YMCA Africa Youth Month

Ghana YMCA third quarter newsletter
01/12/2021
International Day of Education
24/01/2022

The Month of November is designated to celebrate youth in Africa, what they are doing, to encourage youth to excel in their own spaces and empower them with skills and resources to do so. Culturally Africa Alliance of YMCAs partners with National Movements to celebrate the month. The current Subject to Citizen ambassadors led the celebrations by organizing various activities with the assistance of the S2C Ambassadors Alumni.

We kicked off the AYM with a message from from our general secretary, Nirina Rakotomalala to youth across Africa in  English and French encouraging to reflect through the month and take up the challenge of developing their communities

Here are the Highlights of the activities from across different YMCAs.

Youth Leadership Camp in Sierra Leone YMCA

The National Youth Council of YMCA-Sierra Leone organized a youth leadership camp  to engage young leaders at the YMCA.They shared the S2C philosophy giving them a chance to understand the whole philosophy and how they can use it to better their engagement and service to the YMCA and their communities as youth leaders. This session was followed by a communication skills presentation. Young leaders were trained on how to effectively communicate their ideas, and how to use the power of communication to get things done.Read more about the NYC Youth Camp at Sierra Leone activity here

 

 

Youth Conference at Togo YMCA

Togo YMCA ambassadors collaborated with youth delegates to host a series of activities in Lome, South of Togo and Kara, North of Togo. The conferences were to raise awareness for the Togolese youth on their responsibility in building the Africa We Want thus from the general theme, they came up with a sub theme, Quels profils de jeunes pour construire l’Afrique que nous voulons. (profiles of young people to build the Africa We Want). Part of their activities also included video recordings to sensitize youth on the culture of excellence and striving to be better persons. They also had Radio and TV broadcasts in Kara and Lome. Listen to the radio interview here 

 

Gender Based Violence Awareness workshop at Tanzania YMCA

As part of his Activity, the ambassador from Tanzania brought together 30 youth from various parts of Kilimanjaro region to have a workshop on issues around gender based violence and awareness.  They invited a police officer from Moshi Police Gender Desk(Dawati la Jinsia) and one social worker  who helped in dissecting the topic. Watch a brief video about the activity here

Climate change sensitization in Ghana YMCA

Ghana ambassadors held different activities to commemorate the Africa Youth Day, they first had a sensitization video on proper waste management. The video was meant to educate people on the causes, effects & also suggest proper ways of managing waste. They further had a cleanup exercise at the Western Region of Ghana and was done with the aid of three local branches as well as the regional director. The activity was meant to further show people and also make them understand how they can help manage waste to help conserve our environment.

The last two activities were held on the same day in two sessions. The first session or part was a panel discussion on climate change which was live streamed on facebook & Youtube. The ambassadors had Cedric Dzelu(A change Agent, Climate change activist who represented YMCA at the recent COP 26 Conference at Glasgow & Alumni) as a panelist. The second part was a capacity building training on how to recycle waste and also serve as a source of employment. 10 people were trained on using old car tyres in making furniture, turning old plastic bottles into coffee tables and lastly using old plastic bottles to make pencil & pen cases.

Football Tournament advocacy at kenya YMCA

Kenya YMCA through its S2C ambassadors hosted youth at Nairobi South YMCA for a football tournament with the main objective of advocating for a peaceful campaign and election period in Kenya. The challenge to the youth during the activity was to become active citizens who do not fall prey to toxic politicians who use them to instigate violence.

 

Agenda 2063 Panel discussion at Liberia YMCA

The ambassadors from Libera joined in the Africa Youth Month celebration by hosting a youth and stakeholders dialogue across 25 local communities within Montserrado. The discussion was about understanding the future and the youth-inspired actions that support Agenda 2063.

Following the dialogue, three Young people including an S2C Alumni were given a plaque of recognition for their immense contributions and efforts they have made in Youth Advocacy, Community Development, and Entrepreneurship across the country. They were given these souvenirs to honor their achievement.

The program also captured the cultural display/dances from young people to share the sense of the African culture that unites us. The second activity was a visual arts initiative that painted the aspirations of the African agenda 2063 in public areas. As part of recognizing the impact of African youth, two young artists from the community were recruited for the work. The visual art for the African Youth Month was done in outdoor spaces on the YMCA facility that is accessible to hundreds of young people and visitors. The paintings will help in creating awareness for Agenda 2063. 

 

Panel Discussion on SDGs  at Ethiopia YMCA

Ethiopia YMCA prepared a high-level panel discussion and simulation which engaged the Ethiopian youth based on the year's theme. The panel discussion was prepared based on four pillar ideas namely, the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the role of the youth and the projects of the YMCA; Subject to Citizen philosophy (S2C) and Smart Up and their positive results upon the youth.

The discussion emphasized the essentiality of the youth in the journey of achieving the aspirations of Agenda 2063, informing youth about the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) and how the youth could contribute in order to reach the goals. It also gave a breakdown of what and how the programs of YMCA particularly; Subject to Citizens (S2C) and Smart Up are doing to engage the youth to make positive contributions.

It was mentioned that the YMCA has been working in engaging the youth in different pieces of training to make them productive citizens and to engage themselves in different local-level activities through its “Subject to Citizen”, a program which focuses on the issues of youth justice, civic action, economic renaissance, environmental sustainability, and transformation. In addition, the seventeen goals of the SDGs were also raised in the panel in order to educate fellow youths by summarizing the goals into four main pillars: prospects for the community of life, ecological integrity, economic sustainability, and social justice, and democracy, non-violence and peace.

 

Menstrual Hygiene awareness at South Africa YMCA

The South African Subject to Citizen ambassador visited Normyole Primary school, in Missionvale situated in a marginalized community, where lack of access to menstrual products and widespread stigma surrounding periods keep millions of girls from going to school as in most parts of South Africa.

Due to socio-economic imbalances, sanitary products are very expensive, and at times even working women cannot afford on a monthly basis, this affects their dignity, mental health and hygiene.

As a youth organization, working with young people who have dropped out of school, for various reasons they focused on  deconstructing the narrative and the stigma around menstruation.They did this by bringing awareness on normalizing menstruation talks & ensuring young girls are prepared for the changes their bodies are going through; educating them on the usage and disposal of a sanitary towels for hygiene purposes and also encourage young girls to never allow their circumstance of not affording sanitary towels be a reason to leave school.

 

Youth Conferences at Madagascar YMCA

Madagascar YMCA organized different conferences under the theme for the AYD, Agenda 2063  and under the vision 2030 of YMCA in different local branches, they had 4 young speakers, who talked about: community and well-being, linked to the environment.

by RANDRIANANTENAINA Nirina Victoria Hamelda, President of Club Vintsy Famelona; A rewarding work future: The jobs of the future assured by  RASAMIMANANA Mickaella, President of Girls Robotika Madagascar; African youth and agribusiness for a sustainable planet by RAHARIMAMONJIARIVELO Faraherijaona, founder of ECI Youth Volunteering Network and TOP 100 Young African Conservation Leader 2021; A Just World: Preventing Youth at Risk of Breaking the Law  by RAKOTONDRASOA Mialy Sombiniaina, Africa S2C Ambassador Cohort-5

Apart from that, each club had a stand to show their accomplishments and to recruit new members to join.They organized a space for each member of the club to show their talent (dance, drama, quiz, song contest, cooking, etc..). They organized an Africa Quiz to test the general culture of young people in Africa. The 3 first duo won prizes.

In Antsirabe, there was also a conference under the theme ‘’Youth and entrepreneurship” with RAKOTONIRINA Ny Aina, president of the FIVPAMA Vakinankaratra. There was also a talent show with our members and membership raising in each stand of the club. There are 10 clubs in Antsirabe.

In Moramanga, they organized a carnival throughout the city. The young people were dressed in African and traditional Malagasy clothing.  We organized a carnival throughout the city.  It was to show our pride as Africans but also to make YMCA known and attract more members to join us. After the carnival, our members shared typical Malagasy dishes to demonstrate the fihavanana, Malagasy culture which consists of sharing meals during any celebrations.

 

Career Orientation in Nigeria YMCA

The YMCA S2C ambassadors hosted students from different institutions for a week- long career orientation. They learnt about sign language and encouraged each other on different life perspectives.

One ambassador shared his life story with the students,"I was not born like this but life recreated me" she told them.

They identified a student who was in need of a wheelchair due to his movement disability. They took it as their responsibility to mobilize for financial support to purchase a wheelchair for the student. They further visited a home for mentally unstable children where they donated foodstuff and had fun and games.

 

 

Gambia YMCA hosted a tech talk with 50 students from 5 different schools.

We had two speakers, Mr. Kenneth Manneh who spoke about what the African youth month meant and the second speaker Mr. Poncelet Ileleji Lead/CEO Jokkolabs Banjul who elaborated on the power of technology.

The Ambassadors went ahead to host a pitching competition in celebration of the African youth month. We had 5 young dynamic people who came up with different problems and solutions for a better Gambia. They came up with  solutions addressing health, unemployment, skill work, agriculture and recycling.

There were four judges who listened and assessed participants' ideas based on viability, innovation, sustainability and solutions to the problems amongst others. At the end of the event Ms. Oumie Dampha an entrepreneur specialized in solar installation won a cash prize of D10,000.00 as a contribution towards her innovative solution. Oumie believes that women in skill work are not given job opportunities as much as men so she has a store where she will be empowering women and also help them access job opportunities based on their skills and not gender. The second runner up Ms. Jatou Mbye whose idea was about  recycling and the environment was offered free business

 

Youth Power space in Zimbabwe YMCA

Zimbabwe YMCA held different powerspace sessions at different branches to commemorate the Africa Youth Month and virtually through their online powerspace. There were various topics of discussion covered by different stakeholders. The Africa Youth Month also coincided with the 16 Days of Activism against GBV which also formed part of their activities

Some of the issues that were raised during the powerspace were;

Youth unemployment, Youth involvement in political spaces, Social security and young people, Young people’s role in policy making, Importance of youth voices in nation building, Entrepreneurship and the future, Whether  Agenda 2063 going to be a reality or it’s just a fallacy, Drug abuse and Mental health.

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