In Nepal, Red Cross actually works in schools, and it's called "Red Cross Junior/Youth Circle". This means that you can become a member of Red Cross from the very first day in school, and some of these members will form a Junior/youth circle. From grade 1.-8. it's called Junior Circle and from grade 8.- and up (including university) its called Youth Circle. The circle contains of eleven boys and girls and one Teacher (called Teacher sponsor), where the youths have different positions such as Chairperson, secretary, treasurer and members and they have regularly meetings to plan and discuss about activities. The Teacher Sponsor is a guide for the circle, especially in the junior level, and follow them up and help initiate activities. A common activity is to arrange competitions in different topics like; quiz, spelling, debate, poem etc, and this is normally held on Fridays, in non-curriculum time. More Red Cross activities are also arranged by youths such as blood donation, reusable sanitary pad workshop, sanitation drive and more.
But back to the headline, yesterday the District Chapter and we (the Youth Delegates) arranged the first of three Red Cross trainings that will be held in the district within the next two months. The training was about Red Cross and Red Crescent history, the fundamental principles, organisational structure, international humanitarian law and it ended with a session we held about the ladder of youth participation. The ladder of participation is a tool that clearly shows how to include and exclude youths for taking part in decision-making and planning and arranging activities. Since this training was held only for teachers, it was a good arena to share the importance of including youths in both planning and arranging activities and events.
At the end of the day the participants evaluated the training and gave feedback on what they found most interesting. Here is what one of them shared:
We are glad to hear that the Red Cross knowledge has been gained, and even that the ladder of participation will be brought back to the circle!