The 2013-3013 YAN Program has been a bubbling success with forty-two students participating from two schools. Students graduated last week and their advocacy projects will be online and ready for viewing soon!
With the end of the school year's program comes the beginning of our summer programming. This year YAN was able to offer summer internship to eleven outstanding students. Six will be placed in the community - at such organizations as Green Cameroon, Z TV and The Woman's Development Center - while five will be working directly with the Youth Advocacy Network.
Community interns will work to build local organization's capacity and online presence while YAN interns will work to bring a little piece of YAN to student's whose schools are too under-resourced to be included in the year's programming. The interns have already sorted through the applications for the summer camp and chosen 20 students to participate. Next week they will be calling them to congratulate them and confirm their participation.
One aspect of YAN programming that is not always highlighted in the Advanced Class's sensitization presentations. On that note I shall leave you for a blog post from the field:
June 3rd 2013
Advanced YAN puts their research into ACTION!
Sensitization projects are the main thing that sets the Advanced class apart from the regular YAN class. This year we started the school year with nine bright and motivated returning YAN graduates who initiated the Advanced YAN class!
Depending on each individual, students either continued researching their topic from the previous year or started working on research for another topic. Everyone except for 2 groups were working alone. The students and their research topics are as follows:
David and Balemba: Poverty
Cardine and Deril: Nature Conservation
Shemilove and Deril: Malaria
I spoke with the Principal and she agreed to find a classroom or two which we could present in on the last Thursday before school ended (22nd May). The final week of school was a busy one – even though there were 2 public holidays (Monday and Tuesday) we still managed to get the Advanced YAN students together to prepare for their sensitization. On Wednesday, I came to the school with poster board, markers, colored paper and scissors.
We reviewed a previous lesson going over components of a good sensitization, how to keep your crowd entertained, visual aids, and method of delivery.
We ended up presenting to 38 students! Presenters started out by introducing themselves, YAN and the topic they researched. For example, in the poverty group students gave their definition of poverty and then read the exact definition from their poster. Then they talked more about the problem itself, why these problems matter and finally solutions to poverty. The last part was showing the video that they had filmed, edited and produced! All of the students were really impressed!
At the end, the group took any questions; one bright and witty Form One girl one asked “How will you stop poverty?” Both David and Balemba seemed a bit perplexed despite the fact that they had done research the entire year on the topic… Soon Balemba turned to the poster and began to list off a few solutions they had previously mentioned such as “Open more schools which provide a free education, give scholarships to those living in poverty…” As he read those things, the girl was obviously not impressed and she asked again, “How will you do those things?” I was happy she really poked at these Advanced YAN students to really make them think how they will instigate change. They looked at each other. They looked at me. I said, “Come on guys, how will you make these things happen. How can you advocate for these changes?” Once I said those key words: change, government and advocacy – both of them had a light bulb turn on in their head. They went into a short explanation about how they can continue doing project such as this one (sensitization), they can have workshops, announce on the radio and even start fundraising on their own for scholarships. The student seemed satisfied with this answer and sat down.