Working with Youth as Partners

by Jason Schwartzman, ChildFund Team Leader for Child & Youth Involvement

Photo of ChildFund India staff

Jason Schwartzman, center, with members of ChildFund India's area staff.

What we have learned from young people in India and across all the countries and communities that we reached out to over the past few months are some central facts:

  • Youth everywhere want to play a role in their communities.
  • They want to participate in decision making.
  • They want to make a difference.

While ChildFund will continue to focus on literacy and education, health and nutrition, livelihood preparation and fostering the resiliency of children of all ages, we are moving rapidly into newer territory — working with youth as partners.

We are bringing young people together to discuss ideas, develop solutions for their own lives and help ChildFund make decisions about its future program offerings. We are talking to youth, we are listening and we are responding to what we learn.

One Response to Working with Youth as Partners

  • Yes, you are 100% right. Particularly in rural areas, local governance institutions are being given more and more powers, but our young people are not showing any inclination for political participation. They consider politics to be too complicated and even dirty. This attitude needs to change. Only when educated, motivated young people take over local institution like Panchayats/Municipalities, with adequate knowledge about legal provisions and schemes (RTI, MGNREGS, PDS, FRA, RTE, NRHM etc.) there is hope for any genuine progress. In this regard we are planning to take up some youth leadership programme in a limited number of Panchayats before the Odisha Panchayat elections in March-2012.

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