Engaging Youth for Building Community Resilience and Promoting Social Cohesion
Status: Completed Start Date: Oct 2018 End Date: Mar 2019 Geographic Coverage: 2 Districts in Punjab & Islamabad Focus Area: Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction SDG Goal: 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts Implementing Partner: SPO Funding Partner: Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)
The “Engaging Youth for Building Community Resilience and Promoting Social Cohesion” project under Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) aimed to engage 200 youth (age 18-29) as beneficiaries in a period of six months in Multan and Islamabad/Rawalpindi in the year 2018-19. The project is aiming to implement SDG goal 13 which call for an urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
The work included mobilizing the youth for promoting peace and social cohesion, using national volunteering and engaging volunteers from community with the support of community groups. The project initially recruited 36 youth volunteer master trainers who were invited to attend capacity-building training on mediation, dialogue, dispute resolution, social accountability, social inclusion and gender and resilience approaches. The trained volunteers identified 200 community volunteers from the selected Union Councils and imparted training on the above stated themes. At the end of the training, all volunteers developed a consensus on design of Social Action Plans (SAPs) which was then implemented in the selected communities.
SPO further facilitated youth action plans which aimed to sensitize and mobilize both men and women participants from the community to play their role in preventing violence against children living in their areas. For this, a trained force of volunteers engaged education and medical institutions, parents and communities living in slums of selected Union Councils. The fourth SAP successfully addressed the water conservation at community level by engaging youth, men, women and PWDs demonstrating water conservation practices by developing water conservation models of wash basin.
More than 25,000 plants were distributed among students and residents of selected Union Councils which enabled plantation in public places. SPO engaged Members of Provincial Assembly, Punjab, District administration and religious leaders through an advocacy campaign. The charter of demands to introduce reforms in the Punjab Youth Policy was developed. Furthermore, the process of policy formulation was shared with youth by engaging policy experts at Provincial level.
Key achievements of the project included:
• Creating a supportive and encouraging study environment for both boys and girls from selected Union Councils supported by a resilient community to address illiteracy among girls in various residential areas.
• Community behavior to promote girls’ education through sponsoring economically vulnerable families improved the literacy rate among girls of identified areas.
• The community played its role in protection of mango orchards and brought behavior change regarding planting trees to protect environment in the areas.
• More than 30,000 participants were engaged during implementation of SAPs including 14,900 women.
SPO also partnered with the Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 which provided support for training community youth volunteers for better preparedness for natural disasters and to enhance community-level resilience. These community volunteers were registered with Rescue 1122 Community Emergency Rescue Teams (CERT) to provide prompt response in the event of crisis and disasters.