1. The Advanced Democracy Seminar (ADS)
YCC’s Advanced Democracy Seminar will continue to provide youth with a basic education on their political system, the theories and principles of democratic governance, and the impact that informed and motivated youths can have in shaping the development of their country. The ADS curriculum covers a range of issues relevant to Cambodia’s youth, from the theoretical linkages between Buddhism and democracy to the tangible ways in which youth can engage institutions of governance. Outstanding students will be invited to join the Youth Volunteer Network and have the opportunity to form valuable networks with other youth activists, receive additional, specialized training, and access resources such as a provincial library and matching grants to conduct community development activities.
2. ADS 2.0 (Citizen Journalism)
Youth today have more opportunities than ever before to access a wide variety of media – new and old media to educate themselves and share their ideas. Communication with the press/media is very important to get more attention for your work and your ideas. Youth have many tools available to them that create amazing opportunities to communicate with others in their community, their country and all over the world if they choose to call in to radio programs that accept callers, tell their stories to newspaper and radio journalists, write on blogs on the internet, or use email to send your ideas, pictures, or videos to local, national, or international press.
ADS 2.0 is a three-day interactive training course in which youth were trained on media development and reporting skills such as hot news, feature and profile writing. This course has equipped young people to become a social activist by increasing their civic participation through media engagement. The curriculum focused more on the using of simple technology – mobile phone and social networks such as internet, email, and facebook to share information in their communities. In addition, some important aspects of media have also been included such as ethics of journalist, identifying source of news as well as reporting skills.
Social Networks – while the most common social networks in Cambodia are made by sending SMS messages through mobile phones, more and more Cambodians are also starting to use the internet and have access to email and social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. These sites allow youth to connect with people all over the world by sending messages in a way very similar to the way messages are sent on mobile phones. ADS 2.0 in which social networking was emphasized allows youth to create their own networks, support groups, and share information. Social networks can be used for social activities such as fund raising, promoting about one’s group, gathering people for a meeting or demonstration and sharing news stories. Social networking on the internet allows youth to express their voice via their articles, pictures and videos
3. Youth Networks Capacity Building
YCC has been recruiting active ADS participants to be YCC youth networks. YCC has structured its youth networks on commune based in order to activate them to take the greater participation to address local youth concerns and to improve good governance practices in their respective communes. Having been trained under ADS program, youth networks have been participating in various local events such as submitting petitions letters on certain local youth issues to elected officials (commune councilors) and local authorities, participating in commune council monthly public meetings as well as in other events initiated by local institutions.
In any cases that the important legislation or government decisions impacting youth and democracy in Cambodia are being debated, YCC will mobilize youth activists, cultivated through its trainings and membership networks, to get involved with such a debate. YCC uses grassroots lobbying techniques, including letter writing campaigns and face to face meetings in order to deal and lobby with relevant stakeholders.
To make its youth network members performing their roles and responsibilities in more effective way, YCC plans to organize three different workshops for each target provinces to build capacity of youth network members. Through workshops, youth network members will be able to get new working knowledge, experience, practical skill, and information related to their roles and responsibilities from distinguish guest speakers and trainers
4. Matching Grant
Matching Grant is a fund for youth who actively participate in community services. This project aims at promoting and encouraging youth to better understand their roles and responsibility in community development activities such as democracy, good governance, respect of human rights, people’s participation through implementation of youth initiated projects funded by Matching Grant. Five young people (project team leaders) aged from 18 to 25 can request budget from YCC through this Matching Grant to develop their community. For each project, Matching Grant can provide on 75% or $ 25 of the total expenditure and the rest of 25% or $25, youth can raise by themselves.
Marching is a new initiative aimed at engaging the YCC youth network to raise public awareness on certain issues. This year, the marching will be simultaneously organized in the nine provinces on International Human Rights Day and International Youth Day. Each march will include at least 50 young people walking for a few kilometers in their communities. After reaching their destination, the marchers will have lunch (prepared on their own) and interact in debate or group discussion to share information, fun and knowledge. At least 900 young people will participate in marching.
6. Commune Youth Representative Election
The Commune Youth Representative Election project is organized by YCC and local commune councilors at the specific commune to select a potential youth representative to encourage youths to actively involve with commune their councilors in addressing any commune youth issues as well as to participate in other community development services. It is a mock election to make youth and local residents aware of procedures, documents, and decision making processes. On top of this goal, the elected youth is expected to serve as a linkage between youth in the community and their local authority in addressing youth concern and represent local youth voice.
CYRE takes approximately two weeks. It begins with plenary and orientation meeting with commune councilor, youth network, and citizen to promote youth in the commune/sangkat to participate in the event. Any commune youth whose age is above 18 years old was given equal chance to participate in the event. Candidates must lobby the local residents in order to win supports. Only top three applicants who won the most supportive signatures from the local citizen will be selected to be the election candidates for CYRE.
Campaign management training is provided to the three candidates so as to run the election campaign with a special campaign advisor assigned to each candidate. Running candidate must identify issues in their community by meeting with local residents then develop policies to address those issues and use them as a key message to lobby their voters. Youth networks who served as election committee, registration committee, and organizing committee were provided related training on election such as procedures, voter’s registration processes, election rules, and ballot counting. After this, there were election campaigns by candidate and the voter’s registration by the election committee. The last activity during the event was the election participated by local voters to decide the winner which is made by number of vote each candidate received. The result is revealed by the ballot counting committee witnessed by the respective commune councilor.
7. Commune Youth Public Forum
Prior to the start of the project, YCC’s provincial representative/Commune Youth Representative will identify the target communes for the project to be implemented. A meeting with the local authority of each target commune will be conducted in order to seek collaboration and support for the implementation of the project. The Commune Youth Representative Team will conduct a meeting with local people in order to gather local people’s needs, concerns and issues to be addressed at the commune level.
Twice a year the selected community youth network members will work in partnership with the commune councilors to discuss the concerns and issues of local people to jointly address their concerns at the monthly commune council meeting. Regular meetings with community youth network members and community youth representatives will be conducted to identify challenges and offer solutions to those challenges moving forward. The solvable and unsolvable issues will be recorded by the selected community youth network members each month after the meeting to be discussed at the semester forum.
8. Grassroots Advocacy Competition
The grassroots advocacy competition will develop capacity of YCC’s youth network members and community youth through different training sessions. Moreover, the competition designed in this activity will allow youth to translate their knowledge into real practices. This competition will also provide them space for personal development, taking their own challenges and improving their leadership capacity.
9.Annual Youth Conference
The Annual Youth Conference is a significant activity that provides motivation to youth network members in different provinces as well as a venue for capacity development. Through different programs designed within this project, youth are provided an opportunity for sharing experiences and are able to learn from one another about their work and development processes in their respective province. Additionally, they are able to learn from experts in the field through the training and distinguished guest speakers. The experience and knowledge gained during this conference will be able to be taken back to their respective provincial areas and further develop their capacity.