Already somewhere in the middle of the training course we are interested to hear the story of Rumbi who comes from the organisation African Youth Arise (AYA) from the United Kingdom. With her we had small interview, asking her about the learning points from the day 4 of YOUTHIFICATION training. The methodology used during this day was focusing more on creative expression and building 3D structures which should visualize better the youth structures the participants are working in. Questions like: where are the young people in your community? How much do they participate in the decision making processes? How to increase their participation? Read here below what Rumbi said to us:
"At the morning session I was thinking more thoroughly about our space that we use for our activities, is it appropriate and suitable for the young people we are working with. I think probably is not, it doesn’t have enough facilities to enable us to work with young people on another level and to encourage the level of participation within our organisation. For the moment I think our youth structure is serving the purpose but if we want to grow, because we are only a start-up, we have to rethink where we going to meet, the facilities we are going to require. From talking with the colleagues here and seeing what they are doing, it made me really think that I have to review what we are doing. We are delivering really good programme, many workshops, currently we are working on employability workshop, where we enable young people and encourage them to explore their identity. The next one will be decision-making and it is really important as young person to be able to be supported when making decisions but also as young people to take ownership on their decisions. As an organisation we need to be able to take the right decisions that will enable young people to expand their opportunities.
So I listed most of the things we required in my organisation after being inspired from other colleagues from other organisations around Europe. I loved the building the community structure as well, it made me really think about the barriers that are stopping the young people to participate. It was very good to work in the group, work with completely different set of people, find out what they do, what their strengths are what their weaknesses are. Interestingly, what could be considered as strength in one organisation, or in one country, could be a weakness in another country.
I work on one national programme in the UK, but we are not referring at all to manuals like the Council of Europe’s one presented within the session today (the RMSOS – Rights, Means, Space, Opportunity, Support). Elements of it, of course are present like: support, participation, the space, but again it made me think of certain things that currently we are not doing within the organisation and we should really think about integrating in our work, like the core management structure, to enable young people to make decisions.
I am all about building partnership and working together with the stakeholders connected with young people, like the parents, who are the major stakeholder in the life of the young person. For example, if they belong to a religious group, we need to have the religious leaders on board, we also need the schools to be on board. We want to give the necessary support to the young people that will facilitate better their active participation.
Other really interesting thing that I learned today, as a person from UK, when hearing the other youth workers here speaking about the challenges they face, I realized how different those changes are from the ones that we have in UK. Like for example, we do not have to push so much the youth agenda in the UK because it is already set. So that’s why I think we need to support each other. I am really inspired from my colleagues from the Balkan region, because they are working under very difficult conditions, but still pushing the youth agenda. That really made me want to visit the region and see the work they are doing. Looking forward to that.”