*International and Regional

“Youth Voice” Regional Campaign Phase I Report

We are pleased to share the Eastern Europe and Central Asia “Youth Voice” Regional Campaign – Phase I Report that highlights the main activities and achievements.

“LGBT rights are human rights” – YCSRR calls for submissions

Recognizing May 17 as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights is calling on all young activists to speak up on LGBT rights through Free Expression!

Women Deliver lunches a new Toolkit for Young Leaders

Women Deliver is excited to share a new toolkit for youth advocates and activists called “Respecting, Protecting, and Fulfilling Our Sexual And Reproductive Health And Rights: A Toolkit for Young Leaders.

YouAct supports the EU resolution on gender equality

The resolution on progress on equality between women and men in the EU in 2013 has been voted at the plenary sitting on Tuesday, 10th March.

The report analyzes the progress on gender equality and underscores the need for policies improving women’s position in decision-making processes as well work/life balance; highlights the influence of economic crisis on women and pays attention to improvement of child care systems, maternity and paternity leaves.

Have You Seen My Rights?

This January, around 40 organizations from all over the globe met in Oslo to develop a campaign, aimed to raise awareness on youth rights to sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the post-2015 agenda. The meeting was founded by NORAD, UNAIDS, International Women’s Health Coalition, The Pact and Restless Development. The main question we addressed at the meeting was “How do we secure youth SRHR in the post-2015 agenda, both at UN level but also at country level?”

Participating in ECOSOC Youth Forum

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the United Nations central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development. The ECOSOC Youth Forum, which was launched in 2012, provides an annual platform for youth to engage in dialogue with member states on a range of issues of interest to them. Since 2012, the Forum has become a space where young people can contribute to policy discussions at the United Nations through their collective ideas, solutions and innovations. This year ECOSOC Youth Forum took place on 2-3 February 2015, and I was selected one of the two youth representatives from Turkey by United Nations, so that I got the chance to represent Y-PEER there.

EECA Youth Voice heard at The Global Strategy meeting between UNFPA and Civil Society Organizationson on ICPD Beyond 2014 and the Post 2015 Development Agenda

The Global Strategy meeting between UNFPA and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on ICPD Beyond 2014 and the Post 2015 Development Agenda was held from 23-25 January 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. The aim of the meeting was to ensure meaningful engagement of civil society organizations, including youth networks, among which Y-PEER, YouAct, Youth Coalition and others to ensure that the outcomes of the ICPD Beyond 2014 review process are taken forward and integrated in the best possible way into the post 2015 agenda.

Y-PEER Regional Planning Meeting

Following the Training School on Advocacy, there was a Regional Planning Meeting of Y-PEER Network lasting till 24th of November. During the meeting, the 18 young people, together with two of the International Coordinators and 3 members of the Task Force discussed topics related to the network’s priorities for the following year;

Here are some of the things we did at the meeting, coming from the participants:

 

sonyaElene Sonya Chumburidze (PETRI Fellow, FPC of Y-PEER Georgia)

It was really interesting to observe how Y-PEERers from all these different regions and backgrounds came together for the benefit of the whole network. For me, it couldn’t have been more obvious that every single participant cared so much for Y-PEER and I feel the same way, as if I really grew up in Y-PEER and the meeting was once again a demonstration that we all have so many young colleagues all over the world who do amazing work both nationally and internationally and it was really inspiring to see that at the regional meeting.

Prepreslavaslava Ivanova (FPC of Y-PEER Bulgaria)

The Regional Planning Meeting was a very successful event. I was really glad that I took part in it, because a lot of good practices were shared and a lot of ideas were exchanged. The people there had different backgrounds and were from different countries, but that didn’t stop us from acting like a great team with a great cause. I hope that we could manage to do all the things in our new year plan! Thank you for the wonderful time we spent!

 

sevinjSevinc Samedzade (FPC of Y-PEER Azerbaijan)

I think it went pretty well, in terms of discussing key elements in development and evolution of the Y-PEER. It was very interesting to learn the perspectives of Y-PEERs in different countries, how they mobilize, how some of them is succesfull etc. In general, it was well organized and useful enough to empower new and old y-peerers.

 

Ana_RAna Rizescu (YouAct Coordinator)

For the Y-PEER Regional Planning Meeting, I’ve been observing things from different perspectives, as I’ve been with Y-PEER for many years, but recently I became the Coordinator of YouAct, a European youth-led network. Therefore, it felt somehow natural to see how youth collaboration continues to be valued and to be part of the Partnership Panel, together with fellow colleagues from ASTRA Youth and Y-SAFE. We have been presenting and discussing about the network’s structure, functioning, funding sources, communication and monitoring and evaluation tools. I think it was very useful for Y-PEERs to know more about these aspects from other partner networks and pick-up some of the features and details for their future organizational plans and actions.

Regional Youth Leadership Group of Youth Voice Campaign

The Regional Youth Leadership Group (RYLG) had the opportunity to participate in a back-to-back Working Group meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria last week. Representatives of YouAct, ASTRA Youth and YSAFE shared good practices and actively participated in some of the sessions from the Advocacy Training as well. But the main focus of the meeting was to revise three publications produced by the UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and develop shorter, youth-friendly briefs.

RYLG

The publications provide a regional overview on Child Marriage, Adolescent Pregnancy and Investing in Young People. These three documents are comprehensive, but the RYLG aimed to make these reports into more youth-friendly briefs which can be used by young advocates in their countries. The RYLG revised the language and came up with creative ideas about the visualization of the briefs and graphics. Similarly, the group wrote script drafts for videos which will engage more young people on the issues.

All of the work was presented on the last day of the advocacy training. Several participants gave constructive feedback which was taken into consideration. The report was shared early this week for further feedback from everyone involved in “Youth Voice” campaign.

RYLG2

The RYLG was more than happy to meet with most of the young people involved in the campaign. After this meeting we feel more excited and motivated than ever to continue our work on this amazing initiative.

Martin

YouAct, member of the Regional Youth Leadership Group

Annual PETRI – Sofia Training School for Advocacy

To support the EECA Youth Voice Campaign momentum, PETRI Sofia decided to dedicate its Annual Training School to the topic of Advocacy, which brought together 57 participants from 19 countries, from the Eastern Europe and Central Asian region from organizations that are implementing their activities during the national advocacy campaigns as part of the Regional Advocacy campaign in 2014.

Training strengthened capacity of young people to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate advocacy campaigns in their countries aimed at improving the situation of young people and ensuring their issues are reflected in the post-2015 agenda as they developed concrete action plans for their national campaigns.

Here are some of the reflections of the Annual PETRI Sofia Training School participants:

Aidana Yeslamgali (Y-PEER Kazakhstan)

Aidana

The annual advocacy training was held this year again in the astounding capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, organized by PETRI-Sofia. 19 countries, 57 participants – many young leaders gathered together to master the great art of advocacy. Sounds great already, doesn’t it?

Three days have passed fast and furious. Through interactive series of sessions, young advocates-to-be acquired skills of press-conferencing and became “gurus” of social media thanks to the amazing trainers.

As for me, the training was a priceless and irreplaceable experience. I was incredibly delighted to get to know many enthusiastic people who strive to transform the world to a better place to live and hear their innovative ideas – that’s the best motivation one could ask for. We are now even more entitled to plan, act and make difference.

Bernard Shaw once said: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”. I can say now that because of this amazing event I am enabled to see in a new dimension now and what is more important, I am empowered to change the minds of other people.

Aulonë Kadriu (Peer Education Network, Kosovo)

Aulone

Dynamic, interactive and very useful – would be the three words I’d use to describe the Advocay Training if I was asked to do so. There were many highly motivated young people from various parts of Europe partaking and willing to learn, so I think this made the whole training an environment of exchanging good practices and learning not only from the trainers but from our peers as well. Having the possibility to transform theory into practice and being mentored by professionals was one of the main things I would like to highlight when talking about the training.

We learned that Advocacy is more complex than we thought it was, but this doesn’t make it any harder to be practiced. Our trainers, especially Kent explained in a detailed and systematic way the main steps of Advocacy, our potential allies, our opposition and the tools we can use in achieving our goals and causes.

Thinking about every detail, planning an advocacy campaign precisely with all the steps of it included, identifying the sources and tools you can utilize in order to make your campaign as meaningful as possible and what’s the most important – preparing yourself for your potential “enemies” were definitely the most important and useful parts of this training that made us feel more skilled, informed and motivated.

PETRI training

For more information visit http://eecayouthvoice.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/EECAYouthVoice