Theme: Youth, peace and security

Youth Participation in Decision-Making and Peacebuilding in Armenia

Armenia today represents a vivid example both of new opportunities and challenges that the youth are facing. This is partly evidenced by the fact that 88% of young men and women (18-29 years of age) view the 2018 change of government in Armenia positively. At the same time, issues including unemployment, poverty, housing as well as other challenges in the socio-economic sphere carry their own particular impacts on youth resulting in a large number of young people leaving the country, either for permanent emigration or seasonal guest worker jobs. This report synthesises findings and analysis of research into the participation of youth in decision making and peacebuilding in Armenia in the context of the political changes since April 2018.

The Report (produced in Yerevan 2019,) has been produced as part of “Progressing Youth Participation in Armenia on Governance and Peace” project.

To click on the report in English, click here

To click on the report in Armenian, click here

Championing the voices of Libya’s youth peace leaders

The ‘Bader’ campaign was launched on Facebook on 17 February 2021, on the 10-year anniversary of the Libyan uprising. The campaign provided a platform for young leaders from different communities in Libya to talk about their experiences of promoting peace, social cohesion, and women’s inclusion. By amplifying the voices of young peace activists, Bader sought to inspire others to take action. Within a month of its launch, the Bader Facebook page had received 15,000 likes and over 500 stories had been submitted by young activists across Libya. Through the campaign, 3 young leaders were selected to receive grants of up to 20,000 LYD to implement their projects. The profiles of 19 of Bader’s most outstanding participants are outlined in this booklet.

The direct link to this flipbook is here and you can view as plain pdf here

Empowering Libya’s women and youth through livelihood opportunities

After years of protracted war across the country, Libya’s economic recovery requires significant support and intervention at the national, regional, and local level.

Supporting Community Resilience Through Livelihood Opportunities for Libya’s Women and Youth outlines the impact of the Peaceful Change initiative Livelihood Project, launched in November 2021, targeting six cities in the East, West and South of the country: Tobruq, Ajdabiya, Bani Walid, Obari, Zliten and Sebha, with a focus on:

  • Livelihood training courses to support vocational and professional skills
  • Job fairs bringing together local businesses, employers, trainees, and other relevant authorities
  • Targeted grants to support local entrepreneurs willing to develop or expand their business ideas

The background to the project was a Peaceful Change initiative Assessment, carried out in late 2020, that explored the impact of conflict, displacement and the pandemic – and found that economic recovery and specifically livelihoods, have been increasingly threatened due to economic and political instability. The Assessment highlighted that young men are more incentivised to join a militia and/or radicalisation, as well as get involved in illicit activities, such as trafficking and smuggling, with limited livelihood opportunities. In addition, that conflict and the pandemic had increased the risk of women becoming marginalised – and increased some women’s exposure to higher levels of gender-based violence.

Peaceful Change initiative also conducted a Research Project in 2021, to better understand the impact of the conflict economy, highlighting that while local communities cannot fully insulate themselves from national dynamics, the impact of the local conflict economy can be mitigated through strengthening local cohesion and stability and developing local economic opportunities.

Armenia: Training manual to promote action plans for youth engagement in governance

A training manual was produced as a component of the project ‘Progressing Youth Participation in Armenia on Governance and Peace’, which supports UNSCR 2250 on youth, peace and security. The manual has four modules which support users in:

  • increasing understanding of peace and peacebuilding together with the basics of conflict transformation
  • developing communication skills in support of non-violent dialogue
  • communicating approaches and tools related to decision making in line with UNSCR 2250 leading to the development of action plans for youth engagement in governance

Download the training manual in Armenian here

Youth participation in decision making and peacebuilding in Armenia

PCi worked with YCCD (an Armenian NGO) to promote youth participation in decision making and peacebuilding in Armenia, supporting UN Security Resolution 2250 calling on governments to include youth participation in local, national and international institutions, in efforts to end conflict. A short film was produced to capture the project’s impact (available in Armenian with English subtitles).

Strengthening Youth Civil Society Networks through the ‘Bader’ Campaign in Libya

In February 2021, a national campaign was launched to raise the profile of young peace leaders through the ‘Bader’ social media Facebook campaign (‘Bader’ means ‘initiate’ in Arabic).

The campaign gathered and disseminated stories of youth leadership in peacebuilding and civil society projects – and called on young Libyans to submit their ideas for projects that promoted social peace, community cohesion, gender equality and social inclusion. The campaign received over 15,000 likes from people spanning over 30 cities in Libya; this popularity led to over 500 story submissions in the space of one month. 

Salem Ibrahim was one of three prize-winners. He is a civil society activist from Benghazi who works at the Civil Society Commission. He is committed to supporting young people to start up and manage their own organisations, creating civil society support networks. He recently launched an online platform called ‘Impact’, which helps people launch their own community projects. Salem also focuses on supporting civil society actors to advocate amongst government decision-makers and raise awareness about the importance of a legal framework to protect civil society in the country.

Salem’s aspiration was to organise a series of training sessions that sensitise Libyan decision-makers/politicians about challenges/obstacles that civil society in Libya faces, including restrictions on their activity. The training sessions would include information on international principles of civil society protection, the role of civil society in dialogue and national reconciliation, and the value of establishing and managing peace-building networks.

To watch Salem’s story, click on the video below.

Armenia: Youth Research Report

PCi has produced a research report focusing on the participation of youth in decision making and peacebuilding in Armenia in the context of the political changes since April 2018. The research was conducted in the framework of the project “Progressing youth participation in Armenian on governance and peace”, which is implemented by Peaceful Change initiative and Youth Cooperation Centre of Dilijan and is funded by the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. 

Download the report here

Championing the voices of Libya’s youth peace leaders

The ‘Bader’ campaign was launched on Facebook on 17 February 2021, on the 10-year anniversary of the Libyan uprising. The campaign provided a platform for young leaders from different communities in Libya to talk about their experiences of promoting peace, social cohesion, and women’s inclusion. By amplifying the voices of young peace activists, Bader sought to inspire others to take action. Within a month of its launch, the Bader Facebook page had received 15,000 likes and over 500 stories had been submitted by young activists across Libya. Through the campaign, 3 young leaders were selected to receive grants of up to 20,000 LYD to implement their projects. The profiles of 19 of Bader’s most outstanding participants are outlined in this booklet.

The direct link to this flipbook is here and you can view as plain pdf here

Social Media youth campaign to strengthen the role of young Libyans in peacebuilding

Peaceful Change initiative, through the Social Peace and Local Development Programme has launched ‘Bader’, a social media youth campaign to strengthen the role of young Libyans as peace actors. Through amplifying the voices and experiences of young peacebuilders and civil society activists, Bader aims to inspire young people to take action and engage in peace, social cohesion, gender equality and social inclusion initiatives in their own communities.

The campaign will use social media to connect young peace leaders from across the country and facilitate knowledge and learning exchanges. This will support the strengthening of existing youth networks, as well as building new relationships among peace leaders with diverse experiences and backgrounds, challenging divisive narratives through meaningful interactions around peace and youth issues. The young leaders are being encouraged to tell their peace initiative stories and through the campaign, three of the participants will be awarded a grant to fund a new initiative. Please visit  https://www.facebook.com/bader.libya.pci

Supporting national trust building amongst Syrian youth

After 7 years of civil war, Syrians on different sides of the conflict are deeply mistrustful of each other and can be afraid to meet. Peaceful Change initiative worked to bridge this trust gap by convening a group of 12 young people from politically diverse areas at a dialogue forum outside Beirut, Lebanon. It provided the opportunity to build bridges and share perspectives, whilst developing a genuine respect for ‘the other’. Trust and confidence was slowly built.

Nadia is a 27 year old graduate in Civil Engineering from Aleppo. She said: ‘The different realities I heard during the dialogue forum helped me to break down the stereotypes I had formed about people during the war because I lacked access to information. I listened to how it was for other young people to exist during the war and it has been helpful for me to know about their lives.’

The dialogue forum also provided an opportunity for the young people to learn about peacebuilding and concepts such as human rights, conflict and violence. The facilitators led a guided discussion on economic and social violence (visible and invisible) that need to be addressed in order to bring conflict to an end.

Khalid is a 19 year old student from Homs, the third largest city in Syria, who implemented civil society activities in his locality. He said: ‘It was helpful to learn about peacebuilding concepts as they underpin my work as a civil society activist. I want to empower myself and understand actions that respect human rights and non-violence.’