Promoting Meaningful Youth Participation; Young person finally in the ADC!!
The Area Development Committee (ADC) of T/A Liwonde has always comprised of elderly people from the community who are believed to have wisdom and experience to develop their communities. These elders are also from the Village Development Committees (VDCs) and AIECs. This did not give room for the participation of young people in developmental issues. Through the meaningful youth participation (MYP) training that CYECE conducted with the ADC in May 2017, the ADC members have now included a young person in their committee.
The ADC had a change in their attitude towards young people after going through the MYP training where they were challenged to look at people and what they are capable of doing before considering their age. The committee came to the agreement to bring forward a young person because they now believe that young people from youth clubs and youth networks are capable of understanding serious issues affecting the young people, the community as well as the whole district.
This has promoted young people’s involvement in decision making levels and is a stepping stone for young people to be given a platform to make decisions, deepen youthful voices on issues of development in rural areas and in the end claim for their SRHR in the fight against teenage pregnancies and child marriages.
Witness has been given the mandate by the young people, as he was elected twice to be the youth network chairperson because of his leadership skills, to represent them, and speak on their behalf as he has first-hand information from the young people about different issues that concerns them. He has been in the ADC since August 2017 to date.
The youth club members feel that one person is not enough, hence they are advocating for at least two young people to be in the committee. They are to work with different organizations especially those implementing the YID project.
This is step forward in the fight against teen pregnancies and child marriages as young people are and will be further meaningfully involved in decision making levels.