IPPF south Asia region Office has been holding youth retreat meetings in every south Asia region member Association to build the capacity of the young people participating in the GC as well as use the platform to discuss on youth net working and youth Adults participation. This event was included the youth representatives at the governance , AFGA youth volunteers, Executive board members as well as the Member Association staff working on youth programmes and government and related NGOs representatives.
This meeting was the first Youth retreat Meeting of the Afghanistan. It was the first step of building a local network among the youth and to have a healthy and effective interaction between the youth volunteers of the different partners.
For two days, we had a dialogue between the youth volunteers from various partners and their youth focal points.
- To build the capacity of the young people on youth participation and youth and adult participation
- To develop a youth net working at the MA level
- To plan cohesive programmes on adolescents and young people across the region with inputs from MA youth representatives
- Next year plan
The meeting is designed to incorporate capacity building and planning elements in a participatory and sharing environment. Apart from sharing youth programmes / interventions and activities in each partner, the participants are expected to learn from the experiences, good practices and challenges faced by their colleagues in the country.
DAY 1 – Monday, 1 March 2010
The meeting started by recitation of Holy Quran and after that the presence of the President of AFGA Dr Mahruf Sami and the ECO Dr N.akbari. The morning session included presentation on Afghan youth problems and current youth programs in Afghanistan by Dr Feriba Hosham HIV and Adolescent program manager.
- Decades of conflict have contributed to the classification of Afghanistan as a least developed country.
- The central statistics office estimated the 2007 population at 24.5 million
- 80 % of population lives in rural areas
- 68% of population is under 25
- Total fertility rate 6,8 children per woman
- Among 15-24 year –old male and female ,literacy is 50% and 18%
- Secondary school enrolment is 23 % for male and 7 % for female
- 14% of girls marry before the age of 15
- 10% of girls are pregnant before the age of 15
- Maternal mortality ratio 1600death per 100000 live births
- Customary laws
- Traditional practices often deny women and girls rights related to education ,access to services and decision making
- GBV is common
- Lack of access to information
- Lack of access to friendly services
- Early marriage
- Psychosocial problems
- economic problems
- Drug abuse
- Lack of community support.
Ms. Mahboba babakakil program Director of DMOY spoke about the DMOY (Deputy Ministry of Youth) achievements as following:
- The DMOY was established on 2007 in Kabul city and have 27 sub office in provinces.
- Providing information and counselling services through 16 youth information centres
- Capacity building program on Computer and English langue.
- Provided higher education facility for 3500 youth.
- Provide vocational training.
- Establish youth parks in university.
- Coloration with 9 ministries (ministry of Education, ministry of women. MOPH, ministry of Social affair, …).
- National joint youth program from 2007-2009 with collaboration of UN agencies .this program is stopped after review because it was not coordinated well.
She had a suggestion for all organizations to share their planned activities with DMOY.
Mrs.Narges Hemat youth fellow of UNFPA said that the UNFPA is working on RH and Adolescent and they provide technical and financial support for MOPH and DMOY. Also they trained peer educators and establish youth panel.
Dr . Yusuf Barealay member of MOPH child and Adolescent directorate said the MOPH has developed policy for child and adolescent .also they provide RH services for young people through one clinic funded by UNFPA but the after 3 months they don’t have fund.
During the discussion there was a discussion and comments on providing sexual education for young people .most of participants were against this activity due to social cultural barriers but we can increase the capacity of youth through different ways.
The next session was on youth participation .through this session the participants were divided in 4 groups and share their ideas on how can they participate in AFGA programs .finally the find some way as following:
- Orientation of AFGA
- Capacity building
- Advocacy with myths
- Advocacy for youth right
- Facilitate for youth to use the opportunities.
- Implementation of program
- Participation in meetings
- Decision meeting
- Problem solving
- Awareness’ raising and counseling
- Experience sharing collecting data and survey .
- Member of governance
- Evaluation and monitoring
- Policy development
- Strengthen referral system.
On the second day 2 March 2010:
The morning session was on youth adult participation Mr.Milinda gives some explanation on youth adult participation and the impotents after that we divided the participants in to 4 groups (two young and two adult) and want from them to draw a picture that is show their perception for youth and adult.
The next session was youth net working:
It was a new issue in our country, so first Mr.milinda present 4 modules from 4 MAs (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India .after that the participants divided in to 4 groups to make a module for Afghan youth committee.
During the group works our volunteers came up with four models for youth panel. Based on that, we finalized a frame which has 15 members and three working groups within the committee. and we recognized need of the IPPF support to develop a constitution, TORs and other formalities for this committee.
At the end of the day AFGA Adolescent program manager presented next year plan and receive the suggestion for capacity building.
After the workshop we had a site visit from one youth information center and Deputy ministry of youth affair.
First, we visited one youth information center run by ASCHIAN for much marginalized young boys who are between ages of 14-17. AFGHA maintains a youth information center running by 4 PE (2 female and 2 Male) their providing information on HIV, RH including puberty, drug abuse and referral system for girls. AFGHA has kept various leaflets and posters in local language; also they display few nice posters in the class room. They maintain a register for young people who come from outside.
After having a small, friendly discussion with them we understood few things. First of all we have to revise our IEC materials, Also they asked questions relate to risky behaviors which we didn’t have address in our leaflets receiving, so we have to think about those things seriously.
Then we met main three characters of the Ministry of youth affairs, Director Programme, Director Legal affairs who is a medical doctor and Director Administration. They don’t have a proper Policy, strategy or coordination mechanism but unfortunately AFGHA has to work with them. Ministry is interesting on volunteer training and resource mobilization rather policy support. we offered technical support for mapping and policy level work.
At the last day Dr Akbari, Dr Feriba and Mr.Milida could come up with an action plan based on all these discussions.
1. Formation of the youth committee.
During the group works our volunteers came up with four models for youth panel. Based on that, we finalized a frame which has 15 members (11 from AFGA 4 from partners) and three working groups (Advocacy, Islamic affairs, and information) within the committee. we recognized need of the IPPF support to develop a constitution, TORs and other formalities for this committee.
2. Adaptation of youth volunteers can do anything AFGHA is another MA which really needs to adopt this toolkit with their young volunteers due to lack of knowledge on IPPF, MAs, Advocacy and Rights.
3. Capacity building of youth volunteers They came up with list of capacities required and we allocated those in to above two activities as follow. Counseling, health education and communication you will cover during the peer education training; leadership, basic Management skills and report writing during the formation of youth committee; advocacy and communication during the youth volunteers can do anything.
4. Research skill
This is another suggestion came under capacity needs but it differently due to few reasons. Afghanistan is the only country who doesn’t have a single data on youth. No clue about SRH knowledge or behaviors. Fortunately AFGHA has allocated a budget for a research in this year and many young people are interesting on involving with it. If possible, we train few youth volunteers on basic research skills and getting their help.
5. Working with Deputy Ministry of Youth affairs as we mentioned working with ministry is essential.
We promised them three things, technical support for the mapping, technical support for the youth policy draft and print their youth news letter. Actually AFGHA has already funds for these activities but they need technical support from IPPF because these works are very new to Afghanistan.
6. Development of existing resource centers this is where we have to focus more. Most urgent thing is IEC materials in SRH. Dr. Feriba highlighted need of technical support for this; AFGHA is very new to developing IEC materials on SRH and specially youth friendly documents.