Vocational skills and peace education for young people – The 2022 development cooperation results report is here
We have published a report on the first year of the Youth, Peace and Livelihood Programme , during which both successes and challenges were encountered. Significant steps were taken in Kenya, where impressive groundwork was conducted in support of the National Youth, Peace and Security Action Plan process, and in Palestine, where the same agenda was skillfully applied to the local context and activities under demanding conditions. Through the important grassroots work carried out by our local YMCA partners, we have the expertise and mandate to influence and promote youth’s livelihoods, peace, and development.
The programme is dedicated to supporting young people, their well-being and empowerment, through accelerating access to livelihoods opportunities and opening avenues to advocate for peace. YMCAs provide tools and platforms for young people to improve their own and their communities’ standard of living and transform society to be more just and sustainable. The target groups of the activities are young people in a vulnerable position and in fragile conditions, especially young women.
The position of YMCA partners in the local civil society is also strengthened through the programme, which was implemented in six countries, The Gambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lebanon, Palestine and Finland.
The year 2022 in figures
“During 2022, a total of 3,789 children, young people, and duty-bearers, i.e., teachers and authorities, participated in the programme activities. About 48 percent of them were women and 52 percent were men. In addition, an estimated 8500+ people were indirectly affected. Finnish young people also participated in the programme through the Global Citizenship Education activities and the YMCA Peacemakers learning platform”, summarises Milla Mäkinen Programme Manager from YMCA Finland.
In 2022, previous development cooperation projects were merged into one programme and the work extended to Ethiopia and regional cooperation through the Africa Alliance of YMCAs. The programme was exceuted with a total of just over 907,000 euros during the year. The implementation rate of the four-year program was about 22 percent in comparison to the costs and reach of the activities.
The peace work reached 2261 young people
One of the important processes within the programme is the further conceptualisation of the YMCA’s peace work approach.
A safe and inclusive community, sense of belonging and meaningful skills help channelling the potential of young people into constructive endeavours, potentially breaking the cycle of negativity in their lives. By nurturing trust among each other, youth can effectively prevent and mitigate local conflicts, assuming the role of peacemakers.
The peace work programme strengthens young people’s capacities to prevent and mitigate conflicts and to actively participate in their communities to drive their development. The activities, including global education, directly reached a total of 2,261 young people during the year.
Conditions of peace are also built through global education. In 2022, we raised the awareness of the 313 youth workers in our local associations about global education and its implementation in their work in Finland. 965 children and young people increased their knowledge and skills about promoting peace and sustainable development. Events, meetings and trainings produced more than 7,000 hours of global education in total.
The Livelihood programme strengthens young people’s working life skills
Educated and skilled young people can influence the social, economic, environmental and institutional conditions that surround them. The livelihood programme increases young people’s opportunities for education, training and employment and strengthens their resilience in challenging conditions.
YMCAs’ offer work life skills, vocational and entrepreneurship training. Through education, young people gain the necessary skills to reach their full potential, become active members of society, and take care of themselves and their families.
The activities directly reached 1,384 young people during the operating year.
We reduce inequality and promote human rights
High-quality programme work, strong partnerships and advocacy generate immediate results such as strengthened knowledge, professional skills, and small businesses.
“These results contribute to broader developments such as women’s educational attainment, the civic activity of young people, and vibrant civil society. In the longer term, these changes are linked to the Sustainable Development Goals such as raising standards of living, reducing inequality and realisation of the human rights”, explains Milla Mäkinen.
In addition to funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and our great colleagues, the key enablers of our activities are our member associations, volunteers and many other cooperating organisations. Above all, thanks go to our professional YMCA partners in local communities who work tenaciously in sometimes very challenging operating environments.
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Our Youth, Peace and Livelihoods Development Cooperation Programme aims to improve local living conditions and promote livelihood opportunities and peace-building skills for young people. The programme will be implemented with YMCA partners in Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kenya, Lebanon and Palestine 2022–2025, with funding from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.