The PowerSpace and Youth Justice in Togo

Meet Afanou Afi Better, a beneficiary of YMCA Togo’s Youth Justice Project
The Africa YMCA Movement meets for a series of governance meetings

YMCA wants young people’s to live in a world where their voices are heard, they have access to Youth Empowerment Spaces, where youth are given the space to freely and safely express themselves, through various empowering and appealing activities. When we developed the PowerSpace methodology part of our objective was to create a better understanding of the PowerSpace within YMCA movements in Africa. AAYMCA staff Lloyd, Lawrence and Lavine visited Togo YMCA to meet with the staff and volunteers of the local YMCAS to hold a 3i (Inspiration, Ideation, Implementation) workshop with the aim of creating a better understanding of the PowerSpace and how the methodology can be used to create appealing Youth Justice programmes and activities for young people at the grassroot levels. 

The 4-day workshop was filled with different sessions with a lot of input from the staff present. A variety of tools were taught and shared to help develop better understanding of their target audience; the different characters, the location of the beneficiaries, their attitudes, behaviour and demographics especially those of the youth at risk of being in conflict with the law, as they work in the Youth Justice project. The beauty of the tools is how at the end of each process the YMCA staff and volunteers will be able to understand the needs of the youth to better serve them and their community.

On the first day we delved to understand the different interpretations of the PowerSpace among the staff and below are some of the responses.

The conversation raised some questions as well as some feedback from the participants.

We also introduced the Youth Justice project concept to the team to provide a clear understanding of what the project was about as well as its objectives and goals. Lastly, we also spoke about the vision 2030 that was recently adopted at the 20th YMCA World Council in Aarhus, Denmark. The goal was to help them understand the Vision 2030 strategy and how it could be embedded in their strategic plans.

The staff and volunteers used the tools they learned to create projects for fictional beneficiaries from their respective YMCAs as a test of their understanding of the tools.

The 3i tools are useful in the sense that it allows us to have many ideas and to select the best ones. The fact that we learn to be in the shoes of the persona to give better service.”

A highlight of the workshop was meeting the Togo YMCA board to share with the vision of the Africa YMCA, our strategic direction, the Y3.0 as well as the Youth Justice project implemented through the PowerSpace

The workshop concluded with a closing remark from Gerard ATOHOUN, the National General Secretary of Togo YMCA urging all participants to put to use the skills gained over the workshop period. The Africa YMCA will follow up with the participants to offer further guidance and support as they go back to put the new skills to practice at their local YMCA branches.

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