Democratic Republic of Congo government, Nongovernmental organizations, United Nations Agencies and other stakeholders in the peacebuidling processes and community resiliency in DRCongo regularly make decisions about issues and services that directly affect youth and disadvantaged women, such as services and programs for children protection, education, recreation, health, DDRR (Disarmament, Demobilization, Regroupment and reintegration of children ex-combatants in civil life), socio – economic reintegration, climate change, etc.
However, although DRC’s government, NGOs, UN agencies operating in Eastern Congo regions often seeks the input of their stakeholders, youth themselves tend to have few opportunities to give their input on the issues that affect them. But the truth is young people are citizens too with rights and responsibilities! According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, they have the legal right to express their views freely and fully participate in all matters that impact them.
Youth makes the seventy five per cent of the DRC’s population age (15 – 35 old), young people are a huge untapped resource for organizations and communities. They are the real experts on their experiences, needs and interactions with organizations. They can offer organizations fresh perspectives on issues, innovative problem solving, the ability to rise above traditional boundaries in our country DRC to make new connections, and the courage to pose tough questions that need to be asked.
Organizations that engage youth in decision-making processes make decisions that are more responsive and appropriate to youth needs and interests
Youth civic engagement for peace program is the concept and practice of meaningfully engaging youth in decisions that affect them, their peers and their community. Youth civic engagement for peace ensures that young people become an integral part of the work of organizations, peace processes and communities resiliency in Eastern of Congo and that their voices help shape the future. Through youth civic engagement, youth are no longer seen as recipients of services but as peacebuilders that are actively engaged and involved in the issues and processes of peacebuilding. Engagement is more than just a dialogue between adults and young people; it is about adults and youth working together as equal partners to make decisions and create change. Organizations practicing youth engagement will benefit from the expertise and experiences of youth and will be able to do a better job of creating and sustain¬ing the services, opportunities and supports that young people need for healthy growth and development.
adults and youth working together as equal partners to make decisions and create change
Youth civic engagement for peace in Eastern of Congo program (VIJANA WA AMANI) helps organizations further positive youth development and build the capacity of young people. Organizations can improve the quality and quantity of youth opportunities by meaningfully engaging young people in the work itself. The principles and practices of youth civic engagement described below can help build the capacity of organizations intervening in Eastern of Congo and communities to ensure that all youth, particularly disadvantaged one, believe that they have the responsibility and resources needed to make the EASTERN CONGO a better place for themselves, their families and their peers.
Youth Civic engagement for peace in eastern of Congo, youth are gathered from their respective cities, villages, that are called Cities of peace and villages of peace, each city of peace have small groups that are called YOUTH PEACE CLUB.
YOUTH PEACE CLUB is a space for gathering volunteer youth, and equipping them with the right educational tools and opportunities to actively participate in peacebuilding and recognizing their differential needs
YPC (Youth peace club) is a framework for peace dialogues, peace talks, cultural exchange, sporting, a space for youth to learn entrepreneurship, peacebuilding skills, conflicts resolution skills
YPCs form a youth work groups for community services, for educational promotion, health and for environment protection and nature conservation actions.