The 10 Days of Activism campaign, part of the International Year of Youth (IYY) Strategy Partnership, took place from the 1st to the 10th of July 2011. It was then that the call to “turn commitments into actions” was made by thousands of young people from over 30 countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Arab States, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Engaged young people, from diverse backgrounds, joined hands, raised their voices on youth issues including SRHR (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights), and worked with governments to turn commitments into actions.
Young people, in many countries, worked on organizing the International year of Youth (IYY) activities and received support from different entities, including UNFPA Country Offices, to run the 10 DoA Campaign. Last July, young people in over 30 countries worked tirelessly to make the 10 days of activism camaign a success. More than 20 countries reported greater than 230 activities, reaching more than 10,700 people.
Joint international campaigns, such as these, not only help get targeted groups’ attention regarding pressing issues, but also inspire young activists to be part of a global movement.
Activists, who helped run the campaign successfully both nationally and internationally, used a variety of tools and techniques.
They met with policy makers, led seminars, participated in radio and TV shows, organized photo and video contests, and promoted their activities through different social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and various blogs.
We would like to address a special Thank You to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, for the great technical and financial support and to all our partners who assisted us in turning the 10 Days of Activism campaign into a huge success. It has been indeed a great example of effective networking.
We would also like to thank our guest writers on Conversations for a Better World for their valuable contributions mainly:
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, Marijke Wijnroks Awadalla, Mıguel Corral, Anam Gill, Bashir Ahmad, Aram Barra and Danny Ramadan
More than 50 peer education sessions and trainings took place in the beginning of July 2011 covering topics related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth Activism, Youth Employment, Menstrual Hygiene, Leadership, and Gender Based Violence. The Peer Education sessions also focused on building advocacy skills, regarding how best to approach stakeholders.
Capacity building sessions were also held on the effective use of different Social Media platforms such as Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, with the objective of maximizing their impact to promote relevant causes.
Visiting local government officials
Several activities involved visiting local governmental officials advocating for support to the network (i.e. Mongolia), cooperating in the implementation of projects involving PLWHIV, and urging decision makers to opt for the inclusion of compulsory health and sexuality education in the school curriculum (i.e. Bulgaria).
Theater, which is one of the components used in Y-PEER’s comprehensive peer education programmes, was meaningfully used during the campaign this year. “Transit”, a movie developed by MTV Staying Alive in partnership with Y-PEER, was used to raisr awareness and address questions related to sexual behaviors and HIV/AIDS. 10 different theatrical plays, with themes relating to Stigma and discrimination, peer pressure, puberty, human rights and tolerance, among others, were performed by peer educators. These plays were followed by discussions that reached about 500 people. In some countries, like Jordan, the plays were accompanied by musical performances. Peer Educators’ performances took place in summer camps and schools, on the streets and squares of cities, commercial centers, etc.
Media involvement helped ensure the visibility of the Y-PEER National Networks, the 10 Days of Activism Campaign and the local partners. More than 15 press conferences took place, reaching over 875 people. TV, radio, print and online media channels all reported the launch of the Campaign and hosted programs which brought youth voices to be heard live and on air. For example, interviews with decision makers on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights were part of a TV program in Mongolia.
Seminars and workshops
A total of 90 seminars and workshops were reported reaching over 1600 people. A variety of topics were addressed in these seminars and workshops, touching different aspects of young people’s lives such as the following: project management, employment, positive thinking, marriage, gender, youth-parents interaction, youth-adult partnership, leadership, social media, environmental issues, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and civic engagement.
Outdoor activities’ main topics involved raising awareness about drug use, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, the environment, human rights, prenuptial examination and civic engagement.
These were tackeld in a very creative way varying from street actions to concerts and from flash mobs to marches. Country reports indicated just under 60 actions reaching over 5680 people of diverse ages, ethnicities and areas.
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This Campaign would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the Y-PEER national networks’ members, Y-PEER PETRI units (Sofia and AUB) and the 10 Days of Activism Coordinators: Ana Rizescu, Bothaina Qamar, Carla Daher, Dina Jaffary and Fatma Hacioglu.