Application Deadline: February 1st 2021
The Youth Action Lab is a one year co-creation lab for grassroots youth activists based in the global south which works to support their movements to become more resilient and sustainable in their pursuit of a more equitable world. The Lab is an innovative, safe, active, inclusive, collective, representative and connected space, online and physical for grassroots activists, which thoughtfully considers diverse contexts and ecosystems to better resource them to flourish with their communities.
Participants in the Lab work to build political solidarity and networks, strengthen capacities in engaging with policy processes, and access resources to support their movement. The Lab will act as a hub for testing new ways of working within civil society and mobilizing learnings from across sectors in support of youth-led movements
The Youth Action Lab is a pilot project supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). This initiative is part of CIVICUS Youth and Civil Society Resourcing workstreams to build a more resilient, effective, safe and diverse civil society in the 21st Century
• Young people between the age of 18 and 32.
• Able to commit to a one-year program.
• Based in either Latin America, The Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa and SubSaharan Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.
• An activist with at least two years of experience working at the grassroots level mobilising for change around key economic, environmental, social, cultural, and civil rights issues. This includes artivism, journalism, social entrepreneurship, and community work.
• A member of a broader coalition, network, or movement working to advocate for change in the local or national context who can represent that movement within the Lab.
• An activist who is disruptive, who challenges traditional ways of working to test methodologies that are creative, inclusive, innovative, and relevant.
- Participants are expected to commit one year to remote and online training, meetings and mentorship, in-person workshops if COVID-19 restrictions permit, events and engage in learning and general knowledge sharing with all Lab participants.
- There are interim reflection discussions which occur online with other participants, and an ongoing creative project which CIVICUS require of participants.
- A minimum of 8 to 10 hours per month is required to dedicate to the programme on the course of a year. In this moment, you should feel comfortable to participate in the program without overcommitments or exposing yourself to emotional distress or vulnerabilities that may prevent you from remaining engaged during the period of the programme.
- There is a community dimension to the Lab, as our aim is to put high emphasis on confidentiality and trust-building among the participants. The programme will foster opportunities for the participants to get to know each other and a safe space for honest sharing, mutual respect and trust.
Young people are facing increasing barriers and threats to their activism. Youth-led movements are unable to access sustainable resourcing, lack the technical capacity and networks to engage with political systems, and continue to work in silos, separated from other movements and activists across geographies, movements, and causes.
Often times, these barriers and existing hierarchies in civil society often position youth as foot soldiers and not as change agents. Through extensive research and consultation with stakeholders, CIVICUS has come to understand that designing an alternative resourcing mechanism that centers meaningful youth participation is imperative to achieve a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive civil society. The solution to the aforementioned problems is launching a Youth Action Lab, an experimentation lab for ten young activists based in the Global South (Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Pacific) that would support them in being more sustainable and resilient in their activism.
How it Works
1. Accessing Resources
The Lab will provide participants with an unrestricted award of up to $5000 USD, access to in-kind support, training and other non-financial resources, as well as capacity strengthening in order to support more sustainable and resilient movements.
2. Developing Strategy
The Lab will provide opportunities for capacity strengthening through peer-to-peer learning, coaching, and skill-building workshops with the aim of supporting youth activists to be more strategic and targeted in their campaigning.
3. Building Alliances
The Lab, through online and regular peer learning sessions, will create spaces for movements and collectives of young people to connect, share experiences, and heal together, in order to build stronger alliances and more connected movements.
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