Benedict Rimando, World Vision


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"Youth as change factor"
Regional Review Conference on the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development
Geneva, Switzerland | 8-9 July 2014

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  • Anood, a 16-year-old girl from the Palestinian Territories, explained why peace is the most important issue for her. “Protection and security are major rights to achieve children’s well being,” she said. “I wish to live in a world full of happiness and peace.”
  • Kids for Peace in Kosovo led by Fatmire Feka awarded with the WV Peace Prize for their involvement to help bring about integrated peace and development in the society. They have brought kids from Bosnian and Albanian sides together.
  • Youth centres for educational and recreational activities build bridges between young people of various backgrounds, which have traditionally been divided by cultural and language barriers
  • MENA, esp. Lebanon
  • Youth and children from mono-ethnic and mono-religious communities meet together and learn about one another’s religion and culture.
    Twelve year old Sanja from Pale stated; “It was important for us children to see that it is not about who lives where or what our names are. The focus is that we are all human beings!”
  • From cluster bombs to child labour, Lebanese children have shed light on the issues affecting children in Lebanon in an unprecedented child-led report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. Over a period of two months, children from Beirut, the Bekaa valley and Marjeyoun, Southern Lebanon, came together to brainstorm about issues that affect children. They then analysed, debated and agreed on the information to include in their report. “In our Children’s Council in Marjeyoun, we decided to research about cluster bombs and landmines and how this situation affects the lives of children in Lebanon,” says Joelle, 13. “We live in fear of cluster bombs and this causes psychological problems and lack of freedom of movement in our villages,” says Kassem, 14. “This is violence against children. We decided to write about street children in the report. We put ourselves in the place of street children and it is a terrible situation that no child wants to live in.”
  • Young people’s leadership and roles in preventing and resolving conflict, violence and extremism are rich resources
    essential to achieving sustainable peace. Young people are valuable innovators and agents of change, and their contributions
    should be actively supported, solicited and regarded as essential to building peaceful communities and supporting democratic
    governance and transition. Moreover, young people’s participation promotes civic engagement and active citizenship.
  • Benedict Rimando, World Vision

    1. 1. EMPOWERING CHILDREN AND YOUTH AS PEACEBUILDERS (6th WV Youth Peace Conference attended by youth leaders from Kosovo and Albania) - Benedict Rimando, WVI Peacebuilding Advisor, Geneva
    2. 2. 350 youth from Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina learn more about each others’ cultures and share their thoughts on topics such as conflict resolution and leadership. Balkans Peace Camp The voices of children and young people were heard loud and clear, as they made representations on behalf of their peers from Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Georgia, Germany, Kosovo, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories and Romania. Middle East and Eastern European Peace Forum
    3. 3. Peace Day activities for 200 Albanian and Serbian youth Kosovo Kids for Peace in Kosovo led by Fatmire Feka Peace Clubs have around 400 members Romania Working to stop human trafficking
    4. 4. Young Vision group of youth Albania Children and youth unite their voices in Tirana Damar Omladine Youth Association of >300 local teenagers Breaking down prejudices between Catholic, Orthodox & Islam youth through Peace Camps Bosnia Herzegovina
    5. 5. Youth involved in campaigns to end violence Young Peacebuilders’ Summer camp Youth for youth program Georgia
    6. 6. “Youth Development and Employment Networking” Youth centres in Azerbaijan build bridges between young people traditionally divided by cultural and language barriers Azerbaijan Armenia Aware, Raising Voice and Taking Action (ART) programme for youth
    7. 7. El Salvador, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru, Colombia: youth in urban settings: « Peace builders movement » Philippines: ECAP programme among Christian, Muslim and Indigenous youth India: Empowering children and youth in peacebuilding Sri Lanka: Young people as voices of peace nb.Vikasitha Siyapath (peace song) Indonesia: ECAP programme among Christian and Muslim youth Pakistan: Peace and governance Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, S. Sudan, Rwanda: Peace Learning Center Peace Hubs Peace and Reconciliation Program ECAP implementation in other regions MENA, esp Lebanon: Peacebuilding advocacy in children’s councils, faith and dialogue programme
    8. 8. Inter-faith and inter- ethnic dialogue allow youth to be instruments of healing Youth empowerment: Key aspects Peace and reconciliation programs allow the young people to get over the trauma of conflict and become positive agents for change 1 2
    9. 9. First child-led report submitted to the HR Council in Geneva Child-led report on the UPR mechanism in Geneva by kids from Albania Youth empowerment: Key aspects Empowered youth and children can do many great things for peace, including through peer education 3
    10. 10. Nour Nahas from the Lebanese Youth Council supported by WVI gives her address at the launching of the Guidelines. Developped by SFCG, IAYNID with the support of partners including WVI guidingprinciples/ Young people are valuable innovators and agents of change 4 Youth empowerment: Key aspects
    11. 11. 200 young people from 13 countries hold their own football world cup in Recife, Brazil to speak out against violence MJPOP (Youth Monitoring of Public Policies) in Casa Grande, Recife, Brazil Peace marathon in Rwanda Peace marathon in Lebanon Giving space to youth creativity 5 Youth empowerment: Key aspects