Mobilising resilience during and after COVID-19: a peer-to-peer experience sharing among youth peacebuilders in Africa

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Mobilising resilience during and after COVID-19: a peer-to-peer experience sharing among youth peacebuilders in Africa

Registration required in advance for participation: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_N0E2drnBRHaTYZJCId91AQ

A recent statement adopted by the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (UN-IANYD) offered three key perspectives on how to keep the contributions of youth peacebuilders on the front-burner during and after the COVID-19 crisis by calling on all actors in the international community to:

  • partner, safely and effectively, with young people during and after the COVID-19 crisis;
  • recognize the value of young people’s own actions and their potential to advance the fight against the pandemic; and prevention of violent extremism;
  • understand the specific impacts the pandemic has and will have on young people, ensuring that COVID-19 related responses uphold young people’s human rights and are inclusive of young people’s specific needs.

The overarching goal of the proposed webinar by UNESCO IICBA in collaboration with AU Y4P is to help bring to the epicentre of continental and global policy arena the remarkable roles that African youth peacebuilders are playing in the ongoing efforts to tackle COVID-19. This initiative is implemented with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH through the APSA project, in line with the existing collaboration with the AU Y4P programme. It is hoped that the webinars can also inform the documentation of the overall impact of COVID-19 on Peace and Security in Africa, that proposals can be formulated on how to respond to the identified challenges, and that key outcomes can be further disseminated following the webinars.

It is premised on the understanding that whether or not the voice and agency of young African peacebuilders would remain audible and loud enough to draw attention to their contributions to the fight against COVID-19 or end up becoming muffled, maligned and completely lost in the post-pandemic era, would depend on the above listed three perspectives.

It is proposed that the moderated webinar discussions put young people at the centre so that they can freely engage between and among themselves in peer-to-peer information sharing and experiential learning. It would also afford them the opportunity to share their experiences of resilience before and since the outbreak of COVID-19, and what the outlook might be thereafter. Furthermore, the webinar would provide further opportunities for young African peacebuilders to keep abreast of recent developments in the peace and security sphere across Africa. Finally, the webinar should offer participants as well as the organisers an opportunity to document- and track- resilience measures that individuals, communities and governments are mobilising and their limitations in terms of mitigating the adverse impacts of COVID-19 or even the potential conflict fallouts.

Two webinar sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, are proposed to be held on Tuesday, 9th June and Tuesday, 16th June 2020.

Objectives of the Webinars

  • Discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the emotional, mental and socio-economic well-being as well as the educational needs of youth in Africa
  • Identify how the youth and their groups/networks are coping with and responding to the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic including for false news and violence messages
  • Identify and share best practices on how the youth peacebuilders can maintain resilience while they continue to exercise their agency and voice on key security and developmental priorities during and after the pandemic
  • Provide recommendations on how youth and their groups should continue to address pressing needs for peacebuilding PVE and resilience the current and future contexts

This webinar therefore, will offer young peacebuilders a more robust, practical and hands-on opportunity to engage themselves, and also to forge potentially rewarding links with the hosting institutions.