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Oxfam recruits young people for change

Oxfam International is recruiting 300 young people from around the world to take part in its three year youth development program.

The program, known as the Oxfam International Youth Partnerships (OIYP) targets young people aged 18-25 who are involved in community development work.

It is aimed at providing a forum for young people around the world to join together to share ideas and further the leadership capacities of the young people in the areas they work in. Skills training would include project management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and other things of interest to the young people in the network.

Successful candidates will come together at an eight day meeting titled, OIYP Kaleidoscope 2007, in October 2007 in Sydney, Australia where they will meet other young people and discuss issues affecting their communities, build skills, share ideas and experiences, celebrate and plan future action in their communities.

After this event they will continue to learn and develop through opportunities provided by Oxfam and through exchange with other young people in the OIYP network. They will also continue their community work in their communities.

An example of an existing network that arose out of IYP is a Gender Learning Group that was initiated by two young women action partners from Papua New Guinea. These women contacted others in OIYP network and suggested exchanging stories and resources about gender through post and email. For over a year now, this group has discussed and shared experiences about gender issues and different approaches on how to integrate gender in their work plans. This has assisted and enriched many of the community projects that the individuals are involved in.

Oxfam International’s Country Representative Eileen Kolma says this is an exciting opportunity for young people who are engaged in community development to build their skills and learn from others who are doing similar things; as well as being a great cultural exchange event.

“The program is open to all young people, male and female between the ages of 18 and 25. You can have any level of education and be from either urban or rural setting. You must be committed in working with the communities to create positive, equitable and sustainable change, either directly or through community organizations.

“We are looking for young people who care about what is happening in their communities, who are committed to working with others to overcome social, political and economic injustice and who want to learn from other young people working with their communities all around the world.”

This program follows from Oxfam’s recognition and acknowledgement of young people as today’s leaders, as opposed to tomorrow’s leaders.

“We believe young people have the ability and potential to contribute today to change, and if given the right opportunities can contributed even more.”

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