What do you suggest other people try out?
Adults can sometimes believe they have greater contributions than children and believe that youth need to become adults before they have expertise. It is important to reflect on the way we think and act. To identify if you are being “adultist” reflect on statements you make and ask yourself “would I treat another adult like that?” “would I use that tone of voice?”.
Tell us your advice on doing participation activities –
what worked well, what you enjoy, what is inclusive?
During the pilot of YouCreate, some youth reported that
discussions about safety, security and justice and rights were
overwhelming for them. We have adapted the language of the
pillars to help address this concern. Youth also reflected that they
did not have control over these areas of their lives, and could not
address these through their Art-Action projects. In the pilot we
saw evidence that youth were able to create a sense of safety and
security through the project, and did increase specific rights such
as participation. As adult support people, please guide Youth
Leaders to discuss these important concepts with consideration,
exploring areas of youth’s lives they feel some control over, and
can realistically address within YouCreate. It is important to
acknowledge that YouCreate may not have impact on the broader
environment of adversity or conflict, but changes at the individual,
peer, family and even community level, can help improve these
more challenging pillars as well.
For example, when discussing Pillar 1: Feeling Safe, although a
youth may not feel safe living in a conflict zone, there might be
people, places or things that help them connect with a feeling
of safety, and this is important to grow and support through
YouCreate. In the pilot of YouCreate, the YouCreate team and
meeting space often became a place where youth felt safe and
Tell us what you found out - what were people's experiences, views or ideas for change?This PAR project has been breaking down barriers between youth, their families and communities who are coming together with a common purpose of strengthening wellbeing through the arts.
What are your recommendations or calls to action?Key recommendations for consideration in the You Create project: 1. A holistic social ecological approach to MHPSS should be implemented. 2. Supporting the resilience of young people should be a main goal of arts-based programming. 3. Develop an approach that positions young people as change makers. 4. Enable young people to connect with their peers through peer-networks. 5. Develop strong trusting relationships between adult allies and youth leaders. 6. Ensure facilitators are properly trained and supported to lead an interactive participatory approach. 7. Apply a gender lens to arts-based programming. 8. Respectfully challenge discrimination based on gender, culture or nationality through arts 9. Find ways to encourage social cohesion through arts-based programming by intentionally bringing diverse groups together. 10. Provide time and budget for relationship and trust building in all trainings, workshops, and in program activities with young people. 11. Ensure that all activities are grounded in culture and context. Engage local community members and teams in the contextualization and design of activities. 12. Recognize the value of art as a tool for strengthening psychosocial wellbeing and creating social change. Build this into program design more broadly across programs. 13. Carry out a stakeholder analysis prior to/upon inception of projects in order to ensure that a community engagement model is applied. 14. Seek out opportunities for research grants and partnerships with research institutions to contribute innovative research and evidence to support youth-led arts-based programming to strengthen psychosocial wellbeing and protection of young people. 15. Encourage a youth-led mixed methods approach to Monitoring and Evaluation.
What do you try to change?With the objectives of strengthening wellbeing, resilience, and leadership among youth, YouCreate has been positively impacting youth.