I read the report “MEANINGFUL INCLUSION OF YOUTH; A PROMISING FUTURE” by Youth Sounding Board facilitated by the European Commission in 2022.
Their line of thinking 100 % resonates with the MasterPeace way of doing: to “Engage, Connect and Empower” Civil society organisations and the millions of youngsters as our main target group;
As mentioned in my story https://masterpeace.org/cooleaders-for-a-peaceful-inclusive-sustainable-future/ MasterPeace is exited to mobilise thousands of “CooLeaders” all around the world:
I like to share 2 key themes with fuelling our energy to be a “CooLeader”
Climate justice and environmental action
In addressing youth concerns in the area of Climate Justice and Environmental Action, technical and financial support must be made available to the most vulnerable groups based on an interdisciplinary and intersectional matrix. This includes recognition of how populations, based on their gender and sexual orientation, race, age, geographic location, socio-economic background, and intellectual or physical abilities may be adversely affected by climate change. The agenda also has to consider how the health status and choices of transportation affect or is affected by the environment.
In addition, focus must be given to ensuring the personal security and safety of climate activists as well as bridging the knowledge gap on matters of environmental sustainability.
Three dimensions to consider:
1- CLIMATE CHANGE IS THE BIGGEST GLOBAL HEALTH THREAT OF THE 21ST CENTURY IMPACTING THE HEALTH OF CURRENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS
The accelerating health consequences of climate change are impacting the liveability of many spaces, particularly in the Global South. The changing climate has ravaged the health and well-being of billions of people, directly through extreme weather events that cause severe injuries and heat-related deaths. Indirect impacts can also arise from air pollution leading to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as nine out of ten people breathe in polluted air worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
Climate change is also shifting our ecosystem, compromising our global food systems and water supply, leading to malnutrition and exacerbating hunger and poverty in developing countries. Such ecological changes also drive the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as Ebola, Avian influenza and now the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Environmental degradation also increases forced migration and civil conflict between nations due to the increasing scarcity of key resources while at the same time impacting our economies, access to healthcare, social structure and mental health
2- LACK OF ACCESS TO FUNDING PREVENTS YOUNG CLIMATE ACTIVISTS FROM EFFECTIVELY PURSUING THEIR ADVOCACY
Young people are at the frontlines of the climate movement. Movements like Fridays for Future, World’s Youth for Climate Justice, Youth 4 Climate, and many others are able to lead larger movements in spite of larger financial barriers. Nevertheless, this is not the norm. Grassroots/local organizations often lack the capacity and institutional solvency to fund climate action initiatives. This makes it harder for communities to effectively adapt and mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
3- COVID-19 HAS DISRUPTED CLIMATE ACTION
Although COP26 served to create more momentum for climate action, there is still much more work to be done. Government funding is being invested into traditional polluting industries in order to “rescue” the economy. This modus operandi is short-sighted and destructive, as it does not actually deal with the larger challenges that the world is facing right now. Young people have disproportionately suffered from the consequences of COVID-19. Growing inequality, combined with uncertainty surrounding schooling and the end of the COVID-19 crisis have plugged young people into despair and disillusionment. The worst outcomes of climate change have started to unfold. Climate change is causing a tremendous skill and knowledge gap for youth who can no longer work in the traditional fields because of droughts, floods, stronger hurricanes, and the consequences thereof. The economic uncertainty increases the growing disparity
Peace, Security and Humanitarian ACTION
Peace, Security and Humanitarian Action are pillars of youth engagement all over the world. Both within the EU and globally, unprecedented numbers of youth organizations dedicate themselves to providing relief to and/or engaging young people in the creation of peaceful and just societies.
Youth are, however, facing a number of challenges when they engage in humanitarian assistance and in the promotion of peace and security. Not only are they underrepresented at the institutional level - in conflict-resolution, security dialogues and in high-level humanitarian decision-making, but they also face challenges at the local level, when providing aid to those in need, especially as regards security. Further challenges are posed by the existing lack of funding that youth organizations face. When coupled with the lack of recognition, these challenges can result in a deadlock, preventing forms of concrete action.
Three dimensions to consider:
1- THERE IS A LACK OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS (CSO) NETWORKS AND CROSS-SECTORAL COOPERATION AND COORDINATION A LACK OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS (CSO) NETWORKS AND CROSS-SECTOR
Youth organisations working in humanitarian aid and peacebuilding deal with the lack of cross-NGO support and peer-to-peer learning schemes to upscale their impact and to be integrated in the larger sector. This leads to the proliferation of small projects that could have otherwise been synergized with other projects to create an even bigger impact.
2- YOUTH LEADERS LACK INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT AND RECOGNITION AND EXPERIENCE GATEKEEPING BY ADULTS
Young people interviewed expressed the feeling of exclusion from critical policy conversations. In contexts where security issues are volatile, like Nigeria, there are few elected youth representatives because it is costly to contest for elections due to high cost of nomination forms and campaign costs. Even when the government occasionally organizes youth consultations, elderly people or partisan youth tend to present themselves as youth leaders and thereby deny youth leaders space to express themselves.
Lack of young people’s inclusion in decision-making can also be expressed in the form of tokenism and exploitation of youth lived experiences by institutions and organizations.
3- CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENTAL DISRUPTION ARE PUSH FACTORS FOR MIGRATION
In addressing youth concerns in the area of Climate Justice and Environmental Action, technical and financial support must be made available to the most vulnerable groups based on an interdisciplinary and intersectional matrix. This includes recognition of how populations, based on their gender and sexual orientation, race, age, geographic location, socio-economic background, and intellectual or physical abilities may be adversely affected by climate change. The agenda also has to consider how the health status and choices of transportation affect or is affected by the environment. In addition, focus must be given to ensuring the personal security and safety of climate activists as well as bridging the knowledge gap on matters of environmental sustainability.
Almost all those consulted reported experiencing at least one extreme climate event in the past five (5) years. From the mentioned events, higher mean temperatures, decrease in rainfall and irregularities in seasons were the most popular. When asked if they would migrate if the extreme events increased in the next few years, 87.3% responded that they would not.
However, when given a scenario where their resident area became uninhabitable due to climate change and environmental degradation, 62.5% responded that they would definitely move out of the country, while 18,8% would only consider leaving the country. The two most popular indicators to pick a new country would be economic opportunities and capital available for the move. The political atmosphere and cultural similarities were also mentioned among important features of a possible host country. Finally, the main reason indicated for possible migration would be the physical dangers of staying in the regions with frequent and severe extreme events.
Among the indigenous groups consulted, there was a very strong preference to stay in their territory, because of heritage, cultural and spiritual connection with their land. However, if they were to migrate, it would be because their means to survive would be endangered (for example: agriculture, fishing, collecting and hunting). Most of them would try to stay near their current residences rather than migrating far away.
MasterPeace Pakistan’s Holistic Approach to Gender and Climate Justice
Our MasterPeace club in Karachi, Pakistan, has been actively implementing practical initiatives aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (S.D.G.s) within diverse communities. A significant area of focus has been promoting Gender Equality and empowering women through various activities. Moreover, the detrimental impact of recent floods and heatwaves has hindered the country's development process, leading to the internal displacement of over 30 million people due to flooding as of 2022. Recognizing the urgent need for action, M.P. Pakistan has already taken measures to enhance community resilience and develop capacities to address the consequences of climate change, with the ultimate goal of creating a more sustainable Earth, a COOL Earth. Below, you will find some remarkable achievements of our club.
Planting Seeds for a Greener Future
MP Pakistan's "Invest in Our Planet" climate campaign aims to increase public awareness of the value of protecting the planet's natural resources for coming generations. As part of this, school and university-level students are involved in the initiative by sowing the seeds of the fruits, they consume in their homes or nearby gardens. With the arrival of spring, many seasonal fruits are available from March to July, making it an ideal time to plant fruit seeds. Children may learn the value of protecting the environment and the effects it may have on future generations by planting these seeds.
This effort supports SDG13, which addresses climate change and encourages sustainable living to lessen its consequences. MP Pakistan aspires to positively impact the environment and motivate future generations to take similar action by pushing the younger generation to do so.
"Engaging and making young people aware of climate action is essential. If we invest positively in our planet, the return will be sustainable and healthy"- Kelash Sarhadi, MP Pakistan.
Focus Group Discussion: Strengthening Inclusivity and Advocating for Transgender Rights in Pakistan
On 3 May 2023, MP Pakistan visited the Trans Pride Society, a group of Trans people, at Mehran Hotel, Karachi. This society is led by Nisha Rao, who has led several initiatives of Education, Medical Assistance, and Rations Distribution for transgender people.
The meeting had around 75 plus participants and served as a forum for discussion between USAID personnel and Peace & Justice about how to advance the welfare of Pakistan's transgender minority. M.P. Pakistan has reaffirmed its dedication to supplying rations to enable transgender people to satisfy their necessities, as well as education and medical aid.
A significant step in advancing inclusivity and fighting for transgender people's rights in Pakistan, this initiative demonstrates a potential for improving the lives of individuals in need through dialogues and advocacy.
Empowering Girls with Professional Beautician Training
Collaborating with renowned makeup artist and trainer Asha Lalwani, MP Pakistan, provided 20 less privileged girls a unique opportunity to learn the art of professional beautician training. The three-month training program, free of cost, aimed to empower these young girls with the necessary skills to support themselves and their families. The training program will be finished by January 2023.
The training program covered a wide range of topics, including facial treatments, hair styling, manicures, pedicures, and waxing techniques. Using hot and cold wax, the girls were taught to provide complete beautification services to their clients, which are essential in the beauty industry.
MP Pakistan strongly believes in empowering people; this initiative is just one example of how they do so. The program provided these girls with a means to support themselves financially and gave them the confidence to pursue their dreams and aspirations.
"I didn't know much about beauty and grooming, but now I feel confident in my ability to provide these services to others. I can't wait to start my own business and help support my family", says one of the training participants.
With initiatives like this, MP Pakistan is committed to promoting equality and empowering individuals from less privileged backgrounds. In line with SDG5 and SDG8, the program was a resounding success, empowering girls to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Free Thalassemia Awareness and Testing Center in Karachi
In collaboration with Saylani Welfare Trust (SWT), Pakistan, and Sindh Government, MasterPeace Pakistan announced the opening of a Free Thalassemia Awareness and Blood Testing Centre in Karachi, Pakistan, on 7 March 2023. Thalassemia is an inherited (i.e., passed from parents to children through genes) blood disorder caused when the body doesn't make enough of a protein called hemoglobin, an essential part of red blood cells. Dr. Muhammad Naeem, Sindh Government District Health Officer, expressed his appreciation for M.P. Pakistan’s innovative initiative in addressing this critical health issue among the youth.
One of the first in Karachi, this significant project aims to spread knowledge about the condition and open access to free blood tests.
In January 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a historic speech to the United States Congress in which he outlined his vision for a world that respected the fundamental human rights of every individual. He declared that there were four essential freedoms that every person should be entitled to, regardless of their race, religion, or nationality.
Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech was a call to action for people worldwide to work towards a future in which these essential human rights were respected and protected. These "Four Freedoms" would become a rallying cry for the Allied forces during World War II and inspire future generations.
- The 1st of the Four Freedoms was Freedom of Speech and expression.
- The 2nd: Freedom of Worship.
- The 4th Freedom from Fear.
- But my call to all of you is to upgrade his 3rd Freedom, "The Freedom from WANT". In his days, Roosevelt recognized that poverty and economic insecurity were significant threats to individual freedom and democracy. He believed every person had the right to a basic standard of living, including food, shelter, and healthcare.
Today Governments, businesses, and civil society need to work on a new type of WANT, not only reducing poverty and uplifting the economy.
The new WANT requires a redefinition of Growth, to include all people's well-being and using only what the planet offers us as guests of this beautiful earth. As MasterPeace, we are partnering with the https://doughnuteconomics.org/. We work with the MasterPeace clubs in Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Lebanon, Croatia, Kosovo, and Morocco to tailor this methodology focused on social inclusion within the planet's boundaries.
The MasterPeace network in 45 countries will launch a campaign "CooLeaders” to act for climate change. In 2022 our network realized 400 projects with local impact. All focus on engaging, connecting, and empowering thousands of youngsters. We will engage them to start dialogues and actions to meet the challenging ambitions mentioned in the Paris Agreement.
We will raise awareness about the issue's urgency and promote action at the grassroots level. We will continue working with vulnerable communities to ensure that no one is left falling short of life's essentials. That humanity does not collectively overshoot the planetary boundaries that protect Earth's life-supporting systems.
We will advocate for policy changes at the national and international levels and work with governments and businesses to ensure that climate change is integrated into development policies and business plans.
We will co-create with the media to raise awareness about the issue, highlight the innovations already available for vulnerable communities, and continue to work on new solutions. As a global movement, we will scale great ideas from one city to all our changemakers in 45 countries. Scaling is key to speed up transformation
Life skills for Peace project: How we are empowering young learners to overcome challenges and promote harmony
In a country like Kenya, where ethnic diversity and social inequalities often lead to conflicts and violence, it is crucial to equip the young generation with the skills and attitudes that can help them cope with everyday challenges and foster peace and harmony in their communities. That is why we launched the Life skills for Peace project in January 2023, with the aim of developing the knowledge and capacity of about 300 school going learners from different ethnicities and regions in Kenya to become resilient in dealing with everyday challenges and become champions within their schools over a period of 8-months in Kajiado, Kisumu and Nairobi.
The project is based on the premise that life skills are essential for personal development, social integration and peaceful coexistence. Life skills are defined by the World Health Organization as"abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demandsand challenges of everyday life". They include cognitive skills (such as critical thinking, problem solving,decision making), interpersonal skills (such as communication, empathy, negotiation) and intrapersonalskills (such as self-awareness, self-management, coping with stress).
The project adopts a participatory and learner-centered approach that involves various stakeholderssuch as teachers, parents, community leaders and local authorities. The main activities of the projectinclude:
- Conducting baseline assessments to identify the needs and gaps of the target learners in terms of life skills.
- Developing a life skills curriculum that covers topics such as Lead Self, socialships, Active listening, celebrating diversity, ethical responsibility, mental health and wellbeing, conflict transformation and non-violence, and Technology.
- Training volunteers on how to facilitate life skills sessions using interactive methods such as games,role plays, debates and group discussions.
- Implementing life skills sessions in selected schools twice a month for one hour each session.
- Organizing inter-school events where learners can showcase their learning outcomes through presentations, exhibitions or performances.
- Evaluating the impact of the project on learners' knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to life skills.
The expected outcomes of the project are: - Improved self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience among learners, Enhanced communication, collaboration and conflict management skills among learners, Strengthened leadership abilities among learners who can act as role models or peer educators within their schools or communities, Reduced incidences of violence or bullying within schools or communities.
We believe that by investing in life skills education for young learners in Kenya, we are not only improving their academic performance but also preparing them for their future roles as responsible citizens who can contribute positively to the development of their country. We hope that our project will inspire other organizations or individuals who share our vision of creating a more peaceful and harmonious society through life skills education. This project is implemented in partnership with Kenya Unites, Miss Koch Kenya, Naweza254 and Footprints for Change.
If you want to learn more about our project or support our cause, please visit the website www.masterpeacekenya.org or contact us at email@example.com. Thank you!
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