During the Regional Council and Management Meeting in Bruges, Belgium in 2019 IPPF ENRO and YSAFE shared the results of the Member Associations’ (MAs) survey and survey of the young volunteers on the implementation of the Youth Centred Approach (YCA) in their organizations. The main conclusion of the survey presented that more work needs to be done on the MA level to ensure that youth has an opportunity for meaningful participation and access to youth-friendly services and sexuality education. As an outcome of the survey, IPPF EN started the YCA Initiative offering MAs assistance in their journey of strengthening youth participation.
We started with the training of the trainers (ToT) session in summer – a very humid time to be in Belgium. This is when in sweat and tears (of joy) YSAFE SC, ENRO, amazing consultant Doortje Braeken, and 4 expert member associations worked on the development of a Toolkit on introducing and improving YCA. Moreover, the task of these MAs (Albania, Cyprus, Germany, and Kyrgyzstan) was to become the Coaches on using this Toolkit and share their best practices with other MAs, the coachees.
Besides contributions to the Toolkit, YSAFE (Simon, Maryna, and Muna) conducted a session “Being part of an international movement: YSAFE” and presented the “YCA survey of IPPF EN MAs” to ensure that all MAs are updated on the opportunities YSAFE can present their volunteers with and inform about the current situation with YCA in IPPF EN Member Associations. The training also highlighted the long way to go by IPPF EN and the MA’s in ensuring a youth-centred approach.
The next step of the Initiative was involving other Member Associations to receive training on YCA. The call was announced throughout the network and 9 MAs were chosen: MA in Portugal, MA France, MA Latvia, MA Romania, MA Bosnia and Herzegovina, MA Ireland, MA Spain, MA in Tajikistan, and MA in Ukraine. The Coach MAs and the Coachees MAs were put into contact according to the needs of the later. The Coachee MAs have visited the expert MA for a study visit during which they saw good practices and met and discussed the work of those involved, learned about each others work and country context and, of course, met the youth team. Later, the Coach and the Coachee MAs prepared their Actions Plans on improving youth participation on all levels of the organizations. The ENRO also supported these initiatives with a ‘seed funding’.
During the meeting of Coach and Coachee MAs in Brussels in April 2019, the Toolkit was finalized with the inputs from all MAs and lessons learned from the implementation process. We congratulate all those involved – the Coach MAs as well as the Coachees – with their achievements in setting up or improving the existing youth groups and meaningfully involving them in programme and budget activities. Our next steps will be to spread the good practice of YCA training through the Coach-Coachee mentorship further among the IPPF EN MAs!
Maryna & Muna