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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

1 DEVELOPMENT Ministry of YouthYOUTH Affairs & Skills Development Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development


YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development


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Compiled by: Nilanthi Sugathadasa Additional Secretary (Youth Development) Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development October 2013

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CONTENTS Introduction Youth Development Programs / Activities

Formulation of National Youth Policy

Organization of Youth

Leadership and Personality Development

Aesthetic Skills Development

Sports Skills Development

Empowering Youth with Entrepreneurial Skills

Provision of Employable Skills

International Relations

Special Programs

Donor Assistance

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INTRODUCTION

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he term “Youth” is defined by the United Nations, as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years1. As per the Commonwealth, the definition of young people is persons between the ages of 15 and 29 years 2. Taking in to account the socio, economic and cultural aspects, Sri Lanka defines same as individuals between ages of 15 and 29 years. In Sri Lanka, youth comprises of a significant percentage of the population, contributing to 26 percent of the total population of 20 million which constitutes 5.6 million approximately. This 5.6 million includes among others youth whose age is 15 years and above and still schooling, Youth those who have completed school education, school dropouts, university students, students of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, unemployed youth, employed youth, differently able youth, prison inmates, indigenous youth etc. etc. It is believed that if the youth population is more than 26 percent of the total population of a country, it is a bonus to that particular country. This is the prime time to strengthen and expand the youth development programs and inclusion of youth in the development agenda of the country. To get the maximum benefit of this bonus, it is the responsibility of the country to make use of this valuable resource productively for the betterment of the future of the country.

been forced to carry cyanide capsules all the times. In Sri Lanka, annually about 330,000 students entre the year one of the general education system out of which, 310,000 approximately sit for the GCE(Ordinary Level) Examination., Average number of students sit for the GCE (Advanced Level) is around 170,000. However, due to limited capacity in the traditional university system in the country, only about 22,500 students get the opportunities to enter the University system. About 8,000 students seek higher educational avenues abroad and about 40,000 will opt for unskilled labour. Accordingly, what will happen to the balance? This is the main target group who should be provided with employable skills including soft skills, positive attitudes and appropriate knowledge. Successive governments have initiated many productive programs to empower and develop youth with the establishment of the first ever Ministry of Youth and Employment during year 1978. Subsequently, the portfolio of the Ministry of the subject of Youth Affairs was changed as follows;

Sri Lanka is a country which experienced three youth uprisings. First ever youth uprising took place during 1971 in which, youth unemployment and underemployment had apparently instrumental in galvanizing a sizable section of the youth population to rebel against the government. Soon after the rebellion, the government of the day took certain radical policy reforms to address such grievances of the youth who were in the forefront of the failed armed insurrection. The country witnessed another youth rebellion during 1988/1989. The Presidential Commission on Youth was appointed by the government in the year 1990 to oversee this situation and come up with recommendations.

1989 -

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

1994 -

Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and Rural Development

1998 -

Ministry of Samurdhi, Youth Affairs and Sports

2000 -

Ministry of Youth Affairs

2001 -

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

2004 -

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

2010 -

Ministry of Youth Affairs

2010 -

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development

Since 1989, many policy initiatives have been taken by the different governments targeting on development of youth in the country. Until 2010, the subjects of youth development and vocational training development were under two different ministerial portfolios. However, the government’s initiative on amalgamating both subject areas of youth development and vocational training as the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development

Further, a large number of misguided youth died during a period of three decades ending May, 2009 fighting for separation of the country. Youth in the North and East were recruited by the terrorist leaders as solders by force and convinced them that only solution for the issues faced by them such as unemployment was separation. These youth had www.UNESCO.org www.Commonwealth Secretariat.org

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and taking all the public training providers under one umbrella started making very positive impact on youth development of the country as a whole. Accordingly, responsibilities of the development sector of the Ministry was divided in to two areas namely; Youth Development and Vocational Training. Altogether, following 18 institutions are functioning under the Ministry.

gineering (NIFNE) 8. National Leadership Development

Centre

(NLDC) 9. National School of Business Management (NSBM) 10. National Youth Award Authority. (NYAA) 11. National Youth Corps. (NYC) 12. National Youth Services Cooperatives Ltd.

1. Ceylon German Technical Training Institute

(NYSCO)

(CGTTI)

13. National Youth Services Council (NYSC)

2. Department of Technical Education and Train-

14. Skills Development Fund Ltd(SDFL)

ing (DTET) 3. Institute of Printing (IP)

15. Small Enterprise Development Division (SEDD)

4. National Apprentice an Industrial Training Au-

16. University of Vocational Technology (Univotec) 17. Sri Lanka Youth Services (pvt) Ltd (SLYSL)

thority (NAITA) 5. National

Human

Resources

18. Vocational Training Authority (VTA)

Development

Council (NHRDC)

These institutions, under the policy guidance of the Ministry, implement youth development programs and activities through their network of training Centers Island wide.

6. National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) 7. National institute of Fisheries and Nautical En-

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS/ ACTIVITIES 8

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Formulation of National Youth Policy Organization of Youth Leadership and Personality Development Aesthetic Skills Development Sports Skills Development Empowering Youth with Entrepreneurial Skills Provision of Employable Skills International Relations Special Programs Donor Assistance

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FORMULATION OF A NATIONAL YOUTH POLICY (NYP) F

ormulation of a National Youth Policy (NYP) is a joint effort of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development, the Open University of Sri Lanka and the National Youth Services Council. It considers youth as constituency with certain rights and obligations. It recognizes the potential of youth to contribute meaningfully to the development of the country and also identifies key actors and institutions that have a duty to ensure an enabling and ensuring environment where youth can flourish. At the beginning, there had been a long and inclusive process to get the participation of all the stakeholders in collecting inputs. Ideas were collected from the stakeholders through questionnaires, one to one meetings, seminars, workshops etc. Workshops and Seminars were held covering the entire country. Once the first draft was done it was opened for public hearing for which very constructive inputs were received. The NYP is the guiding principle for the stakeholders concerned in planning and implementing programs and activities according to the needs and aspirations of the youth in Sri Lanka. It encourages recognition of young people and the contribution they make to the community and the country at large. The vision of the NYP is to develop the full potential of the youth to enable their active participation in the national development for a just and equitable society. The National Youth Policy, Sri Lanka is formulated based on following three pillars.

Ensuring Youth to strengthen youth to participate and take responsibility on behalf of themselves, their community and humanity Main objectives of formulating of the National Youth Policy are; •

To build the capacity of youth to meaningfully engage in the national development process

To enhance youth participation in the economy

To instill a sense of social responsibility and social cohesion among youth while recognizing and respecting diversities of ethnicity, culture, religion, language and lifestyles in the country To develop the potential of youth to challenge all forms of discrimination and exploitation

• •

To develop supportive families and communities for protection, growth and development of youth

To make sustainable peace among the communities

To promote health and wellbeing of youth

To facilitate a coordinated response to youth development and youth work among state organizations, non-state organizations as well as families and communities.

Ensuring Youth to make sure that there is a conducive, supportive and equitable environment and opportunities for youth to flourish

Ensuring Youth to create conditions where youth can be independent

Education, Skills Development and Vocational Training, Employment, Civics and Citizenship, Professionalizing Youth Work Sector, Health and Wellbeing, Social Exclusion and Discrimination, Peace and Reconciliation and Arts, Recreation Sports and Leisure etc have been recommended as the main strategic areas for policy intervention in the NYP.

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ORGANISATION OF

YOUTH T

he mechanism to organization of youth in the country is done through the network of Youth Clubs established in each Grama Niladhari Division (Village). At present, there are 14,022 Grama Niladhari Divisions established in 331 Divisional Secretary’s Divisions in the country. So far 14,000 Youth Clubs have been established with the membership of 600,000youthapproximately. These Youth Clubs are networked at village level, district level and national level under the purview of the Sri Lanka Youth Club Federation. The main objective of establishment of these Youth Clubs is to organize youth in order to inculcate positive relationship among themselves and so solicit their participation in the economic development process. The eligible age to be a member of a Youth Club is 13-29 years.

Through this Youth Club Program, the members are provided with opportunities to get themselves exposed and empowered to many areas to become productive citizens. Some of such programs are; Capacity building programs, Youth Camps, Youth Exchange Programs (Local and international) and create opportunities for them to expose themselves to community services at their own villages. These programs are very much helpful for them to enhance their leadership qualities, team building abilities, improve spirituality etc,

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LEADERSHIP AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT I

n simple terms, leadership is concerned with the ability to influence others to achieve goals. It is a complex suite of competencies, personal attributes and vision that requires development through education, exposure, role modeling and mentoring with existing leaders.

Personality means, the characteristics and appearance of a person which includes his thoughts, feelings, behavior, communication ability and physical features. Individuals need to have a style on their own for others to follow them. It helps individuals to develop positive qualities in life. Taking these aspects in to consideration, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development conducts many programs for youth in the age group between 16-18 years through its institutions concerned. One such program is the Leadership and Personality Development Training Program of the National Youth Corps. Annually, about 15,000 youth are trained through the 38 National Youth Corps training centers located island wide. Most of the students who undergo this training are school drop outs and those who have completed their school education. Some students join soon after the GCE (O/L) Examination. Some are after GCE (A/L) and awaiting university entrance or waiting to follow a vocational training. The training provided at these centers are well structured and balanced. The curricula include Physical Training, Personal Counseling, Career Guidance and Counseling, Sports, subjects on Aesthetic Skills, Social Sciences, Computer Literacy, English Language, Tamil Language, Outward Bound Training etc. The duration of the training program is six months from Monday to Friday. Action has been taken to offer level 1 certificate of the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) for this training program where the students who obtain the NVQ level 1 certificate from the National Youth Corps, will qualify to follow a Vocational Training course of NVQ level 2 at any institution under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development without any educational qualification required to enroll for vocational training courses. This will be an entry qualification to a vocational training.

Further, one of the other initiatives taken in this regard is, establishment of the Youth Parliament under the National Youth Services Council. The main objective of establishment of the Youth Parliament is to develop leadership skills in young girls and boys in the age group of 18-29 years and create conducive atmosphere for them to recognize their hidden talents and competencies. Total number of the youth Parliamentarians is 335 out of which 332 are elected From among the Youth Clubs members at Divisional Secretariat level. Other five members are appointed by the Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development representing one from the indigenous community, one from the category of differently able youth and other one from the Minority communities. Further, seventy members are appointed to the Senate. In order to empower them with requisite leadership knowledge and skills and make them future leaders, many programs are offered namely, workshops, seminars, debates on selected topics. They are also given opportunities to participate and contribute at many local for a such as Consultative Committee Meetings, District Development Committee meetings and international fora. Leadership Development of School prefects is one of the other important programs of the Ministry which is conducted through the National Leadership Development Centre located in Embilipitiya. School Prefects and other students those who are above grade 10 are the target groups of this training program. As this is a residential program for 2-3 days, many schools, especially the schools located in rural areas get the opportunity to participate in this programs. This training is now expanded to training of school teachers on the request of the Principals. Further, training is provided to the members of the Youth Clubs, trainees of Vocational Training Centers, Technical Colleges etc. In addition, the premises and the training facilities are provided to the outside organizations to conduct their training programs, workshops, seminars etc at a cost.

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AESTHETIC SKILLS DEVELOPMENT I

t is a known factor that getting involved in any kind of a aesthetic practice helps to make the mind balance. With the establishment of the “Belwood” Aesthetic Centre by the National Youth Services Council (NYSC) during 1978 in Kandy, the demand for music and dancing courses were emerged. Gradually, the NYSC started expanding this facility to other regions of the country too. At present, in addition to Belwood, five more Aesthetic Training Centers are established at Maharagama, Orubandiwewa Eraminiyaya, Ulapane and Killinochchi. These centers are re named as “Saundarya Nikethana”. In these Saundarya Nikethana, training is provided on dancing and music. The dancing section covers Udarata (Kandyan), Pahatharata (Low Country), Sabaragamu, Indian etc. while the Music section caters to vocal music and instrumental music. All these programs are three year Diploma level Programs. In addition to these four Saundarya Nikethana, Saundarya Cent-

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ers are established one in each district. As a total, the four Saundarya Nikethana train around 500 students annually. The cultural troops of these centers perform at national and international events very often. Through these centers, the NYSC has been able to produce a large number of talented artists to the music field. Having identified the importance of such institutions, the Ministry has taken an initiative to upgrade the Belwood Saundarya Nikethanaya to a University College. Once upgraded, opportunities will be opened up for the students to obtain level 5 and 6 of the National Vocational Qualification Certificate and level 7 of the Degree certificate with an affiliation to the University of Vocational Technology established under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development. In addition Lalitha Kala Sansads (Asethetic Pools) have been established in all 25 districts which have the capacity to train 50 100 students annually.

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SPORTS SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

S

ports provide youth with many opportunities to grow physically and socially as well as emotionally. Physical activities allow them to build social skills through peer interaction. Especially, team sports are useful for teaching youth many important skills. Furthermore, they also allow youth to learn and practice in a competitive environment. Having identified the positive impact of sports, emphasis has been given to encourage youth to get involved in sports. Many institutions under the Ministry have opened up sports facilities for their trainees in different levels. National Youth Services Council through its Sports Division conducts many programs in this nature. Well established sports pools are some of the examples to justify impor-

tance given for sports for youth. Under the district sports pool program, the NYSC has started establishing sports pools for Volley Ball, Net Ball, kabadi and Foot Ball. The areas of sports will be expanded to the other sports too in the future. In addition, sports facilities are provided to the Youth Clubs. Annual Sports Meets are held at District level, Provincial level and National Level. With the sports goods provided to the Youth Clubs, youth are motivated to engage in sports activities on their choice. Further, sports facilities are provide for the youth with special needs and annual sports festivals are held for these youth to show case their sports skills.

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In Sri Lanka, youth are rather reluctant to take a challenge to start up new enterprises/businesses. Whatever the training they gain, they expect to be an employee of an organization; public or private. Only a few youth are interested in starting up businesses by themselves. On the other hand, thousands of youth are passing out from the Universities and Vocational Training Institutions annually seeking jobs. Although, they are qualified with skills and knowledge the private sector complains that their soft skills are not up to the standard as per their expectations. Fluency in English is also always required apart from soft skills in the job market in the private sector. Further, the growth of the industry base in Sri Lanka is not that fast to absorb all the job seekers. Therefore, one of the best options to address this issue is to inculcate entrepreneurial skills among youth and facilitate them to start up new businesses. Since a new business generates employment opportunities, the youth should be encouraged to engage in their own business ventures. In view of this, the Ministry, through the Small Enterprise Development Division (SEDD) conducts many programs targeting on youth. Youth are encouraged

to start up businesses and look at youth who can contribute through personal innovations and come up with something new. Annually, through the District Offices located island wide, SEDD conducts programs to identify potential young entrepreneurs. In each district they conduct surveys to identify these youth among school leavers, those who study in Vocational Training Centers, who are self employed etc. Once identified, proper awareness training is given through which the potential entrepreneurs and those who have a desire to become entrepreneurs are identified. Annually about 300 persons are starting up new businesses with the support of the SEDD. To become a successful entrepreneur, he or she should posses the required set of competencies. Therefore, once the youth concerned are identified, they will be given a proper capacity building training which includes among others, knowledge in Human Resource Management, basic Financial Management, develop competencies in preparation of a business plan, special sets of skills and attitudes, technical know-how etc. All these facilities and guidance are provided by a competent staff of the SEDD. It is not a possible task for anyone to start and operate a business with his/her own financial resources. Therefore, there should be a financial support to

EMPOWERING YOUTH WITH ENTREPRENURIAL SKILLS

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these potential entrepreneurs to start up their businesses. Especially, when they approach financial institutions for credit facilities, generally the financial institutions do not lend funds without collateral. At this stage, the SEDD coordinates with the financial institutions for these youth to obtain financial assistance. However, action is being taken to introduce a funding mechanism in support of these young entrepreneurs to start up new businesses. In addition, the Ministry has a special loan scheme called Self Employment Promotion Initiative (SEPI) for the youth those who start up businesses after obtaining a National Vocational Qualification. Annual exhibition “Vyavasaya� is the main outcome of this program. The entrepreneurs those

who come up with the support of the SEDD are given an opportunity to participate at this exhibition where they get opportunities to market their products and develop link with buyers. During this exhibition, they sell their goods and their earnings are very much higher. Some of the entrepreneurs are placed with huge orders. In addition, the selection of the best entrepreneur competition and the award ceremonies at provincial and national levels are held annually. Mighty Minds� is another program implemented to produce young entrepreneurs. In this program, youth have been identified and provided training. At present, there are 18 district offices functioning under the SEDD and action is being taken to establish district offices in the northern and eastern provinces too.

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PROVISION OF EMPLOYABLE SKILLS I

n terms of youth development, one of the main areas focused on is provision of employable skills through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Whatever the skills are inculcated among youth, ultimate objective is their well being and contribution to the economic development of the country for which it is the responsibility of the stakeholders concerned to provide the youth with right skills and competencies in relation to available jobs.

in fact, the TVET enjoys a fairly long history in Sri Lanka dating back to the year 1893 when the first Technical College of the country was established in Maradana, Colombo. This College had functioned under the colonial Department of Education to cater to the demand of technical level workers generated by the emerging trading and commercial operations. Though this College had functioned under the colonial Department of Education, it remained separated from the country’s schooling system. Soon after attaining independence in 1948, the then Ceylon government embarked on agriculture development and in 1950’s established the Hardy Institute in Ampara to train technical level workers required for the agricultural sector. Further, in the year 1960, the government established Institute of Practical Technology in Katubedda, Moratuwa followed by establishment of the first Vocational Training Centre at Orugodawatta in 1963. The period between1971-1978 witnessed a radical shift in the focus of the government on the TVET regime in Sri Lanka. The watershed event that occurred during this period was the youth uprising in 1971. One of the important measures taken in this regard was establishment of the National Apprenticeship Board with an objective to formulate, implement and supervise a scheme of training to cover each category of apprentices. In 1994, the subject of TVET was elevated to the cabinet rank. The major government agencies responsible for technical education, vocational training, apprenticeship training, technical teacher training and curriculum development came under one single Ministry at cabinet level. When these important segments of skills development were brought under a new Ministry, it obviously facilitated the development of

TVET in a complementary manner. At present, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development, through its training providers conduct many training programs at different levels of National Vocational Qualifications to empower youth with skills targeting on decent and productive employment. Introduction of the National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF) is an effective mechanism to assess the trainee on their competencies at different levels. This NVQF has seven levels starting with 1-4 Certificate level, 5& 6 Diploma level and Degree at level 7. The diploma level courses at NVQ level 5 and 6 are conducted at the Colleges of Technology, established by upgrading one Technical College in each province (nine provinces). First ever University for the Vocational Training Sector was established in year 2008 to provides degree programs of NVQ level 7. Further, action has been taken to establish 25 University Colleges with a view to open up opportunities for more youth, those who seek avenues for tertiary education leading for productive employment. In addition to the Vocational stream, the youth who do not get opportunities for higher educational avenues in the conventional universities are benefitted from the National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) and the National School of Business Management (NSBM) functioning under the Ministry. The NSBM conducts degree programs in affiliation with the foreign universities too. Hence, those who wish to obtain degree qualifications of a foreign university, have opportunities to study at the NSBM and obtain the degree of the particular foreign university at a lesser cost. Mainly, the TVET programs are provided by the Vocational Training Authority, Department of Technical Education and Training through its Technical Colleges, National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority, Ceylon German Technical Training Institute, National Youth Services Council, National Institute of Fisheries and Nautical Engineering and Institute of Printing. The Ministry train about 100,000 youth through these Training Providers annually. In addition to this Ministry, about 21 Ministries are catering to provision of employable skills to the youth in specific vocational fields such as agriculture, construction.

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INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

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ny country cannot develop in isolation. Sri Lanka, through the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development has opened up pathways to the youth to enter the globe and strengthens international relations.

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YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAMS

I

nternational Youth Exchange Programs are the turning point of this initiative. Annually, about 3-4 youth exchange programs are organized with different countries. So far, such programs were held with India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Nepal etc. In these programs the youth get opportunities to exchange ideas, expose themselves to different cultures, home stay in the host country, team building etc which lead to enhance their team building, leadership and personality development skills too. Mostly, the youth at the grass root level benefit in these programs.

COMMONWEALTH YOUTH FORUM (CYF)–2013

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ri Lanka hosts the 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November 2013 in Colombo. In parallel to the CHOGM the 9th Commonwealth Youth Forum will be hosted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat (Com Sec) and Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council (CYEC) in London and the National Youth Services Council. The CYF will be held from 1014 November, 2013 at the International Convention Centre, Hambamtota. The main theme of the CYF is “Inclusive Development; Stronger Together”. Plenary sessions will be held on identified sub themes i.e. Reconciliation and Social Cohesion, Youth in the Post 2015 Development Agenda, Well being and Growth, Quality Education – fit for purpose,

Generating productive/decent youth employment, Sexual and Re productive Health, Professionalizing Youth Work, Gender Equality. Planning and organizing of CYF is the responsibility of a Youth Led Task Force (YLTF) which comprises of five local youth leaders and five youth leaders of the other Commonwealth Member States with co chairs from each group. Two youth leaders from each of the 54 Commonwealth Member States including Sri Lanka and 30 other youth leaders from Sri Lanka participate at the Forum. In addition there will be 40 local and international youth leaders as observers. Objectives of the CYF are: a) to provide a platform to set an agenda for youth of the Commonwealth Member States, b) to promote cultural exchange,

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c) to build skills, knowledge and awareness of young people, d) to identify challenges and opportunities faced by youth and e)to provide an opportunity to contribute to Commonwealth agenda. Expected outcomes of the CYF are: creation of an opportunity for the youth of the Commonwealth Member States to experience the development of the country at large and the commitments towards development of youth in Sri Lanka, youth from the different parts of the world will experience the socio, economic and cultural aspects of the country, opportunity for the Sri Lankan youth to interact with youth from different cultural backgrounds and share their experience with them and creation of a youth voice on working towards a common theme for another two years until the next Commonwealth Youth Forum is held.

UN YOUTH DELEGATE PROGRAM

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ri Lankan Youth have been offered an opportunity to represent Sri Lanka as Sri Lankan delegates at higher fora. One such instance is appointment of UN Youth Delegates to represent Sri Lanka at the UN Youth Delegate Program. First time in the history of Sri Lanka and in the Asia Region, the Ministry appointed two young girls; one Sinhalese and one Tamil to represent the country in this program. There appointment is for one year and selected through a screening process and an interview and selected on merit. They got opportunities to represent the country at the UN General Assembly, UN high level meetings and other youth related fora in different countries. Two youth get the opportunity to become the UN Youth Delegates annually as the term is for one year which opens up opportunities to many youth.

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WORLD CONFERENCE on youth (Wcy) - 2014

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he government of Sri Lanka will host a World Youth Conference (WYC) in May 2014 in Colombo with a focus on the participation and involvement of youth in achieving the internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The main objectives of this Conference are; a) to facilitate a process that strengthens effective youth participation in the decision making of post 2015 development agenda b) to facilitate effective partnership with youth and youth organizations in the implementation of the post 2015 development agenda c) to create an inclusive platform with youth that enables them to review the progress of MDGs, share ideas, experiences and innovative approaches for effectively contributing to the post MDG agenda and its implementation, d) to facilitate the establishment of a Global Youth Led Movement and e) to establish a follow up mechanism that support young people as partners in the global implementation of the post 2015 Devel-

opment agenda. Planning and organizing of the WYC will be by a Youth Task Force (YTF) which comprises of ten Sri Lankan youth leaders and ten international youth leaders guided by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development, Ministry of External Affairs and the National Youth Services Council. A National Steering Committee headed by the Hon Minister of Youth Affairs & Skills Development steers the entire process of the Conference. Expected outcomes of the Conference are a) facilitated youth led process on post 2015 development agenda b) strengthened youth participation in global governance, c) global youth movement launched and d) youth organizations work together in influencing the global agenda on development.

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NATIONAL YOUTH DAY

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n Sri Lanka, National Youth Day falls on 23 May. With the establishment of the first ever Youth Club by the National Youth Services Council, this date was declared as the National Youth Day. In commemoration of the National Youth Day, The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development along with its institutions, launch many programs at national level as well as regional level based on selected themes. Some of the programs among others are, Seminars/ Workshops for youth on selected topics, Poster Campaigns, Art Competitions, Debates, Community Work, Cultural events etc.

INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY (IYD)

E

ach year, International Youth Day (IYD) falls on August 12. In 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers responsible for youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August, 1998) that 12 August be declared international Youth Day. The Focal point on Youth selects a theme for the day with input from youth organizations and members of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network in Youth Development. The program encourages youth around the world to organize activities to raise awareness about the situation of youth in their respective countries. To guide the celebrations of the IYD, the UN has developed a framework approach highlighting three key objectives namely; i) increased commitment and investment in youth ii) increased youth participation and partnerships and iii) increased intercultural understanding among youth.

In line with the above objectives and the theme declared for each year, Sri Lanka, through the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development along with its institutions launch programs specifically at national level to commemorate this day. Formation of a Mosaic , Art competitions, Short Film competition, young inventors competition, Sports festivals, Emerging Young Leader competition, Sri Lanka Youth Housing Project are some of the programs among them. Under Sri Lanka Youth Housing Project, the Youth Club Members of each Divisional Secretariat Division those who are from low income families are given a newly constructed house. The National Youth Services Council contribute only Rs. 100,000 per house and the houses are constructed with the contribution and support of the local community, philanthropists, local political leadership , Youth Club Members etc..

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PROGRAMS FOR YOUTH WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

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he Ministry and its institutions have given a high priority for empowering youth with special needs. Opportunities are provided for the youth with special needs to enroll to the vocational training programs based on their disability. They follow programs with other students and get opportunity to mix with them and learn together. Based on their disability, physical resources are developed and they are treated equally. In addition to these programs, several institutions namely; Vocational Training Authority conducts tailor made short term courses for differently able students of the special schools on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) basis. Further, the Youth Corps conducts Leadership and Personality Development programs for

this category of youth in special schools on CSR basis. The National Youth Services Council (NYSC) has several Youth Clubs purely for the youth with special needs. In addition to the Vocational training, they are provided with sports skills development programs. It holds annual sports meets too for these youth. One of the other important initiatives taken by the NYSC is a Reality program for the differently able youth where the youth with special needs are given opportunities to show their talents. Some of the youth who became winners receive offers to perform at many events for which they are paid well.

PREVENTION OF NON COMMUNUCABLE DISEASES PROGRAM

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he Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health to work together on prevention of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD). This program is conducted through the Youth Club Members. After making these Youth Club Members aware of the program they become the agents to carry the message to the people in their own areas of the importance of taking measures to prevent from NCD. The youth were trained by the officials of the Ministry of Health and the district level programs are held with the Medical Offices of Health in each district.

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he Commonwealth Youth Program (CYP) is a network, part of the Commonwealth Secretariat (Com Sec) in London. The CYP is managed by the Youth Development Division of the Com Sec. It is an intergovernmental Youth and development Agency working primarily with 54 member governments, Ministries and Departments of Youth which functions through its Regional Centers of Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Pacific.

CYP’s Work Program is decided mainly by the Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (CYMM). CYP works to engage and empower young people aged 15-29 to enhance their contribution to development. It advocates the effective participation of young women and men in the development process and for social transformation.

The work of the CYP falls under three strategic program areas namely; • • •

Youth Enterprise and Sustainable Livelihood Youth Work Education and Training Governance, Development and Youth Networks

COMMONWEALTH YOUTH PROGRAM (CYP)

All these programs are guided by the Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (PAYE). CYP also provides technical assistance in the following areas; • • • • • • • •

Enterprise, vocational training and micro credit Youth participation in decision making and youth policy Professionalization and training for youth workers Citizenship, peace building, and human rights education HIV/Aids awareness and counseling Information and Communication Technology Youth Development Indicators Youth mainstreaming

The seventh Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (CYMM) was held in Sri Lanka in year 2008 followed by a Mid – Term Review Meeting of the Pan Commonwealth in 2010. In addition, CYP provides technical support in the areas of Youth Enterprise

Development, Financial Inclusion Policy, Professionalizing Youth Work, Development of Youth Development Index etc. Further, The CYP provides any other support on request as per the Annual Action Plans.

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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

PROFESSIONALISING YOUTH WORK

Y

outh Work is identified as a process of an enabling, ensuring, and empowering environment through formal and informal interventions of young people. Youth worker is identified as someone who engages in programs for and with young people to facilitate their holistic development. In the present context, it has become necessary to recognize the youth work as an important profession as the other professions. Taking this aspect into consideration, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, in collaboration with the Asia Regional Center of the Commonwealth Youth Program initiated a pro-

gram to professionalize the Youth Work Sector in Sri Lanka. As this is a new concept, several awareness programs were held to make organizations which are involved in youth work and other relevant stakeholders aware of the benefits of the exercise. As a result, steps have been taken to establish a professional Youth Workers Association in Sri Lanka. Further, action is being taken to establish a Secretariat to facilitate the process.

DONOR ASSISTANCE NATIONAL ACTION PLAN FOR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IN SRI LANKA – ILO

T

he National Action Plan for Youth Employment (NAP) is the outcome of a long process involving various stakeholders and methodologies in order to bring out a comprehensive and appropriate Plan with recommendations targeting on youth employment in Sri Lanka. Development of this Action Plan was supported by the International Labour Office, Colombo and the World Bank with the donor support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany. The objective of the National Action Plan for Youth Employment is to ensure that talents and aspirations of the youth in relation to the labour market are fulfilled, thereby not only addressing existing inequalities but, by providing opportunities for young people to realize their full potential, and contribute to the economic growth. It analyses the following key labour market areas of 4 Es;

a) Equal Opportunity b) Employment Creation c) Employability d) Entrepreneurship In each of these areas, the National Action Plan reviews key policies and programs and identifies main issues and constraints. Further, policy level recommendations made by the youth through youth consultations in urban, rural , estate and conflict affected areas are also highlighted in the Action Plan based on the above four key areas. With the support of the International Labour Office in Colombo, a Road Map was developed to implement the National Action Plan. The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development, along with the relevant stakeholders has already implemented many of the recommendation given in the Action Plan and some are ongoing.

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YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROJECT -Unicef This project is implemented through five years from 2013 – 2017. Main components of the project are as follows: • • • • •

Training of Youth Award Leaders Entrepreneurial Skills Development of youth Strengthening of the training Centers of the National Youth Services Council Strengthening of Youth Exchange Programs Training of Youth Service Officers of the Northern Province

This is implemented through the National Youth Services Council, Small Enterprises Development Division and the National Youth Award Authority during five years.

QUALITY SERVICES AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS (SRHR) PROJECT - UNFPA This project supports the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) education for youth outside the school environment, particularly young women using innovative approaches through the following; • • • • • •

Support SRHR education among out of school youth using Y-PEER methodology Support capacity building of the Ministry and its relevant institutions in the area of youth health and development Support develop innovative communications, materials and approaches on young people on SRHR Support leadership development of young people particularly young women Support development of policy relating to SRHR of young people Support advocacy and coordination for youth and youth participation

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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Ministry Of Youth Affairs and Skills Development

Printing Supported by unfpa, United Nations Population Fund, Sri Lanka

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