of Togolese organisations that are working to defend human rights.
“We are proud to be partnering with the YMCA and thank the European Union for their support that will enable us to improve the situation of young people who come into conflict with the law in Togo.”
The project began in November 2013, and follows a successful three-year project by Y Care International and Togo YMCA implemented between 2009 and 2012. As a result of the work conducted by legal clubs during the previous project, 1,070 unlawfully detained young people were released from prison.
The Head of the EU delegation in Togo, Nicolas Berlanga Martinez, said the EU would work side-by-side with Togo YMCA to realise the project’s aims throughout Togo.
“The EU Delegation in Togo is not only committed to issues concerning human rights and justice, but also the rules, penal policies and reintegration of former prisoners into society,” said Martinez.
Coco de Koffi , an ex-detainee turned singer, also performed at the ceremony to raise awareness of the effects of unlawful detention on young people’s lives. Aged 18, Coco had been charged and detained when he was scheduled to perform in Germany. The agent who had fixed the deal arranged passports for Coco and his team – but they proved to be fake.
After being in prison for three and a half years, he learned about his legal rights through the YMCA legal club and with his improved knowledge, persistence and YMCA support, he was released.
Source: Y Care International
Vous êtes étudiants dans une université d’un pays africain, vous avez entre 21 et 29 ans, prenez la parole et inventez l’Afrique de 2025 : Quel avenir du développement en Afrique ? En quoi l’Afrique de 2025 sera-t-elle différente de 2014 ?
Rédigez un texte de 15 000 signes (espaces compris). Le texte est jugé à la fois sur la qualité de son contenu et sur la qualité de rédaction. Il doit être original, innovant et force de propositions pour l’avenir du continent africain sur trois thèmes en particulier :
Enjeux économiques : quelle croissance et quels emplois pour l’Afrique de demain?
Les défis environnementaux : ressources naturelles, agriculture, sécurité alimentaire, changement climatique ;
Les transformations sociales : identité, migrations, urbanisation…
Seul ou en équipe de deux, quels que soient votre cycle ou votre cursus, faites-vous entendre et décidez des contours du continent africain à l’horizon 2025.
Gagnez votre participation à la grande Conférence annuelle du Global Development Network et discutez avec les experts, chercheurs, politiques et économistes du monde entier.
Les 50 étudiants sélectionnésseront invités à la Conférence annuelle du GDN, du 18 au 20 juin 2014 à Accra au Ghana (transport, hébergement et restauration pris en charge). Ils assisteront à toutes les conférences et participeront à une session spéciale organisée spécifiquement pour eux la veille de la conférence (le 17 juin 2014).
Imagining the future of Africa 2025
If you are currently a student enrolled in an African university and are 21 to 29 years old,speak out on the future of Africa 2025: What does the future hold for the African continent? What are the possible scenarios? How will the future be different from the Africa that exists today?
Write a paper of 15 000 characters (with spaces). Submissions will be judged for both their analytical rigour and their quality of exposition and written expression. Your paper must be innovative and able to put forward positive proposals for the future of the African continent on three main issues:
Economic challenges: What are the main determinants and engines for growth and are they likely to anchor a high potential growth rate for the short, medium and long term? How do you describe and analyse the economic transformation that is taking place?
Environmental challenges:Is African growth sustainable? How to harness natural resources for structural transformation? How to combine sustainability with the demands of growth and urbanization in terms of access to energy and natural resources?
Social and political challenges:How inclusive has growth been and how much does it also lead to a social and political transformation?How can we build a bridge between informality and formality and initiate the process of moving out of informality?
In partnership or individually,whatever your degree or your specialisation, take this opportunity to make your voice heard and take part in the discussions on the future scenarios for Africa !
If you are selected, you will receive an invitation to join the GDN 15th Annual Global Development Conference and exchange your views with experts, researchers, policy-makers and economists from around the world.
50 selected students will be invited to attend to the Conference, on June 18-20, 2014 in Accra - Ghana (travel and accommodation paid by the organizers of the conference). Students will participate in a dedicated session the day before the Conference on June 17th, 2014.