“A weekend moulding the future of a continent”
It’s a new year and a new wave of human rights champions and promoters have committed themselves to be Youth Human Rights Peer Educators to further promote a peaceful and harmonious Africa.
Youth leaders from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Germany
On the 13th to 15th March 2020, Africa Unite held its annual Youth Human Rights Peer Educators Training Weekend. The training was held at the beautiful resort of Goedegedacht Farm in Malmesbury which is located 87km from Cape Town, South Africa.
This year the training included a diverse group of youth from across the African continent, from a group of 25 young people (21 Western Cape, 2 Eastern Cape and 2 Africa Exchange program – 1 Tanzania and 1 Mozambique). From the 23 South African participants, 6 were originally from outside of the country (Germany, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of the Congo) which adds to the diverse group of cultures, languages and experiences to the weekend and training. The purpose of the training is to capacitate young people from different backgrounds with knowledge and necessary skills in Human Rights in order for them to become Youth Human Rights Peer Educators in their respective communities and countries.
During this 3-day training, the facilitators covered the following content:
- Human Rights Principles
- Human Rights Education: What and Why?
- Instruments protecting Human Rights locally and globally.
- The rights of vulnerable people (people with disabilities, women, children, elderly people, refugees and migrants etc).
- How to build Human Rights Communities.
- How to facilitate human rights information sessions in various communities and countries.
Participants listening attentively to the facilitator
During the training, the youth were divided in 4 countries namely, (1) Zimbabwe, (2) Ethiopia, (3) Cameroon and (4) South Africa. Most of their group work was done according to the above country groups. One of the highlights of the weekend training was the mock African Union assemblies where each country group was invited to make a presentation under the following indicators: (1) a brief history about the country, (2) current political issues, (3) socio-economic and cultural dynamics, (4) The resources of the Country and (5) In case they win, how each country intends to use the $100 billion donation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
After different presentations were done by the President of each country, South Africa took the prize due to their highly creative presentation, teamwork and well informed on the country they represented.
To mimic the traditional winning procedure, the group members were issued a mock cheque of $100 billion as well as a suitcase containing the funds for aid to their country. Nonetheless, the purpose of this activity was not just to highlight the importance of teamwork, but rather to also allow our youth to research and understand the political and socio-economic background of each African country. A background which we stress all Africans to familiarise themselves with.
African Union assembly with Secretary General of the AU Joshua Plaat.
Furthermore, during this 3-days, the facilitators used simulation activities and role playing which made the youth reflect on their attitudes and behaviour on how they interact with others. The youth participants were highly motivated on how they can go back to their respective communities/countries and disseminate the knowledge they have acquired during the training in their own families, communities, churches, mosques, youth groups and other appropriate places.
Although the youth were from different backgrounds, they were excited about the levels of interaction, content of the training and the skills which were gained throughout the weekend.
To conclude the training session, the participants were handed over the certificates of completion and the Human rights training manual.
Overall, the youth made a clear commitment to go back to their respective communities and countries to conduct similar information sessions.
Here are some comments made by the young leaders:
“Thank you to you and the wonderful team of facilitators for the workshop and manner in which it was presented. It’s been such a positive and eye-opening experience.” – Mazeeda Karani (South Africa)
“I learned so much about Human rights, more than I ever realised I was entitled to, I can now see what is lacking in my own community in regard to information and implementation which is something I will definitely take back home.” Dalali Venge (Tanzania)
“The training I received this weekend was mind opening and added so much to my self-development. Learning the difference between civil, political and socioeconomic rights and then how to practice them. Practicing empathy and listening to understand combined with knowledge can make one an instrument of change.” – Anestasia Jansen (South Africa)
“Africa Unite has really changed the way I see facilitation; Mr Vincent Williams has shown me a more interactive way to share information and teach people skills.” – Jose’ Muianga (Mozambique)
“Mr Williams and the Africa Unite team has really challenged me to think outside of the conventional box, to constantly challenge perceptions for the betterment of mankind but also to innovate new ways of doing things.” Mbasa Viwe Mtshanele – (South Africa)
“This weekend has shown me that semantics in regard to law making is very important and that everything is not always as it seems, that we should constantly challenge the status quo and rules.” – Pejamauro Visagie
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