Youth Engagement

Youth Engagement

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Join this weeks discussion on how to engage youth and foster the next generation of Changemakers!

Connect, collaborate and exchange ideas!

  1. 307 days ago

    Diane Marie Campanano-Bernardo

    Youth from the Zone One Tondo (ZOTO) made networking, reporting and advocacy more efficient through ICT. Because youth are more in-touch with ICT, they use their creativity and innovativeness to convey their thoughts and feelings and to advocate their beliefs. ZOTO has been active in protecting the rights to safe shelter for Tondo urban poor communities. With the ingenuity of the youth, they have raised funds and received grants form local and international agencies that sustained ZOTO’s programs on gender and development, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, organizing, advocacy, among others. Let us not lose the spring of youth in ourselves. Youthfulness must be kept alive as we age.



  2. 358 days ago

    Dennis Scott

    Great idea on this one, gonna be joining this activity. Get car ins now.



  3. 681 days ago

    Wendy Morin

    I have worked with youth in my community for over 15 years, and am constantly inspired by their courage, vulnerability and creativity! I think those aspects are what keep me motivated to continue youth engagement work. Many of the projects/initiatives I have been involved with have been very “grassroots”. I or others see a need and we start dialogue about how to meet that need – and then we try to make it happen. I find a challenge is working with adults who pay “lip service” to youth engagement, and have their own agenda. That may be political or simply due to legitimate pressure from funders/governing bodies to meet particular outcomes. I tend to spend time advocating for youth to truly have their own voice in decisions and initiatives that affect them. I ask questions of my partners: How do we involve youth from the outset? How do we have authentic youth-driven projects? How do we work within parameters and limits our organizations are faced with, without quashing the creativity and passion of our young people? Although I dedicate time to youth engagement, I struggle with these challenges as well. I experience time and funding pressures and do not always promote these ideals as fully as I would like. Years ago our community held a number of youth forums, in a well-intentioned attempt to better serve our young people. Out of those forums came some great ideas that came to fruition, some of which still exist today, ie. a youth restorative justice program. Another idea that youth proposed was a youth t.v. show. Unfortunately, it began with adult leadership with little youth input. Even so, youth continued to come out to the show and participated. I was asked to become involved as a mentor and the first thing I did was ask for a youth facilitator to create meeting agendas, lead discussion, etc. The youth completely changed the set design. It was great! The program became edgier and provocative, and started to create community dialogue. Not long after, the local cable station was sold and the new corporation did not continue with the show. I wonder about that decision, and what the motivation was. I believe it was a missed opportunity to build a youth voice in our community and to engage them in activism and even municipal politics. I continue to use that experience to guide me and inform me in my work.



  4. 731 days ago

    Moses Olaoke

    we are tryng to make a beter life for people in nigeria,to give a very lucrative furniture design,that can be scaterd and arrainge easily.but the challenges we face are support,from government but we dont care about them,we strugle hard for ourself and the betterment of our people.if you ave any idea toward this,we will appreciate it..thanks



  5. 731 days ago

    Tarek Alsaleh

    Hello.

    We are working since 2007 in Syria with street children’s, in refugee Camps etc. and have registered a Charity in Englad because we have alway a ‘good problem’ too much participation from youth, children and even the parent’s.

    Capoeira is an inclusive tool that helps vulnerable children safely release aggression and find joy in play. Bidna Capoeira reaches an entire community as everyone has a role, singing, clapping, making music and playing.

    What we are looking for is funding, especially in the middle of a Revolution. The people practicing even now. I will continue on applications..but I f you have some suggestions, you are more than ever welcome.

    Here is the Video link (3:45) of Al Tanf Refugee Camp, between the Syrian and Iraqi borders.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcufC52pFng



    • Sonia Bianchi

      Hi Tarek, thank you for sharing your work with us. BC Ideas is focused on projects that are based in British Columbia Canada. Check out http://www.changemakers.com for other funding opportunities!

      731 days ago


  6. 732 days ago

    Kate Fleming

    At Community Micro Lending we run a program called Launch! A twelve week crash course on how to start your own business. Working with youth 16 to 30 in a peer setting helps participants flesh out their ideas and know that they aren’t alone in what can feel like a very daunting process. We also like to incorporate community economic development principles into our curriculum in order to better educate young people on how to harness their vision and passion for a more people and community-centered economy. http://www.communitymicrolending.ca/#!__launch



    • April Dutheil

      Hi Kate, thanks for sharing your work. What sort of strategies do you use to build community with your group of young entrepreneurs?

      732 days ago


  7. 733 days ago

    Judy Fainstein

    How have I stayed motivated to engage youth? I get inspiration and hope from this work. Given opportunities and support, youth are able to achieve amazing things. It gives me hope for the future.



    • Sonia Bianchi

      A really great sentiment Judy, thank you for sharing. I totally agree, support is key, when someone believes in you its much easier to be courageous and take action!

      732 days ago


    • Judy Fainstein

      When we run events, such as the annual YesBC Youth Climate Action Summit and Off the Grid Festival, we have youth planning, facilitating and running the event to the greatest extent possible. These leadership opportunities (supported by adult mentoring) push boundaries and push young people out of their comfort zones. Intended to be transformational experiences for youth, what happens is the adults in attendance are also transformed. This is incredibly inspirational.

      731 days ago


  8. 733 days ago

    Judy Fainstein

    By way of introduction, I am Founder and Exec Director of YesBC (Youth for Environmental Stewardship), a non profit grassroots org based in Victoria BC.
    http://yesbc.ca/



  9. 733 days ago

    Judy Fainstein

    It is critical that we engage youth in the political process. Students entering grade nine/ten this fall will be voting in the next federal election and they need to understand the importance of the issues and why we have to hold our elected leaders accountable.



    • April Dutheil

      Judy, the media and popular culture often talk about youth apathy in the political and social realm of North America. However, we still see strong activism and political engagement in youth around the world and considerable political presence of youth in Quebec. There was also an unprecedented youth presence in the last Obama election. The blanket explanation, “Youth are apathetic” so don’t vote no longer fits as we know many Canadian youth organizations that are very active, eg. Leadnow.ca, Apathy is Boring, Check Your Head, and Gen Why Media Project (to name a few). What can be done to engage more youth in the voting and political process? To show them that their votes do matter?

      732 days ago


    • Judy Fainstein

      This is something incorporated into YesBC programming and as a presenter with Al Gore’s Climate Reality project. It’s empowering for youth to know that mobilizing the youth vote can have huge impact on election outcomes. We can engage more youth by giving them access to decision makers so they can have their voices heard. We often refer to LeadNow as a vehicle for political action (and the other orgs you mention). This work needs to be done on the ground and a lot of awareness is raised online as well. We do activism training, in collaboration with organizations such as the Ancient Forest Alliance.

      731 days ago


  10. 733 days ago

    Judy Fainstein

    Hi April, sorry for delay in jumping into the conversation – we have just returned from a wonderful family vacation. Just home from an international training session with Al Gore in San Francisco. I had an opportunity to speak on the topic of youth engagement. Since over 50% of the world’s population is under 30, it is incredibly important not only to engage, but to empower youth to lead us all to a sustainable future. When I work with high school students, I tell them they are leaders NOW, not leaders of the future.



  11. 734 days ago

    Margaret Naylor

    Hi April, I agree that health depends on the understanding and appreciation of history – our own and others. Sharing truths builds trust and trust is the foundation for growth. Collaborations across generations and across cutlural barriers allows for “meaning making” to happen.



    • April Dutheil

      I’ve found storytelling very useful for bringing down these barriers. Storytelling helps one to expose and communicate the multiplicities of oneself and experiences. Storytelling is very adaptable, it can be used when meeting someone for the first time, selling an idea or product, in restorative justice or bullying instances.

      732 days ago


    • April Dutheil

      Margaret- In your work, how do you use history to guide the direction of your project? For those who don’t know, Margaret’s solution for #bcideas uses artwork to support Elders in maintaining better health: http://www.changemakers.com/BCideas/entries/arts

      732 days ago


    • Judy Fainstein

      Storytelling allows us to autentically express our experiences. It is powerful and we all have stories to tell. Lots of people say “I’m no good at telling stories”, when in fact, the stories just need to be teased out in a supportive space for dialogue.

      731 days ago


    • Judy Fainstein

      Through storytelling, we can connect with others more directly because we are telling a story, not reading from a script.

      731 days ago


  12. 734 days ago

    Kevin Millsip

    I’m the Sustainability Coordinator with the Vancouver School Board where I focus mainly on school food systems. I also run a leadership program called Next Up: a program for people age 18-32 who feel called to make social change their life’s work. I’ve been working with young people for a while now. In 1999 I co-founded Check Your Head – an organization which educates high school age youth on different global issues using popular education models. I also geek out on youth voting trends. Lately I’ve been co-hosting dialogues with people from different generations on how we, across ages, can tackle the big issues that we face – such as climate change, resource scarcity and some other biggies. That’s a bit about me – tell about what you’re doing, what is calling you to act and how you’re trying to make change in your community as a young person.



    • April Dutheil

      Hi Kevin! Are you going to PowerShift in Ottawa? https://www.facebook.com/PowerShiftCanada?ref=ts

      734 days ago


    • Sonia Bianchi

      Thanks so much for sharing Kevin. I love the breadth of topics you are interested in engaging youth on. I really love your work with youth voters! Do you have any programs to reccomend that educate on the importance of voting, voting issues or how to get involved in local politics at a young age?

      733 days ago


  13. 734 days ago

    Kevin Millsip

    Hi. I’m curious what people see are the key benefits and/or challenges of different generations working together to tackle issues in our communities.



    • Margaret Naylor

      There are so many benefits of different generations working together. Developing understanding and appreciation of personal histories is so valuable for young people working with elders. Elders are energized by feeling appreciated. There is truth in the saying that history repeats itself and elders can help younger people find creative solutions to problems that reflect lessons learned in their lives. Elders benefit from the energy and excitement that younger people bring to a project. They also learn new skills. Multi-generational collaborations take longer to develop. Developing trust and support systems that lead to productive outcomes are challenging. There needs to be a mutual commitment to try and fail and try again – to take risks.

      734 days ago


    • April Dutheil

      Hi Margaret, I’ve been working with Inuit youth and Elders from Arviat Nunavut on the Nanisiniq Arviat History Project- reconnecting generations helps one to know their history, an important factor for mental and wellness- knowing where you came from as a way to go forward today. http://nanisiniq.tumblr.com/

      734 days ago


    • Jessica Hannon

      Hi All,

      732 days ago


    • Jessica Hannon

      looking through the lens of the challenges of different generations working together, we can also look at the specific challenges facing different generations, and how different generations working together can address them. You’re very right Margaret, that youth and elders can benefit from each other in this way– elders guiding youth, and youth energizing elders. April- the Nanisiniq Arviat History Project looks fascinating. What about the oft-mentioned challenge facing Gen Y’ers right now… all one has to do is search “the lost generation” and along with historical accounts of the WWI generation, you’ll find countless articles on youth disenchantment and the dearth of opportunities for young graduates. Do you think intergenerational work & dialogue can help address this challenge, in the greater scheme of Youth Engagement?

      732 days ago


    • Judy Fainstein

      Bridging generations is so important because we are all in this together. As a baby boomer, I see it as my responsibility to provide support, tools and opportunities to the younger generation. We are not “handing over the problem” if we care about future generations – we are supporting young people to lead the way, giving them the benefit of our experience.

      731 days ago


  14. 735 days ago

    Sonia Bianchi

    Welcome to our online discussion space! Please tell us about your work. What challenges, opportunities, pitfalls and obstacles have you encountered? How have you stayed motivated to engage youth in your community?