‘Share an idea so that you and I can change tomorrow’

Lisa Van Dijk

This post previously appeared on 7 February 2013 on the Participate blog. Subscribe to their blog for regular updates on the Participate initiative.

لقراءة النسخة العربية من لهذا المقال يرجى الضغط هنا

Young people’s participation in planning and decision-making.

Young people in Egypt have been credited with igniting the fundamental change process demanding a more inclusive government which is responsive to their needs and aspirations. However many youth living in poor and informal areas are facing double marginalization. Apart from their existing level of poverty, they are facing a lack of opportunities, social exclusion and often there is an ingrained lack of trust towards the local administration. The Center for Development Services (CDS)  is working with young people across Egypt to build the capacity of the youth to implement community initiatives and enable them to actively participate in the planning and decision-making processes at the local level.

Introducing graffiti as a research toolYouth PARTICIPATE is a research initiative within the Participate initiative which facilitates a process whereby youth groups provide a reflection of the reality under which they and their community live as a basis for their action. This youth-centered participatory action research is aimed to engaging youth and their peers in research to create positive social change. While we will be documenting and sharing the results of the initial assessment phase with the Beyond 2015 Participate Research group, the youth groups will use this inquiry to decide on community interventions in their communities and start a process of reflection and action.

Sharek  (Participate Song)

Share an idea so that you and I can change tomorrow
Come, and give your hand, so that you would not regret
Join us and say it out loud, and let’s change the mindsets
Come and let’s make us towards the road of change and love
It is a call for him, her and me! Let’s all dream for the days to come
Dream to see our country changing, and never surrender to reality or fate
Do you have an idea? Say it! Express it! And quit saying “I can’t”
Share an idea so that you and I can change tomorrow

(Song translated from Arabic, ‘Sharek’  means participate, contribute or share).

Young people and facilitatorsAn initial workshop took place in Cairo where 35 youth researchers from urban informal slum and rural areas came together to share and discuss their research questions and develop an initial plan for their inquiry.

The youth were supported to use visual art research tools such as graffiti, participatory videoing and photography, and to think through how to make use of these tools in expressing themselves and to draw the research findings from the community. During the workshop young (peer) art facilitators worked with the youth research groups to introduce the art forms. The art facilitators will support the youth groups in the use of the different art research tools while doing their research. In this workshop the youth researchers developed a research slogan and song to motivate themselves and mobilise the communities interest in what they are doing.

‘Share an idea so that you and I can change tomorrow.’

Currently the youth groups are conducting the research in their communities. A reflection workshop has taken place in the first week of March to bring together all the art work developed and reflect on the peer and community discussions around the art work. The reflection is forming the basis for the youth led initiatives to promote social inclusion and civic Video making as research toolparticipation. During the reflection workshop we were working with a youth network called Whats Up Youth. We would like to the share art tools produced through their WUPY social cafe, a social online forum for youth, to get input from youth all over the country and feed this into the reflection.

Lisa Van Dijk is a partner researcher working on the Participate initiative, based at the Participation, Power and Social Change team at IDS

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