We are Elfi and Ingrid, two Norwegian Red Cross volunteers who will be working as Youth Delegates for the Kenyan Red Cross Society (KRCS) in 2018-2019. We will be based in Nanyuki for a nine-month period, to work with young volunteers and increase youth engagement within Laikipia Red Cross. This blog will serve as a platform to spread information about our activities with youth volunteers in Laikipia, and to share our Kenyan experience in general.
More about the Youth Delegates:
Elfi is 24 years old and comes from the small town of Arendal in the south of Norway. She has recently completed a bachelor's degree in Culture and Communication at the University of Oslo and Maastricht University. She has more than ten years of volunteering experience from several youth organizations, including 8 years for the Red Cross both at local, national and international levels. Her main areas of focus have been organizational development, youth participation, and activities with migrants. Elfi has previously participated in another exchange to Kenya and is excited to return to the country to learn more Swahili, eat KDFs and to work alongside Red Cross volunteers and staff in Laikipia.
Ingrid is 26 years old and originally comes from the municipality of Rauma, which lies in a fjord in the North-western part of Norway. She holds a BA in Development Studies from the University of Oslo and an MA in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Essex. She has gained international experience from studying, interning and volunteering in countries such as Bangladesh, Namibia, Rwanda and the UK. Ingrid also has experience as an executive officer working with educational administration. Ingrid has been a volunteer at the Oslo Red Cross Information Centre since April 2017. She is looking forward to meeting Red Cross youth volunteers and staff, and is eager to make Nanyuki her home and begin life in Kenya.
Why are we spending the next year with Red Cross in Laikipia?
Since 2001 the Norwegian Red Cross (NorCross) has run an exchange program aimed at strengthening youth engagement in Norway and abroad - the Youth Delegates Exchange Program (YDEP).
Every year NorCross facilitates the exchange of 12 Youth Delegates between Red Cross and Red Crescent (RC/RC) National Societies. YDEP seeks to strengthen youth’s contribution to the RC/RC Movements’ overall goal to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. By engaging youths we will have stronger RC/RC National Societies.
Have you ever heard the phrase that “women lifts half the sky”, or maybe you have read or seen the book or film with that title? Following this metaphor, and using UN statistics, youth (10-24) lifts 1/4th of the sky. Youth make up 1,8 billion of the world population, and they make up half of the RC/RC volunteers (Youth Engagement Strategy, 2013, p.4). In RC/RC we aim to “educate, empower and enable an environment” that allows those of us who are youths to do our lifting.
YDEP seeks to contribute to the engagement of our youth volunteers. In doing this we have four overall objectives, which are:
● To increase the capacity of young volunteers to address the needs of the most vulnerable
● To increase the participation of young volunteers in decision making processes
● To enhance cultural exchange of RC/RC experiences, activities and RC/RC knowledge among youth volunteers
● To promote a culture of non-violence & peace amongst young volunteers.
Wondering what we will do more specifically? Curious? Then you are most welcome to follow us here on this blog throughout the coming year.
Facebook: @rcyouthdelegates / YDEP_Red Cross Youth Delegate Exchange Programme