Solferino update: our workshops
One of the best parts of the World Youth Meeting is the chance to meet youth leaders from other National Societies. So far, I’ve met national youth leaders from France, Mexico, Ghana, The Netherlands, Algeria, The Gambia, Iran, Hong Kong, Lebanon, New Zealand, Slovakia, Yemen, Germany, Australia, Jamaica, Guyana, Kenya, Norway, Palestine, South Korea, North Korea, Great Britain, Malaysia, Mongolia and many other countries. Not only do our international friends have fantastic ideas and activities to relate, but we are also eager to share our youth expertise with them!
There was a fantastic example of this cooperation recently when we sat down with youth leaders from the Lebanese Red Cross, the Yemeni Red Crescent, the British Red Cross and the Palestinian Red Crescent to write the conclusions of the American Red Cross Youth Leadership presentation.
Knowledge sharing and teaching is a major aspect of American Red Cross participation in the World Youth Meeting. On June 24th, we presented a full-day session on youth leadership, and on June 25th, we held an additional workshop on the Measles Initiative.
The conclusions of all the workshops and sessions at the World Youth Meeting are being used to create the 2009 Red Cross and Red Crescent Youth Declaration, a document which will address current and future youth issues and objectives within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The Declaration won’t be officially released until later in the week, but I can share the key findings from the American Red Cross Youth Leadership session:
- All adults have responsibility in developing the leadership skills of youth and young adults.
- Adults supporting the development of youth and young adults must act as positive, supportive role models. Adults must have an educative role, building self-determination, a sense of social justice and autonomy among youth and young adults.
- To develop and retain youth leaders, adult role models must share their responsibility, their power, and their decision-making processes.
- Honest and regular self-assessment is essential in the development of good youth leaders.
- To be successful, a young leader must synthesize the development of the organization with the development of the individual. Both are important.
- In order to build capacity and secure the Movement’s future, there is a need for National Societies and the Federation to make available adequate funds for developing youth and young people as leaders.
- To maintain capacity, National Societies and the Federation should provide appropriate resources and transition opportunities for retaining volunteers throughout the different stages of their lives.
These are powerful messages, and many of them will be included in the Declaration. We’ll post more info about the Declaration when we get to Geneva later this week, but for now, the presentations are linked below and are also available on the Resources page.
Aubin Dupree, Solferino