Promoting The Empowerment of Youth

This case studies the work of an organisation called Global Youth Empowerment Movement (GYEM) in achieving collective growth of the youth in Dubai. The organisation is a global initiative based out of Florida, USA. Dubai is an incredibly fast growing city. It has firmly established itself a major city. But with this growth also comes the influx of a multicultural population into the city. These cultures build new habitats for themselves. But such a mixture of cultures also leads to multicultural collisions which necessitates a need for new and better understandings, insights, experimentation and innovation.

However, providing the youth with a safe space to build their self-esteem and discover their passions, while also breaking down the cultural barriers in the youth’s school, home and community is a difficult task.

There are about 35000 youth in UAE with an unemployment rate of 25%, and as a result they spend a lot of time on leisure, media and retail outlets. Also, the opportunities to participate in communally productive and meaningful programs are few for the youth.

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The program adopted a strategy framework called “ME=WE”. It focuses on the notion that personal growth depends upon collective advancement and vice versa. It is a core concept of transformative empowerment because it includes the individual and the community. Youth are able to channel their energy to create an impact, whether positive or negative. The aim is to strengthen their paths to self-discovery by connecting their passions to paths of service, which leads self-empowerment and contribute to a collective effort to positive social change movement.

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This concept is based on 2 assumptions:

  1.  The transformative power within youth is a natural phenomenon
  2.  A symbiotic organic growth of movement is a key goal

The program started in 2009 with a workshop called (KNOW-DIG-ACT). It focussed on knowing what’s happening in the world and digging deeper with learning from case study, debating storytelling, and acting out situations. Then the action that was required to arrive at a sustainable solution for the problem was discussed. To understand the impact of GYEM, it was decided to gauge the perception and opinions of different youth who were involved with the GYEM workshops as participants, facilitators, or both. A sample of various people was selected, with their education, starting point before the GYEM workshop and the motivation and the vision right now, after the workshop accounted for.

The conclusion of this program was that as the youth’s relationship with the world is quite unpredictable, a need towards building a better society is inevitable. The program helped the youth understand the relationship between self and society, with the youth discovering their identity, passion, purpose, and relationships with their community. It also helped to enhance a collaborative and iterative process of finding needs and prototyping solutions, and to test and implement. Creating Community Capacity through Youth Empowerment in Rural Nicaragua

Latin America has drastically reduced its poverty levels in the last decade. Yet, inspite of such surges in development, many individual countries still struggle with high rates of poverty. Nicaragua is one such country. It is considered one of the poorest countries in the region of Latin America, with 37% of its population suffering from chronic poverty. Further, 16% of the country’s population (approx. 1 million people) is malnourished and struggling to survive daily. The situation is much worse for children, with 22% of children under the age of 5 suffering from stunting, more than 30% under 18 lack primary education and 15% of the all the children, must work to support their families.

To reduce malnutrition and poverty in the population, the government of Nicaragua and several other development partners have expanded its poverty reduction schemes, to include a focus on the development of leadership and soft skills, in addition to vocational and technical training. This emphasis on leadership has also trickled down to the youth programs across the country through a revived interest in youth development as a tool to combat poverty. The positive youth programs have provided young people with the skills to overcome socioeconomic barriers in achieving their goals. An example of such a program is the 4-H program. The four Hs stand for: knowledge, Heart, Health and Hands (Service). The purpose of the 4-H program is to strengthen the positive development of the targeted people, with an emphasis on the following goals:

  1.  To increase agricultural production
  2.  To raise health and living standards of the members
  3.  To improve the conditions of their families and communities

This program was introduced in Nicaragua in the mid-1950s. The program flourished for more than 25 years, with members being able to participate in national and international meets held in Latin America. But with the advent of civil unrest in 1970s, and a civil war in 1979, the program was abandoned as the country plunged deeper into a crisis. Although efforts were made to re-implement the program in the post-war period, the peace was too fragile to support the program, and the4-H disappeared completely in 1993. After nearly 20 years, the idea of reintroducing the program was implemented by Fabretto, an organization dedicated to empowering underserved children through education, nutrition, and economic opportunity.

The organization implemented this using the interaction of conditions with youth development indicators and how these interactions demonstrate opportunity for helping young people to succeed, especially those with significant barriers to success. This framework is called the Community Action Framework for Youth Development. This framework considers the importance of improving young people’s lives with respect to economic self-sufficiency, health and social relations, and contributions to the community. The efforts were focused on young people’s curiosities, hobbies, free time, and social involvement. To accomplish this, the following objectives were addressed:  determine the activities young people consider most important with respect to 4 categories: curiosities, social service, hobbies, and for fun  compare the young people’s answers with the socio economic situation of their communities.

The responses of young people reflect the realities of their day to day activities. Also the interest in cultural and entrepreneurial activities were extremely important to the young people analysed. Their concern for the preservation of the environment was also commendable. They communicated an awareness of how important reforestation is to their future and expressed a desire to ensure that the forests surrounding their communities stay healthy. This study shows that young people are keenly aware of their contextual conditions and engage in a plethora of activities that contribute to their families and their communities. Also the activities which were carried out in free time and as hobbies were oriented towards income generation and entrepreneurship.

Coming back to home base, The Government of India, from 2016-2020, has implemented the PMKVY to develop the skills of the young population of India. The scheme was approved on 20th March, 2015. The scheme was subsequently launched on 15 July, 2015, on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. PMKVY is implemented by National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) under the guidance of the ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). With a vision of “Skilled India”, MSDE aims to skill India on a large scale with speed and high standards. The target of the scheme is to impart skills to 10 million youth of the country.

Under the short term training guidelines, the youth are recruited in specialised PMKVY Training Centres to undergo skill training. Apart from training in certain vocational skills, the training centres shall also impart training in Soft skills, Entrepreneurship, Financial and Digital Library. Duration of the training varies per job role, ranging from 150 to 300 hours. Upon completion of the training the candidates are placed in the companies associated with this program, which are termed as thee Training Partners.

Under PMKVY, the entire training and assessment fees are paid by the government. The companies which are the training partners are also handed specific pay-outs to encourage their increased participation in the program. There is also the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Guidelines, which identify individuals with prior learning experiences or skills, assessed and certified under this component of the scheme. RPL aims to align the competencies of the unregulated workforce of the country to the National Skills Qualification Framework.

These case studies clearly show that not only internationally, but also nationally in India, many schemes and programs are being implemented to mobilise and increase the skillsets of the youth. But more than anything, it is the motivation of the youth itself that matters to bring about the change. Which such a large share of the population, if the youth of the world is mobilised to work towards specific targets, then they can will their way to achieve those targets. The example of Nicaragua shows that the youth in the poorest of countries has the dreams and the skills to compete in the world. All that’s needed are the correct skills and the motivation to develop and use the same.

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Promoting The Empowerment of Youth. (2021, Dec 30). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/promoting-the-empowerment-of-youth-essay

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