Youth get-together, Youth Melavas, Group discussions and campaigns were conducted in schools, colleges and communities to provide information on youth related programs of the Organization and to clarify the concept of youth participation in strengthening youth programs to encourage the young people to be the part of youth forum. Youth groups were formed in the community level involving both school going and out of school youths with collaboration of local youth clubs. At college level National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers were formed youth groups involving the interested young people. Efforts are made to involve different category of young people in the youth forum. Some of the branches have involved PLHIV and MSM (Men who have sex with men) in their youth forum. Active members from these youth groups were encouraged to be a part of branch level youth forum. 38 branches formed youth forum, out of which 22 branches conducted elections. Remaining branches were instructed to complete the election by the end of November 2010. We are planning to have a meeting of National level youth forum consisting of elected youth members of the branches in the month of December 2010 after completion of the elections at all branch level.
- Participation of young girls in the youth forum was very less in the beginning in some of the places. Conservative thinking of the society did not allow them to come out and be a part of Youth Forum.
- Most of the branches reported that young people were not interested to join the youth forum as they looked for the monetary benefit for the time and efforts they spend.
- It was noticed by majority of the branches that although young people were interested to be a part of Youth Forum, their knowledge on Young people’s SRHR was very poor. This was effecting the active participation of the youth forum members in taking decisions on youth related programs. Orientation programs were conducted for the youth volunteers to enhance their knowledge on SRHR of young people.
- Young people involved in the youth forum were either working or studying. It was very difficult to assemble them together at a time for meeting or discussion. Meeting dates were set on convenient day and time suitable for the members to attend. Sometimes meetings of the youth forum were conducted in the evening or in the weekends as it is convenient for the youth volunteers to attend.
- Irregularity of the youth members for the meeting was effecting to take collective decision. A small committee inside the forum was established to monitor the activities of the youth forum to have regular contact with the other members.
- Youth volunteers residing in the rural areas and far places expecting travel allowance as it was very difficult for them to manage these expenses.
- Parents and community members were hesitant to allow young people to be a part of the youth forum as they were not comfortable, their children discussing sexual and Reproductive Health issues. Sensitization meetings were organized in the community with stakeholders to make them understand the concept of youth forum emphasizing the importance of participation of the young people in strengthening the SRHR programs.
- High Drop out rate of the youth members weakening the formation of youth forums. Continuous efforts are being made to involve the committed members to sustain the youth forum.