Venue: Hotel Ramsar, Ramsar, Iran
Date: 14th and 15th July 2010 (2days)
Activities Conducted at the first day:
First part of the youth retreat workshop was convened at Hotel Ramsar. It was facilitated by Mr. Milinda Rajapaksha, Coordinator – South Asia Regional Youth Network (SARYN) with translation of Ms. Mitra Ahmadinejad, Adolescent officer of FPA Iran.
The first day`s session started at 4 Pm with the participation of 23 youth volunteers from across the country. The workshop was inaugurated by Mr. Ashkan Alavi as the FPA Iran CEO. In his inaugural talk, he welcomes all participants and introduced Milinda to them, while highlighting the importance of SRHR especially among youth. He briefly explains about HIV and AIDS situation including issues surrounding transmission, prevention and treatment and pointed out some statistics about current prevalence of AIDS in Iran, raising the issue of the sharp recent fall in the mean age of transmission in the country, from 35-44 to 25-34 during last 5 years. Mr. Alavi also introduced FPA Iran Drop in Center for vulnerable women, MIKHAK, a project funded by the European Commission.
Mr. Milinda then requested all the participants to actively participate in the workshop then briefly apprised the participants that the workshop shall be conducted by participatory method and group based discussion. He pointed out that the main objectives of the workshop shall be:
(1) Sharing experience
(2) Having discussion board with adults
(3) Introduction on IPPF
(4) Introduction on FPA Iran structure for volunteers and youth
(5) Form a youth committee at the national level and then regional level
(6) And last but not least having FUN!
Prior to the tea break, Ms. Mitra, Adolescent officer of FPA Iran briefly explain about young people`s current situation in Iran through question and answer with participants. Subsequently, the agenda of the second day was set by participant’s collaboration with Milinda.
After the tea break, everyone introduced one fellow through a group activity facilitated by Mr. Milinda. Workshop was finished by 7:30 PM but in order to fulfill the 6th objective of the workshop after a tea break, participants took a group walk to the beach which was only 30 minutes from the Hotel and they enjoy their time till the midnight at the funfair near the beach.
Activities Conducted at the Second day:
Second day started at 9 AM and 31 participants (both adult and youth) attended the workshop which was opened by Dr. Shahriyari Afshar as the President of FPA Iran. In her opening speech, she welcomed all participants and stressed the importance of the role played by youth volunteers in the future of the organization, including governance.
Mr. Milinda then introduced IPPF, its various branches scattered around the world and briefly explained about the structure and the role of youth within the organization`s current structure.
After a tea break he continued with the discussion about IPPF core values and he also shared his experience with participants on how he became a volunteer in IPPF and encouraged the participants to become actively involved about the subjects they feel passionate about.
After lunch, afternoon session began with youth/adult partnership. First Milinda divided the participants into four groups (both adult and youth) and then asked them to have a brain storm on how can a youth volunteer contribute and how to involve youth in FPA Iran?
After a tea break one group presented recommendations on above mentioned questions as below:
v Involvement of youth at every level from policy making to monitoring and evaluation
v Involvement of youth in FPA Iran’s magazine
v National youth committee should be created
v President of FPA Iran accept to arrange a regular meeting with youth volunteers
Last but not least Mr. Milinda briefed the participants about the Bangladesh meeting; also he explained that one representative elected by the youth committee from each MA will be attending the meeting. So as majority of FPA Iran’s youth volunteers from all over the country were there at the workshop, Mr. Alavi asked them to choose one representative among themselves. Accordingly, three youth volunteers registered themselves as candidates, and every eligible participant (youth volunteers) voted. The outcome was that Peyman Pooshnejad was elected by receiving just one more vote than Mitra Mohammadzade, to serve as the Network’s representative.
The workshop ended at 6:00 PM, while participants took a tour to Ramsar Telecabin, after a tea break.