Red Crescent pioneers ‘Youth as Agents of Behavioural Change’ programme

The Maldivian Red Crescent yesterday evening concluded a week-long youth training camp designed to encourage young people to take a greater leadership role in society.

“In Maldives, the youth, those youngsters brimming with energy and enthusiasm at the age of 18 – 35 years take up at least 33 percent of the population,” said Secretary General of Maldivian Red Crescent Mr Abdul Razak Ibrahim.

“While this high percentage can be seen as a wealth, it poses certain challenges for the Maldivian society in terms of social services delivery, employment, urbanization and other developments directly related to youth.”

This week’s camp pioneered the International Federation of Red Crescent’s (IFRC) ‘Youth As Agents of Behavioural Change’ (YABC) programme in the Maldives, bringing 30 young people from across the atolls to Bandos Island Resort in order to develop skills that can benefit local communities.

The programme was borne from the IFRC’s strategy of focusing on non-violence, diversity, non-discrimination, mutual understanding and dialogue explained Razak.

Participants in the programme were taught how to cope with peer pressure and how to handle stressful situations with empathy and compassion.

Those trained will now be expected to return to their communities, and their respective Red Crescent branches, to pass on their new skills as peer educators.

During his speech yesterday, the secretary general highlighted the problems that unemployment, drugs, and family breakdown were having on society – and on the youth in particular.

Around 40 percent of young women, and 20 percent of young men are out of work in the country, while 46 percent of drug users in the country were aged between 16 and 25, he noted.

“Though this may not be the most becoming sentiments to express in an occasion where I have to be optimistic, I do have grave concerns for the youth of Maldives,” said Razak.

“Further, there are very few avenues and forums where youth can be involved in decision making, especially within the atolls. This is one reason why I have hopes for this 7-day training programme of YABC educators which I expect will help to catalyze youth to think more deeply in their decision making,” he added.

Yesterday’s closing ceremony included demonstrations of the skills developed from the camp’s participants, as well as individual accounts of the week’s training.

“The last seven days have been absolutely electrifying for all of us and have helped us a lot in knowing ourselves better and in finding inner peace,” explained camper Mariyam Maaha Madheeh.

“The YABC has helped in various ways and has helped us to do better and do be better. It has been a huge eye-opener and has taught us how we can bring the change the world needs,” she added.

The ceremony was also attended by Minister of State for Education Mr Adam Shareef Umar.

The current government’s youth policies have focused on discussion of a ‘Youth city’ in Hulhumalé, while the Home Ministry has organised its own police-run youth camps.

Home Minister Umar Naseer has also posited the idea of mandatory government service for school leavers in order to instill discipline into the nation’s young people.

The Red Cross/Red Crescent movement was first introduced to the people of the Maldives in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami which displace around 10 percent of the population.

After helping local communities overcome the disaster, the Maldives’ own branch of the organisation was established in 2009 and has since established 10 branches across the atolls.

The Maldives Red Crescent’s Strategic Plan 2011 – 2015 encompasses disaster management, health and social care, youth, and institutional development as the main strategic directions for the coming years.


8 thoughts on “Red Crescent pioneers ‘Youth as Agents of Behavioural Change’ programme”

  1. Red CRESCENT? Gosh!
    Youve got the wrong organization Minivannews shouldnt it be red CROSS you should be promoting?

  2. @Damn: Because your faith is so inadequate, that the mere sight of the thaana letter 'raa' is enough to turn you into a raving catholic? 😛

  3. @Maldivian Oh no, I am just secure with my own Identity as a muslim and as a Maldivian that I don't need to imitate a bunch of colonialists from a different part of the world to feel better about myself, unlike you.

  4. @Damn Is that why you confused the red crescent with the red cross? I guess you need to stop drinking wine at the resorts so much. It's messing with your reading skills.

    And if you feel that self-initiative and leadership is considered 'imitating colonialists', then you are the reason why Maldives has been stuck in such a backward state for decades. Please do us Maldivians a favor and remove yourself from the gene pool (or go blow yourself up in some lonely mountaintop in Pakistan(NOT IN A CROWDED MARKETPLACE LIKE YOU MORONS USUALLY DO.)).

  5. @Maldivian, Us Maldivians? You mean you and the 2 writers on minivan?

    The reason Maldives is stuck in this state is people being dependent on every other country in the world to take care of our problems, rather than taking any initiative on our own, and the educated few wasting their times on politics, or migrating abroad rather than coming back, and using their expertise as doctors, engineers and what not to actually develop the country,

    And youre part of the problem, People with zero integrity kissing the west's ass, dancing around hoops hoping they will look at you and cheer, "We are so very much like you, please accept us".. disgusting

  6. @Damn: And yet you call anyone trying to end the trend of "being dependent on every other country in the world to take care of our problems" as 'copying western colonialists'.

    Make up your mind.

    PS: Mecca is in a 'westerly' direction. You're the one brainwashed here. You want to stay as a beggar state, fine; just dont lump us Maldivians into it.

    PSS: You might consider yourself some sort of superior being - but you're not. You're as human as the rest of us on the inside. In fact, you who consider anyone trying to better their lives as 'westernism', you're choosing to be less human than the rest of us. We're not forcing you to live as us - like I said before; how you live is your own business. If you're going to stay in a slum, rail against imagined enemies and pretend to be pious while screaming obscenities and shooting heroin in your eyeballs, that's your business; so don't drag us down to your level.

    So when people like you harass the educated people, don't be surprised when they emigrate.

  7. @Maldivian,Youre clearly mistaken, Hate to admit I actually agree with you on the Saudi's and over zealous preachers islamic or otherwise,

    But having some integrity does not mean you become a religious fanatic, the context is not Islam vs the west, the context is not to blindly follow and bend over for anyone whether the saudis or the west.

    And as for religion, its a part our identity and would like to see that and everything else not be prodded at by someone abroad, There is a lot wrong with the current religious context of Maldives ;ie idiotic "scholars", lack of chivalry, hypocrisy and even an unfair disregard for women
    But am level headed.

    Oh P.S
    Im a western educated person and by no means will kiss their behinds and try to be like them or anyone else to get their or any other peoples approval

    And real classy "Maldivian"

  8. You're more like the "colonialists" than you'll ever admit to be. Because let's face it - your whole case is built upon one lie.

    The organization doing this leadership program is called 'red crescent'. If you have a problem with that, then please take it up with them. Not minivannews.

    PS: Congrats, you are now an apostate for speaking against the Haamaan ga- uh, I mean 'ILMUVERIN'. try not to get stabbed by their heroin-addled assassins.


Comments are closed.