Spread across three continents these five YMCA/YWCA organisations work together on an exchange project focused on youth and young women. The approach varies, but their overall goal is mutual: to create safe spaces for youth to develop and to give them the tools they need to take charge of their lives. Through the Communication for Change program the participant develops their own skills, knowledge, and experience, which will enable them to continue working for international solidarity.
The community surrounding Illula YWCA in Tanzania, the lack of opportunities for youth has lead to high numbers teen pregnancies, school dropouts, crime and addiction. The participants organise activities and work on the attitudes towards women in the communities, as well as act as role models for the youth.
South Africa face a number of challenges in attitudes towards the LGBTQI community. In the society this group is stigmatised, and experience lack of rights, isolation and violence. The exchange participants combat this by creating safe spaces for these marginalised youths and by raising awareness.
For Madagascar YWCA it is the plight of young girls that takes center stage. Many girls are victims of mental, physical and sexual violence, and there are a lack of knowledge, help and support offered. By opening a youth house with the aim of being a safe space for girls in the heart of Antananarivo, the participants will create a safe space for the girls.
Bangladesh YWCA focuses on equality. A major issue in the area is online harassment, which they call cyber offences, with the illegal spreading of private images of young girls and boys. The participants will work on trainings on how to use social media, and how to make personal data secure. Additionally the participants in this YWCA will develop a training program and conduct trainings to expand the organisation’s capacity to work on these issues.
Norges YMCA-YWCA part in the project will target social exclusion and vulnerable youths. By using the House of Change, the participants will organise activities and mobilise youth. The posting in Norway is different than at the other partners in the way that instead of teams of five people they are together the whole group of 20 participants living at a folk high school in Ulsteinvik.
Norges KFUK-KFUM — Communication for Change
South Africa YMCA