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  • Women in Nepal

    Education

    Norwegian Refugee Council Jordan Youth Program Evaluation

    Background

    Since 2003, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Education unit has been implementing empowerment programming for crisis-affected youth (aged 15-24) based on a model known as Youth Education Pack (YEP). YEP typically includes technical and vocational education and training (TVET) with life skills and non-formal education. However, in Jordan, the Youth Program operates independently from the NRC Education unit and experiments with a more nimble model that aims to:

    • modify program content continuously according to the evolving context
    • connect youth to higher education
    • partner with distance learning providers to offer online courses
    • create links between young people and their communities
    • serve a wider age group than the typical YEP program

     

    Findings

    The program is overwhelmingly perceived as relevant to the needs of Syrian refugee youth, by participants and non-participant camp residents, as well as by NRC's partners. The program has adapted over time to the changing context and needs of the youth it serves, because of a declared commitment to adapt and remain relevant. Responses varied by sex, with young women more likely to point to positive social effects and male youth more often reporting economic empowerment. Youth report that they are engaging in their communities more as a result of the program, which is NRC's overarching goal.

    Recommendations

    WRC recommendations for NRC Jordan include:

    • increase focus on the psychosocial effects
    • cede more ownership to Syrian teachers
    • create indicators around social engagement
    • identify the participatory approaches young people want
    • define an approach to prevention and response to gender-based violence
    • develop strategies to improve female youth retention
    • partner with private firms and replicate the Youth Task Force model

     

     WRC recommendations for NRC Head Office include:

    • building up the youth specialization
    • issuing guidance on contextualizing a youth program
    • prioritizing youth advocacy and coordination in countries
    • empowering staff with youth research
    • studying the impacts of youth programming and youth advocacy work

     

    "We Believe in Youth" GRYC Final Report

     

    Background

    Seldom consulted, frequently overlooked, and often unable to fully participate in decision making, the talents, energy, and potential of Refugee Youth—young people aged 15-24 years old—remain largely untapped. In more than 50 national and sub-national consultations held in 22 countries, participants across regions emphasized that refugee youth want the same things that young people want everywhere: to be consulted, to be listened to, to contribute, to engage, and to be part of solutions. 

    We Believe in Youth details the most pressing challenges refugee youth face and their recommendations on how best to address these challenges. The report is a road map for action for all those engaged in humanitarian response—States, international organizations, international and national civil society organizations, donors, and youth groups.

    Ten Challenges Identified by GRYC participants

    • Difficulties with legal recognition and obtaining personal documents
    • Difficulty in accessing quality learning, education, and skills-building opportunities
    • Discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and "culture clash"
    • Few youth employment and livelihood opportunities
    • Gender inequality, discrimination, exploitation, and violence, including for LGBTI youth
    • Poor access to youth-sensitive healthcare, including psychosocial support
    • Lack of safety, security, and freedom of movement
    • Challenges for unaccompanied youth
    • Lack of opportunities to participate, be engaged, or access decision makers
    • Lack of information about asylum, refugee rights, and available services

     

    Seven Core Actions for Refugee Youth

    • Core Action 1: Empower Refugee Youth through meaningful engagement
    • Core Action 2: Recognize, utilise, and develop Refugee Youth capacities and skills
    • Core Action 3: Ensure Refugee Youth-focused protection
    • Core Action 4: Support Refugee Youth physical and emotional wellbeing
    • Core Action 5: Facilitate Refugee Youth networking and information sharing
    • Core Action 6: Reinforce Refugee Youth as connectors and peace builders
    • Core Action 7: Generate data and evidence of Refugee Youth to promote accountability to youth

    For additional background and resources on GRYC, click here

    #Bringbackourgirls: Where do we go from here?

    Investing in adolescent girls, including educating them, has the power to lift girls out of poverty and positively impact families, communities and societies.

    For over a month now, there has been an international outcry about the plight of the more than 200 school girls abducted by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram from their secondary school in Chibok, a remote town in northeast Nigeria. These are girls who are treasured by their families and communities; girls with aspirations to become teachers, doctors and lawyers.
    Through social media activism, public rallies and demonstrations, the #bringbackourgirls campaign has garnered huge international support and attention as people around the world demand the girls' return. The injustice merits the outcry and advocacy. Yet this abduction is not the first time Boko Haram has attacked young girls for attending school: since 2009, it has abducted unknown number of girls, burned schools, killed teachers and threatened countless families who support their daughters' education.

    Read the full blog on Trust.org (this link no longer exists)

    A missed opportunity for empowerment: treating refugee girls as victims

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama just announced Let Girls Learn, which will consolidate efforts by the U.S. government to educate and empower girls abroad. I think the Obamas are on the right track and I look forward to tracking the success of this initiative. In the humanitarian community, we’ve been struggling with the best way to give girls tools and opportunities.

    Despite the fact that adolescent girls typically have begun to take on adult responsibilities – indeed some of them already are mothers themselves – they often lack the knowledge, skills and networks to help them navigate the world. Gender inequity becomes more pronounced in adolescence. Girls are less likely than boys to attend secondary school and are far more likely to be socially isolated.

    In conflict and disaster, when adolescent girls are forced to flee their homes, sometimes without their families, their vulnerability significantly increases. They lack the life experience to help them handle forced displacement at the same time they are targeted for sexual and gender-based violence at much higher rates.

    Read more on Trust.org.

    Global Citizenship Education Underpins Efforts of Youth to Build Peaceful Societies

    According to the Women’s Refugee Commission, all 51 countries experiencing some form of conflict since 1986 also reported high levels of sexual violence against adolescent girls.

    Immigrant students blocked from enrolling in school

    "U.S. law is clear on this point — no child in the United States should be excluded from public education. That doesn't always play out in practice," said Mikaela Harris, a co-author of a study issued by the Women's Refugee Commission and Georgetown University.

    WRC Signs Joint Statement on Women and Girls Ahead of UNGA Refugee Summit

    The Women's Refugee Commission is among the 42 grassroots women-led civil society organisations, human rights and humanitarian agencies, that has signed a joint statement which outlines recommendations for commitments by states attending the upcoming Global Refugee and Migrant Summits, to ensure the protection and safety of refugee women and girls.

    Researching livelihoods recovery and support for vulnerable conflict-affected women in Iraq

    Across Iraq, the number of displaced people in June 2016 exceeded 3.3 million – 10 per cent of the population. In the context of the ongoing crisis in the country, women and girls have been particularly affected and their ability to engage in livelihoods activities has been disrupted. Through a series of studies and projects, Oxfam in Iraq is working towards understanding community and conflict dynamics in order to engage conflict-affected women in economic life, in ways which empower them and increase their resilience. A key element of this is influencing local communities – and in turn, other agencies – to advocate for gender-sensitive livelihoods programming in such a fragile context. This article considers some of the lessons so far and reflects critically on our experience.