Empowering youth volunteers through peer education

Your hands are shaking. The paper in your hands are trembling. You look up and see a big crowd. Everyone looks at you with expectations you feel you have no idea how to meet. As a youth, you always step into something new. Of course, you have not experienced everything at the age of 16. As a youth, you have only climbed 10% of the mountain of life and have new areas to explore. Then it all comes down to the question; do youth have the opportunity, tools, skills and knowledge to climb higher and explore more?

Yes, youth have the skills to climb higher – they just need to get the tools to do it.

Youth Volunteer facilitates his first training

«After a time I felt like I was the teacher. I was nervous in the beginning, but after some time I got more confident», said a Red Cross Youth Volunteer in 11th grade after facilitating a Red Cross Training. It was his first time facilitating a training. He is a great example that youth are not only the future, youth are the present, right here and now.   Youth are able to contribute to a positive change through their knowledgde and skills with others. Youth know a lot about being youth, and their experiences as youth provide additional perspectives on the world, from a different angel than that of adults.  Youth play an important role. The 16 year old youth volunteer was trusted and given the opportunity to step up, take responsibility and be involved in conveying his knowledge with other youth.

 

YDEP - increasing empowerment and involvement

Strengthening the capacity of youth is one of YDEP`s goals. We work on and with empowering youth. What does empowerment mean you may wonder? Empowering is to enable, give power and give authority. The 11th grade YouthVolunteer was enabled through participating at a training provided by the Youth Delegates where he learned about Red Cross Movement and International Humanitarian Law. At the training he also learned how he could teach this away to youth volunteers in his Youth Circle (A Youth Volunteer Group). When we work on empowerment of youth by ensuring youth involvement and inclusion we pave the way in structural aspects also. Through discussions with the school administration and the Red Cross District about how youth themselves are enabled to teach away their knowledge to other youth.

 

Peer education; Exchange of knowledge between participants having something in common

Peer means equal. Both the Youth Trainer and the Youth Volunteer participating are equal through being a youth,  being Red Cross Volunteers and having something else in common. The trainer is not the overall expert, rather the person is a facilitator. The trainer pass on his/her expert knowledge, while it is also about a mutual exchange of experiences were both the trainers and the youth learn from one another. Participants in this kind of trainings can gain skills to strengthen their local communities and take more control over their lives.

To see more of that we and the Youth Volunteers do in Tanahun District, follow Ola Ungdomsdelegat and Kathrine Ungdomsdelegat on Facebook.