The 17 youth participants of the program’s first cohort finished a cycle of 12 online training courses focused on the development and exchange of skills and introduced challenges of sustainable development and gender equality. Young activists and specialists from Canada and the Global South, as well as colleagues from the Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation (ICN), participated in the trainings as resource persons and guest facilitators.
The program is designed with an intergenerational dialogue approach in which each youth is partnered with a Canadian SMO. These collaborations allowed for remarkable conversations to take place. One of these conversations was led by Michèle Asselin, Executive Director of AQOCI, who shared with the youth her experiences participating in the World March of Women since the 1990s, while we danced to the rhythm of Capiré, the theme song of the march, then reflected on the challenges of feminism and gender equality in the local contexts of youth participants. Following this session, a youth participant expressed that this session allowed them “to acquire information about the struggles that were already taking place and also how to carry out activities.” Another participant pointed out that the program’s training inspired them to launch a podcast whose main theme is combating violence against women.
The 15 participants from Canadian small and medium organizations (SMOs) who partnered with the youth participated in virtual sessions about intergenerational collaboration, the creation of a common vision on public engagement, and a workshop on intersectionality and anti-oppression tools. The latter workshop was held, coincidentally, when protests erupted around the world following the murder of the American citizen George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. Workshop facilitator Joanna Burigo, a Brazilian activist and entrepreneur, linked this event to the ongoing commitment we need to have against the systems that support racism. Likewise, we have revisited the concept of intersectionality to highlight its origin in Black feminism and its usefulness in making our practices anti-oppressive.
>> Learn More about the Youth Champions Program: http://icn-rcc.ca/spurchange/youth/