Steps in which NGO’s help in expanding youth opportunities?
Organizations and their programs, as well as the young themselves, can gain from youth involvement. Programs established in collaboration with adolescents are more likely to engage the public and, as a result, have a higher impact. Involving young people as participants in making decisions that affect them enhances the possibility that the decisions will be accepted, adopted, and integrated into their daily life.
Furthermore, allowing adolescents to recognize and respond to community needs helps them grow into sensitive, introspective persons, positioning them to continue this essential job in the future. expanding youth opportunities in the decision-making process, meaningful youth involvement considers adolescents as equal partners with adults. Programs and activities are created in collaboration with, rather than for, adolescents. In cases like this,
Organizations that seek to engage youth in meaningful ways should think about the following points.
Here are some measures to take when attempting to engage young people and ensuring that the experience is both valuable for the youth and the program.
Consider where your program is now and where you want to be on the continuum of youth engagement. Not every program or activity can or should include Level 5 youth. The capacity of program personnel to spend time and resources on involving adolescents, the aim of the social enterprise sector, and support within the organization for involving young all influence the level of youth involvement. Organizational infrastructure and support for involving adolescents are critical factors for youth involvement’s long-term viability.
- Examine your organization’s programming to see where kid participation might be most useful and possible. Define why youth should participate in the chosen activity. Determine how to engage adolescents and the right level of involvement based on the purpose.
- Consult with other organizations and agencies that have already partnered with adolescents to discover how they did it and any suggestions they may have. Collaborating with other youth-focused groups may help you avoid the implementation issues that others have encountered.
- Determine how you will recruit young people and keep them involved in the process. How to recruit children who are representative of the population you serve, what skills and talents the young require, and what training should be provided are all things to consider.
- Offer training for organization staff who will be working with the young to ensure that everyone understands the logic and goal of partnering with youth, how it will benefit both the program and the youth, and the skills required to work alongside youth effectively.
Ways to keep kids involved in a program over its lifecycle
Youth can participate in organizational decision-making structures and program creation in a variety of ways. It is best to incorporate adolescents from the start of a project; examples of how and where youth might be involved include the following.
Assessment of criteria
The GIS (geographic information system) initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture is an example of a needs assessment, in which youngsters identified resources in their areas. The materials were then uploaded to a community-wide map, which was then utilized to alert community leaders to any gaps or issues. More information on Youth Tracking can be found here.
Taking priority requirements
Within communities, youth are a great source of human and social capital. Their social networks include peers, family members, and adult friends who have access to area resources. Several federally supported programs are enlisting the help of young people to establish local priorities and achieve more meaningful outcomes. These programs rely on young people’s wisdom to help evaluate the needs of their communities.
Creating plans and activities for a program
While efficiently delivering program information, youth can assist in the creation of activities that will be of particular appeal to their peers. Many people are aware of age-appropriate team-building exercises and activities that can be used.
Health councils/youth advisory boards in institutions
The voices of youth are being taken more seriously by communities. Youth are participating in governing organizations such as library councils, parks, and recreation boards, institute boards, and even city councils in both rural and urban locations. Youth have full voting rights in several of these leadership groupings. Although some organizations may not allow it, youth can nonetheless have their voices heard as representatives of the communities in which they live.
How to engage/work with youth effectively
Adults that are interested in learning about youth culture can be trained by youth. Youth can talk about what interests them in general, hold seminars on the relevance and application of modern technologies like web-based social networking, or sit on a panel to discuss how to engage today’s youth.
Committees that select curriculum
The retention of youth in organizations and agencies is a major concern for them. It may be beneficial to have children participate in assessing curricula or training materials to see whether they will be appropriate for a given age range and population before picking a specific curriculum to use with a target audience, or even after a curriculum has been selected.
Taking part in action research
Data collectors among the young are good. They are learning analytical skills that will serve them well in other careers as they assist with duties such as conducting interviews, taking photographs, and assessing survey feedback.
Youth can learn how to enter data into software programs, sift through data to find common themes, and aid with understanding comments, emotions, and behaviors made by participants with the guidance of professionals. A guide (for example, an observation protocol) that describes what to look for during the analysis may be useful. The Youth Involvement and Engagement Assessment Tool can aid organizations and community partnerships in identifying how they involve youth in programs, whether youth are getting more active in the community, and whether specific techniques are assisting in youth retention. Most youths are eager to share the outcomes of their hard work once they have participated in all levels of a program. Giving them the chance to talk about how the trip has changed their lives will also resonate with the audience. This is critical if adolescents are presenting information to community leaders who can serve as prospective partners and help make a difference.
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