Perhaps you have come across the phrase “Youth In Action” not once, not twice, and wondered what it is. Yes; it might have varied meaning but for our case, Youth In Action is a network of peace builders, comprising of youth and young influencers from 12 countries in the Horn of Africa and East Africa Region. They include: Burundi, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Youth In Action also refers to the annual youth leaders’ regional forum. Through the forum, the youth enhance their leadership skills and knowledge, while tackling pertinent matters on peacebuilding and conflict transformation.
Youth In Action (both the network and its regional forum) was established by Arigatou International — End Child Poverty Nairobi in 2016 in partnership with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and other nested partners.
The network was established mainly to empower young people to lead peace and promote justice, inclusion, and social cohesion. The approach employed by Arigatou International – End Child Poverty includes dialogue, training, mentorship, learning and exchange visits, case studies and research.
Since its inception, Youth In Action has had 3 regional forums on Peace Building and the 4th one expected from 19th – 23rd August 2019 in Nyeri, Kenya Apart from the forums, the young leaders have led numerous peace initiatives and activities in their local communities and in collaboration with each other, across their respective countries. These have reached up to over 2500 children and youth at least in 7 (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda ) of the 12 countries.
This year’s forum focuses on “Leadership for Change”. This theme is inspired by the fact that having had these youth cohort for the last 3 years, it is time to equip the young leaders to gear up for their next level of leadership responsibility, as individuals and in the wider peace community. This will be done through storytelling for change. This is a build up to the previous forum which focused exclusively on Media and Preventing Violent Extremism; where the youth learnt how to positively use the media to promote peace. This forum thus aims to prepare the youth in their next leadership journey.