Youth activities have always been a key thematic area of Deliverance Church and are mainstreamed into the Alfred Polo Foundation goals. As young people in the region need to increasingly play active roles in policies and programs that are geared towards fulfillment of their reproductive health and rights, the Church, establishes a youth committee to organize the youth programmes and the Youth Conference a day prior to the main conference.
With the joint efforts from the conference steering and organizing committees, the Youth Committee planned a series of activities and programs that aim to connect young leaders across the region to work together throughout the conference. The Youth Day seminars and workshops, along with parallel panel meetings and discussions, will create distinct platform to facilitate experience learning and sharing among young people themselves, and also to established space for constructing genuine youth and adult partnerships with each other. The youth program intensified the involvement of youth and will present a united voice to address sexual and reproductive health challenges and opportunities through the conference to the region.
Alfred Polo Foundation Objectives:
• To systematically review the situation of the adolescents and youth in the East Africa region in the past two decades including good practices within health systems, issues, and challenges beyond 2015;
• To draw a platform of action beyond 2015 which would address the youth’s needs and challenges;
• To ensure the youth’s active and meaningful involvement in the conference through their participation in capacity-building workshops, discussion groups and other related activities; and
• To create new youth coalitions and strengthen alliances that would continue to promote conference.
Activities on the Youth Conference:
1. Opening Ceremony – At the opening Ceremony of Regional Youth Conference, the Youth Committee invited the Chairperson of the conference to deliver a welcome speech to all youth delegates, the Chairperson of the Youth committee introduced the objectives and agenda of the youth Forum, in which the main activities were briefly introduced.
2.Capacity building workshop – Alfred Polo Foundation was involved in the capacity building workshop, this was initiated to make sure youths participants get better brief introduction of The Conference, and current global agenda and achievements. In particular participants were given the opportunity to discuss the specific youth- related global indicators.
3. Networking Activities – Networking would be the KEY factor during such events, AP Foundation encourages such to enable youths from all over east Africa to share ideas and different activities would be introduced during such times and throughout the conference and youth related sessions/workshops. A lunch reception was provided in the youth forum for youth leaders to know each other.
4. Youth Organization Promotion and experience Sharing – In this section, major youth-serving and Alfred Polo Foundation oriented organizations in the East Africa region were invited to introduced their work and experience with other organizations and youth delegates. It is expected that the participants will provide
• A brief Summary of the issue facing young people in their country/ region;
• Successful strategies used for improving amongst young people and promoting the rights of
young people; and
• Useful lessons learnt (including what did not work)
5. Youth Causes for the Development of key advocacy Messages for the Conference for better youth participants , Alfred Polo Foundation youth Committee believes that it is utmost important to develop a key youth advocacy message to conferences. Through advocacy campaigns at the, we can effectively sensitize policy makers, donor and government official to be accountable for their commitment. The advocacy campaign could also help to enable positive dialogues between youth and adults to work together towards youth friendly policies and improved different programs. The Foundation Committee Plans to hold 2ndparticipatory approach that provides the venue for young people to discuss, deliberate and enhance the messages. Alfred Polo Foundation will also open top adult participants as a way to develop youth and adult partnership and encourage intergenerational encounter where both parties collaborate with each other.
6. Cultural Exchange Night – The Foundation believes that culture exchange can promote better partnerships between young people themselves , especially in the context of diverse cultural practices. A Cultural Exchange Night was provided such a platform that youth delegates could advance their understanding of the diversity of youth in the region. The cultural exchange Night will provide a direct and visual channel for all participants to learn different cultural backgrounds of participants and also learn to respect each other’s culture and customs. PEACE LOVE & UNITY.
– This part was organized during the main conference, it provided good communication background. It is envisaged that young people can come and received accurate and up- to date information and resources on issues relevant to them in their work and personal lives in a youthful friendly space. Besides the youth hub, youth organization booths will be seen for promoting the main work and concept of youth organizations in the region.
Commitment Exchange Board – The youth Committee will organize a Commitment Exchange Board where will ask participants to make a commitment to promoting SRH rights for young people in their own country. Young participants made a commitment to volunteer more time with a youth organizations and adult participants including government Officials, community leaders, policy makers, donors (may commit various resources and support youth participation principles).
Youth Mentoring Programme – This being the core of Alfred Polo Foundations’ programs, it aims on how to improve friendship, guidance and support to youth delegates enabling them to participate meaningfully throughout the conference. This also encouraged youths and adult partnership, transfer skills and appreciates working together towards meaningful youth participation at the conference. The Youths shared experiences, help each other to be able to carry out goals and messages throughout the Youth Caucuses. The AP Foundation caucus focses on conference.
Public Blog, Facebook Page, Youtube Channel and Live Tweeting – As young people desire to make a change, more young people, especially those that could not attend the conference in person, interested to access the conference activities. Alfred Polo Foundation encouraged the Youth Conference committee to establish a Youth Conference Blog, Twitter and Facebook Pages and upload videos of Conference sessions on Youtube. These are current popular and widely accepted ways to share everything to everyone freely. The youth committee will ensure that everyone can post their comments, feelings. Lesson learned and experiences of the conference in the public blog and Facebook page, which will increase communications amongst youth, organizations and adults.
The Youth Village – Alfred Polo Foundation youth village is an open space for networking and dialogues among the youth and other delegates. This is a stage for live performance, music, dance, fashion shows and theatre arts. It was scheduled shows and other socio-cultural activities addressing reproductive and sexual health and rights issues. Sporting activities were introduced and the church will carry on with the programme within the Kitengela region.
Feedbacks and Evaluation – The Foundation evaluation team conducted during and after the youth day activities. Both quantity of participants and quality of programs were evaluated by a subgroup of the Youth Committee. Feedback from youth programs was documented through digital videos and photo records.