“Young people are crying out to be involved and to be heard. What do we do?”- Bhongolwethu Sonti at TEDxYouth@CapeTown; watch the video here.
Meaningful Youth Participation (MYP) means that young people, like you, work in all stages of decision-making in organizations and can participate on equal terms with adults at a number of levels, or alternatively work independently from adults and make decisions solely with the involvement of youth voices. You can learn more about working with adults in the youth adult partnership section. Youth work on many different aspects of an issue - from identifying a problem or opportunity, to the development of a program or policy, to the implementation and evaluation of campaigns concerning young people. For these to be accomplished, mechanisms must be in place that allow you to have an active role in which your voice is heard and respected. For your participation to be truly meaningful, it must benefit you, your peers and society, as a whole.
The Flower of Participation can be a useful tool for you to better understand MYP and the different degrees of participation. It is a fundamental key to understanding what CHOICE and its partners believe are integral parts to MYP.
Want to learn how to use the flower and to integrate Meaningful Youth Participation (MYP) into your organization & program? Download the narrative of the flower of participation.
MYP is a right that all young people have according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). According to this UN Convention, you have the fundamental right to participate and access information related to decision-making processes that affect your life and well-being.
There is clear evidence that MYP benefits society, has positive effects on YOUR development, strengthens organizational capacity and is key to achieving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) program outcomes. YOU(TH) can and should be involved on different levels of the decision-making process, in this case specifically involving SRHRs; this can be on a local level, within your family, at school, in your community or at work. You can also be engaged in making decisions on a regional or national level or on a national or international youth council. You not only have the fundamental right to meaningfully participate, but there is also a great advantage to your involvement. If your voice is heard, programs and policies can be adapted to reflect the actual needs of young people and can become more effective. You can learn about these aspects of MYP and how to act upon them in the civic participation, movement building and dealing with turnover.
Meaningful youth participation empowers you to become a leader! Ultimately MYP contributes to your personal development in becoming a more confident, skilled, connected and empowered young person who is an active agent of change in your communities. Reading through and learning from these resources will teach you about the core aspects of MYP and how you can use it to create important change on achieving SRHRs for youth like you and me!
Check out the MYP Resources Page and the pages on Flower of Participation, Youth Adult Partnership, Dealing with Turnover, Civic Participation and Movement Building with links along the sidebar to learn more about MYP!