- OVERVIEW OF WANEP’s YOUTH, PEACE AND SECURITY PROGRAM
WANEP’s Youth, Peace and Security program stems from the findings of analysis from its early warning system, in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 and related resolutions, the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) and the AU Continental Framework on Youth, Peace and Security, as guide, reference and advocacy tool for youth’s meaningful participation in peace processes. The program focuses on 5 key intervention areas, including:
- Peace education and peer mediation;
- Youth empowerment for meaningful participation in peace processes;
- Youth dialogue, policy influencing and advocacy on governance, peace and security;
- Facilitating and supporting coordinated actions among youth and youth groups to lead the YPS agenda in the region;
- Supporting ECOWAS and the African Union in the implementation of the Youth4peace program and other YPS frameworks.
- PROGRAM ACTIVITIES
Peace Education and Peer Mediation
WANEP is one of the pioneer organisations in the West Africa region in developing a peace education program in schools. Launched in 1999 and effective in 2000, the program started as a pilot project in 7 countries and was later extended to all the 15 ECOWAS member States. It seeks to promote peace education among students and out-of-school youth in formal and informal settings, as a proactive and long-term strategy for sustainable peace in the region. Through recreational activities, role play, poetry, sports, arts, capacity building and dialogue, the program instil in children and youth, values of peace, non-violence and tolerance to help them live in harmony with themselves and with their peers.
WANEP equally provides space for the beneficiaries of the program to apply their skills through peer mediation activities, whereby they employ non-violent measures to address any dispute that arises among their peers.
Recognizing that schools’ administrators, teachers, parents and journalists are key allies in inculcating values of non-violence, WANEP places emphasis on building their capacity to support the desired transformation of children and youth. 207 peace clubs have been so far established in schools, with over 5000 members. WANEP developed regional frameworks as reference documents for the promotion of a culture of peace and pacific co-existence among youth in West Africa. These include:
- Peace Education in Formal Schools of West Africa: An Implementation Guide
- Youth and Peace Education: Peer Mediation Manual for Trainers and Students
- Teaching Manual for the Prevention of Violent Extremism in the Sahel and Nigeria
Youth empowerment for their meaningful participation in peace processes
The weak technical and organizational capacities of youth and youth groups are some limitations to youth meaningful participation in peace and decision-making processes. WANEP’s youth empowerment program seeks to equip young people with the knowledge and capacity needed both at individual and organisational level to enhance their roles towards the achievement of the youth, peace and security agenda in the region. Topics addressed include:
- International, regional and national frameworks on YPS
- Conflict prevention, resolution and mediation
- Effective communication and dialogue
- Advocacy techniques to advance the YPS agenda
- Networking and youth participation
- Monitoring and Evaluation of the YPS agenda
The capacity building sessions are interactive, using experience sharing, role play, critical thinking methodology.
Youth dialogue, policy influencing and advocacy on governance, peace and security
The youth, policy influencing, and advocacy program seeks to promote the co-creation approach to policy designs, implementations and assessments, placing youth, not only as an end line beneficiaries, but key stakeholders at the center of all governance, peace and security related decisions to achieve a mutually valuable outcome.
It equally facilitates youth engagement with policy makers, development partners and private sector on issues related to youth education, employment, social wellbeing, migration, preventing violent extremism, drug abuse, political participation in order to reduce their vulnerability to violence.
Youth Perspectives Series
‘’Youth Perspectives’’ is an e-platform that seeks to harness youth potentials by providing them with a space to share their views on governance, peace and security issues in the region and make constructive and actionable recommendations. The objective is to positively influence policies and help build resilience to varied threats to peace and security in the region. It is a bi-annual activity targeting West Africa young men and women living in the region or in the diaspora.
Youth mentorship and leadership (YouthLead Sessions)
Mentoring is one of the powerful strategies to build-up the next generation of leaders Africa need for its development and stability. It shapes the personality and career of individuals to help them better respond to the need of the society. As such, WANEP’s YouthLead sessions, seeks to identify young people with promising leadership abilities and connect them to influential and experienced leaders in various sectors, including governance, peace and security. Mentors are invited to use their personal experiences, successes, challenges and tips to help unlock the leadership potentials in their mentees and prepare them for leadership roles. It is a 3 to 6 months distance mentorship program that could be physical, based on the availability and geographical location of both mentor and mentee.
Youth4Peace National Networks Initiative
The Youth4Peace networks seeks to mobilize the various youth actors in the ECOWAS member States for coordinated action to support the effective implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda in the region. It complements regional and national ongoing efforts to promote and advance the Youth, Peace and Security agenda, by improving the contribution of young people to maintaining lasting peace, security and development. The networks are made-up of youth-based civil society organizations, student youth associations, national youth councils/youth parliaments and other relevant youth groups, where applicable. Key interventions of the Networks focus on capacity building, joint planning and activities on YPS agenda, advocacy for youth participation in peace processes and for the development, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of National Action Plans on 2250. Other interventions are informed by country-specific contexts.
Database of WANEP’s Youth Member Organizations and Youth4Peace Networks