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UNICEF trains young facilitators of Adolescents & Youth Forum

© UNICEF Kazakhstan / 2009 / Shaykenova
Young participants at the training in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

ALMATY, Kazakhstan - May 23, 2009

UNICEF, the National Healthy Lifestyle Centre and the Department of Health of Almaty brought together 26 young people from across people Kazakhstan to prepare them in adolescent- and youth-centered participatory facilitation techniques.

The young girls and boys worked over six days to gain extensive understanding on core child rights principles and application, guidelines on adolescent and youth participation and participatory facilitation skills. The objective for this programme is to work with young facilitators to conduct sub-national consultations across the country with many other adolescent and youth in the coming moths. This will lead to gaining insight and understanding on issues and priorities of young people in Kazakhstan as well as increased understanding on current youth action on social development.

This will culminate into the National Adolescent/Youth Forum planned later in the year and its follow up. This process will bring issues, recommendations and youth actions strengthening their civic engagement.

One of the young facilitator described his role of a facilitator: “If you can’t be the road, then be the mountain path. If you can’t be the moon, be the guiding star. Make all the best to let people be proud of themselves, be yourself, it's best just to be yourself”.

Furthermore, young people worked on planning for the proposed adolescent and youth forum. This unique process involves young people from the planning phase through the follow up phase. The organizers is expecting that this will lead to strengthening of young people active role in society and contribute to their and social development with their active participation.

“I strongly believe that exactly these young people are the heart of this initiative, those who will make the voices of their peers throughout the whole country are heard and taken into account by the society”, said Aigul Kadirova, Programme Officer in the UNICEF Kazakhstan Country Office.

“It was amazing how joint work and genuine collaboration of young people allowed them themselves to raise many issues of their concern and children concern”, Ainash Shaykenova, representative of National Healthy Lifestyle Centre. The training of young facilitators was conducted by Ravi Karkara, participation specialist from UNICEF HQ, with wide and long experiences on working with children and young people globally.

The expert facilitated the group using participatory methodology based on minimum and ethical standards of consulting young people. “Our commitment to capacitate young people in facilitation is to bring them to the centre of the development discourse. Their commitment, enthusiasm and energy is exceptional and I have learned a lot from them. Their spirit will drive this process and its follow up”, said Ravi Karkara.



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