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Published by Jerome Thomas
Report of the CT meeting held in Nairobi in June 201
Report of the CT meeting held in Nairobi in June 201

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Published by: Jerome Thomas on Aug 06, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Eastern Africa Youth Network (EAYN) is composed of all the Youth from 14 National Societiesnamely Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Comoros, Seychelles, Rwanda,Burundi, Mauritius, Madagascar and Eritrea represented by their youth leadership in the Annual YouthGeneral Assembly. EAYN operates under the RC-Net and was established in September 2009 as a followup to the resolutions and commitments the E.A Youth delegates made in Solferino during the 3
WorldYouth Meeting. The youth in the Network mandated EAYN Coordinating Team to;--
discharge the objects of the network.-
advocate for youth governance, leadership and participation in decision making.-
enhance Social Mobilization.-
Share best practices.-
resource mobilization and identification.-
advocate for adoption of IFRC youth policy and youth structures.-
increase space for youth participation in the movement.-
develop, design and initiate new program opportunities to retain youth.-
develop a peer review mechanism to increase resource sharing, learning and interaction.The coordinating team (CT) held its half-yearly meeting at the IFRC Regional Office in Nairobi from June7
2010 presided by Joram Oranga (Kenya RC) the Chairman/President and attended by VanessaBandhoo (Mauritius RC) the Secretary and four members Hannignton Ssegrinya (Uganda RC), Jean Batiste(Burundi RC), Hassan Taha (Sudan RC), George Kinyanjui of IFRC OD office in Nairobi is the TechnicalAdvisor.The meeting was held with a view of addressing the challenges it has encountered since its inception andmap out a short-term strategy that would assist youth programs within the region improve their visibilityand inputs in the National Societies (NSs). Among the discussions was the review of the period betweenthe last and current meeting.
the following were noted;-
a rapid situational analysis done in eight National Societies showed representation of youth ingovernance boards and leadership is only at 27% comparably with a youth volunteer force of 86%of the total volunteers. While youth policy widely remains ignored and underutilized with only 37%of NSs having policies, Resource allocation for youth programs is at 33%. Evidently showing that alot still needs to be done in terms of youth targeting and development.
access to information by the youth in NSs is yet another huge challenge, very few RC Youth areable to get timely updates, periodic information, news, upcoming events and feedbacks while thefew who are informed is hugely due to their proximity to urban centers which greatly marginalizesand discriminates the rural youth with no such incentives.
 NSs have no clear instruments of communicating to its youth, to enable youth communicate,interact and provide feedbacks. Most of the NSs rely on the traditional methods of circulars, lettersand emails to the branches/chapters which hardly reaches the targeted audience
ack of funding, under staffing and resource allocation to the youth program was identified as the biggest impediment to growth. The youth have a lot to do in their NSs but very limited facilitationand opportunities.
another notable challenge was lack of facilities within the region to allow youth from different NSscome together, interact, learn and share information and skills to better their programs. It was sadlynoted that the NSs youth within the region hardly interact with one another nor invite each other totheir functions.
hallenges fa
ed by the Coordinating Team;-
The coordinating team as an institution has not been left out , despite the efforts employed so far, thefollowing challenges were encountered;
ownership of the network by NSs is still negligible, meaning that most youth programs have notfully embraced and adopted the concept of the network.
feedbacks from NSs on matters pertaining to the youth program are hardly provided, nor do NSsshare information on their youth activities, leadership and involvement.
the strict protocol in some NSs makes it difficult for the youth staff and leaders to add more valuein the network through learning and interaction.
lack of interest or participation in some NSs has made it very difficult to target them in the network activities.
lack of representation of the EAYN leadership in the main RC-Net has made it a little bit difficult tohave effective advocacy for the voice of youth.
The reorganization of the EA Zonal Office to two Regional Offices (Eastern Africa and Indian Ocean) andCountry Representation (Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and Eritrea) with different secretariats. Thisrequires more in-depth involvement of the coordinating team to maintain relevance, including close andfrequent interaction with the regional coordinators and country representatives to ensure proper understanding of the EAYN activities and readily available information for the concerned persons.
ess output;-
However, the meeting managed to take an in-depth look of the possible solutions during its two dayssitting. Some of the possible areas of engagement discussed were;--
exploring the communication possibilities provided by the IFRC including collaboration with theyouth communication unit at the IFRC Geneva.-
use of social media to provide information and communicate to the youth, encourage feedbacks andupdates.-
initiating Youth as Agents for Behavior Change (YABC) activities to aid youth programs designnew activities for youth, attract new opportunities under climate change and conflict resolutions anddo away with routine/traditional activities that no longer attract and retain youth.-
encouraging strategic partnership with youth organizations with similar objectives to enhance socialmobilization.
regional youth leadership forums to promote governance, learning, skills development and best practices.-
 promote exchange programs with a suggested model of host family kind of setup to enable youthtravel, visit places, learn different cultures and contribute to the humanitarian work of themovement (this model is suggested in the context of developing a webpage for RC Youth only whoare willing to travel to other NSs to find host families in the intended NSs and work with their  programs for the period hosted.)
Strengthen Youth access to information and information materials through social media, IFRCwebsite, establishing youth information desk in each NSs, newsletters, discussion forums andnetworking.
Increase advocacy for youth in governance and leadership by developing peer review mechanism,lobbying, initiating regional leadership forums, advocacy for representations in RC-Net and other governance boards.
Increase Social Mobilization by targeted recruitment of quality youth, designing new programs toovercome routine activities, identifying strategic partners for increased opportunities and funding,enhancing Movement Dissemination, Principles and Values.
Strengthen youth role in conflict management and resolutions through YABC activities.
Integrate climate change in youth program to create new opportunities for the youth.
Establish convergence point for best practices and information exchange among NSs within theregion.The youth network also made resolutions to work very closely with NSs to ensure that the short-termstrategies are achieved including close interactions with the RC-Net leadership, OD working group andRegional/Zonal Office. Despite the challenges encountered, EAYN still sees great potential among itsyouth and has embarked on an aggressive advocacy campaign to ensure results are achieved within shortest period possible. EAYN CT meetings are carried out on a rotational basis with the next meeting expected to be held in Mauritius in November 2010 or as will be advised.
 __________________________________________Prepared by
.H O
h N
 guiding strategy statement);
A special focus on young people is a crucial investment, not only for today but also for the future. The safety and protection of young people in vulnerable circumstances must be addressed, taking into account their age-and-gender-specific needs. In their multiple roles as contributors
young people are educated, enabled and empowered to be active in leading and participating in voluntary activities and in thegovernance, management and services of their National Societies. To this end, we use non-formal approaches as well as specifictraining and skills development. These are underpinned by dedicated youth networks and structures. We also encourage young people to continue membership as adults. Young people bring much needed skills when working alongside the increasingnumbers of older people in a spirit of mutual respect. This is crucial to the intergenerational transfer of experience that is vital to both progress and stability in Society.

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