More than 600 million youth live in fragile and conflict-affected countries and are coming of age facing a lack of human security and experiencing many types of marginalization and inequalities.
The myth that young people cause violent conflict needs to be challenged, the growing number of young people pressures systems and societies, but does not in itself cause violent conflict. A very small percentage of young people are directly engaged in violence, and on the contrary, there is many other youth who mobilize their generation and others for peaceful solutions.
Participation of young people is important in order to build inclusive and sustainable peace, as the participation and inclusion of young people strengthen a country’s capacity to manage and avert conflict.
UN Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS), adopted in December 2015, is an important milestone towards achieving young women and men’s participation in peacebuilding. Yet, a detailed progress study completed in early 2018, points to a number of areas where support to young people’s involvement in peacebuilding is currently falling short.
Some of these areas included how the international community engages with young people — often limiting engagement to stand-alone workshops. Where support is provided, it is rarely sustained and premised on the leadership and vision of young people themselves. Throughout our work, we seek to overcome these shortcomings and work towards being responsive and adaptable to youth leadership, ideas and agency.
The collaboration between Oxfam Denmark and Unyoke Foundation (UF) seeks to respond to some of these shortfalls and, in its own way, contribute to advancing the YPS agenda.
Under Oxfam Denmark’ Strategic Partnership with DANIDA, the proposed collaboration will initially focus on South Sudanese refugee communities in Uganda. The overarching purpose guiding this collaboration is to accompany and enable young leaders to identify, devise, and advance peacebuilding initiatives that will actively transform their societies and their futures, without being bound by formal institutional approaches to peacebuilding.
The collaboration between Oxfam Denmark and Build Up under Oxfam Denmark’ Strategic Partnership with Danida, supports six youth teams in the Sahel to take their innovative peacebuilding intervention to overcome divisions reinforced by the coronavirus and the growing conflict in the region from idea to pilot implementation.
The joint “Peace Innovators” programme 2020 – 20201 in the Sahel supports 6 youth teams of 2-3 young people from Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali through skills development, accompaniment, project support and seed-funding to implement their technical solutions – ranging from hate speech-trackers, over participatory research and early warning systems - and connect with each other across the region.
In Burkina Faso, under the Strategic Partnership with Danida, Oxfam supports a coalition of youth organisations and associations to in their efforts to advocate and develop a proposal for a national action plan for the implementation of resolution 2250 in Burkina Faso with the vision to create more inclusive peacebuilding and conflict transformation efforts.